Intensive Pre-College Leadership Training

The Experiment Leadership Institute offers two highly competitive, fully funded programs for participants with demonstrated interest in intercultural leadership, global issues, and civic engagement.

The Experiment Leadership Institute offers six-week pro­grams primarily based in South Africa & Mozambique and India & Nepalspecifically focused on leadership development. These programs foster discussion on critical global issues such as worldwide health, human rights, and social change. The Experiment Leadership Institute promotes understanding of these and other global issues, and provides participants with an opportunity to see what communities are doing to address these challenges

The Experiment Leadership Institute programs are carefully designed to provide participants with the extraordinary opportunity to acquire key skills and intercultural competencies necessary to become effective leaders.

Program Components

  • Intensive four-day Leadership Seminar in Washington, D.C. Based on a powerful experiential leadership curriculum, the Leadership Seminar includes training, workshops, field trips, group exercises, and discussions with political and NGO leaders.
  • Four-week immersive program in India & Nepal or South Africa & Mozambique.
  • Four days of project planning sessions at the School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont. Participants have workshops and brainstorming sessions on designing a post-program project.
  • Post-program project to be implemented in participants’ home communities.

A Full Scholarship Program

Thirty competitive, fully funded scholarships for students accepted to The Experiment Leadership Institute have been made available through the generous support of individual donors.*

* International Applicants: The Experiment Leadership Institute welcomes and encourages international students to apply. International applicants should note that due to the high variability of international airfare, the flight from your home country to Washington, D.C., at the beginning of the program and from Vermont back to your home country at the program’s conclusion will not be covered by The Experiment. Please contact The Experiment admissions office for more information.


Program Eligibility
Applicants must:

  • Be rising seniors who are 16 to 18 years old at the time
    of the program
  • Have a high school graduation year of 2020
  • Demonstrate community leadership or commitment to academic pursuits
  • Obtain a passport that is valid through at least February 2020

How to Apply

  1. Go to
  2. On the Program Selection page, choose either India & Nepal (Leadership Institute): Community Development & Public Health or South Africa & Mozambique (Leadership Institute): Peace, Politics, & Human Rights for your first-or second-choice program.
  3. Select a program that is not part of The Experiment Leadership Institute for your third choice. We will consider your application for this third program if you are not accepted to The Experiment Leadership Institute.

Application Deadline & Details

The deadline to apply for The Experiment Leadership Institute program is January 15, 2020. Applicants will be required to submit references from two adult teachers, mentors, or coaches, as well as essays and other relevant materials. Applicants will be asked to describe previous leadership roles, what they learned from those roles, and what they hope to gain through participation in The Experiment Leadership Institute.

The Experiment Leadership Institute seeks applicants who can take initiative through the application process. We discourage parental involvement. If you have questions, please contact us at 800-345-2929 or at

The trip was a transformational experience. Each day of the six weeks contributed to my growth. My understanding and consciousness were expanded as I journeyed through our schedule in a new environment with diverse and intelligent peers, both challenging my ideas and understandings.

Maalik DunkleySouth Africa, 2016

From the very beginning in Washington, D.C., I began to feel as though my voice was in fact valid, and that others wanted to hear what I had to say. This feeling was so foreign to me, and it took much effort to step out of my quiet comfort zone, but because of the group dynamics and experiences we shared, I feel as though I grew tremendously and my confidence in myself and my opinions soared.

Dorothy DrouihetIndia, 2016

My time with The Experiment taught me how to see the vibrancy in others, the world around me, and myself. At The Experiment, I felt this warmth emanating from my soul. I learned what it felt like to speak and listen from the heart and to be given that from others. I began recognizing my self-worth and stepping outside my comfort zone by practicing positivity, exploration of the unknown, and self-expression.

Nia GoodridgeSouth Africa, 2016
  • India

    India & Nepal (Leadership Institute): Community Development & Public Health

    Travel through urban and rural areas of northern India and have the opportunity to strengthen your leadership and social change skills while witnessing the diverse ways in which community development and public health challenges are managed in different social and cultural environments. Participate in an excursion to Nepal.

    Learn More
  • South Africa

    South Africa & Mozambique (Leadership Institute): Peace, Politics & Human Rights

    Examine human rights, multiculturalism, and social change in the context of South Africa, a country that has undergone an extraordinary transition from apartheid to democracy. Compare social issues in two countries as you travel to Mozambique.

    Learn More