The Experiment in International Living
The Experiment in International Living Programs
Experience a diversity of cultures, communities, and urban and rural environments across Thailand during a summer abroad. Take an immersive journey through urban and rural...
Spend time in Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands as you explore German politics, contemporary youth culture, and the European Union. Gain fascinating insight into the...
Explore the landscapes of Argentina and engage in community service. Experience the natural beauty of Argentina through a month of cultural immersion, outdoor activities,...
An Experiment Leadership Institute Program Examine human rights, multiculturalism, and inequality in the context of South Africa during this high school summer abroad
This highly competitive summer abroad program from The Experiment in International Living is specifically focused on leadership development. Participation for accepted students...
Learn about South African diversity through the country’s vibrant arts, majestic landscapes, and welcoming communities. Embark on an immersive journey through multicultural...
The Experiment in International Living Reviews
Eu Amo EIL e Brasil!
Submitted by Maddie Thomas - Clark University | December 06, 2016
If you are looking for a culturally immersive, unique, challenging and FUN program, you should strongly consider EIL's Brazilian program. I am a small town girl from Vermont who had never even been on a plane before, and had no idea what to expect in studying abroad. I traveled to Brazil with fifteen other students from across the country along with our two incredible group leaders, and we all quickly connected and built a support system that lasted throughout the program. Everyone had something unique to bring to the table; from living with a welcoming and loving host family, to learning Portuguese, to hiking jungles, boating in caves, picking strawberries and planting trees, EIL's Brazil program is an experience that you do not want to miss out on. I am a 2014 alumni who is still in contact with my host family as well as my fellow Experimenters - the bonds you make on this program will last you a lifetime. You will fall in love with Brazil, as well as the Experiment - this program changed my life and defined who I am today. I give EIL my highest recommendation!
Submitted by rachel meyerowitz - erie community college | December 02, 2016
I did EILs Viet Nam study abroad program and absolutely loved it. I was nervous about leaving home for an entire month for the first time but it was definitely worth it. I ate delicious food, saw beautiful places, bonded with both of my homestay families, and made great friends within my group as well. It's really an experience to remember. It can be nerve wracking and it definitely takes some adjusting but once you get in the swing of things it's an adventure the whole way through. Dont get me wrong. it's hot. and culture shock is real. But, when you come back home you'll have amazing stories to tell and you may even find yourself missing it.
Program: Vietnam: Ecology and Conservation
(Leadership Institute) India: Community & Public Health
Submitted by DeDe Drouilhet - Ben Franklin High School | November 29, 2016
For the majority of my life, especially throughout my teenage years, I have been a very closed off person, feeling as though my opinions or feelings towards a subject were not valid enough to be spoken. For this reason, I was worried when first coming to the Experiment Leadership Institute because I knew that this was my time to use my voice and use my words to contribute to this incredible group, rather than just take away from it. The other students participating in the Experiment, as well as, the group leaders, created an environment where every single person’s words, opinions, and emotions were valid and there was no negative judgement in existence. 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.
Every single day was a challenge in India, whether that be communicating with my host family, or participating in a group workshop, but each challenge allowed me to grow in more ways than I thought possible, but we had this saying, “All feelings are valid,” that encouraged me to continue being vulnerable and opening myself up to the group. Because of this, I was able to dive into the experience headfirst and take every challenge as it came to me, with a determination to not let my usual quiet manner get in the way of my learning. With the support of every single group member, I was able to soar above what I thought I was capable of doing and feel genuinely comfortable in my skin, and confident of my beliefs. One of the group activities was an opportunity for each of us to tell our story. When I was first told that we were going to do this, my heart sank because I felt as though I would never be able to open up so vulnerably to a group of fourteen other teenagers and four group leaders. However, when it came my time to tell my own story in the small village of Bahraich where we were staying, I was so supported by everyone that the words came freely from my mouth. When I was finished speaking, I looked around the group circle and saw the most accepting and understanding looks in every person’s eyes. I have never felt such whole-hearted acceptance on this incredibly deep level by anyone in my life, even within my own family. This was the turning point in the program where I began to see myself as a leader in all aspects of the word and appreciate my own personal leadership abilities, recognizing that all people have a different manner of leadership. By the time we returned to Vermont, I felt strong. I could hold my head up high and not be afraid of being approached because I knew who I am and that I am capable of taking risks and using my voice for good. On the second to last day of the program, I was able to stand in front of some other Experimenters, group leaders, and four members of the World Learning team, and speak passionately about a problem within my community and the efforts I am going to take to pursue a solution to this problem. I stood in front of this group of remarkable human beings and knew that I was going to be listened to and everything I was saying was valid, because I am a leader and my opinions will be appreciated by these people. When I was finished speaking, I had nearly the same level of support that I had had in Bahraich when I told the group my life story. These experiences are ones that I will always remember and will apply to my life in the near future, as well as the far future.
One of the most famous quotes from Ghandi states, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow; learn as if you were to live forever,” and it holds so much truth to it, more than I ever knew before. After this experience, I am seeing my life and what I am capable of doing in a whole new light. The most positive light possible. I will no longer shrink away from opportunities because I am too afraid to use my voice and express my opinions; rather, I will stand up for what I believe and continue striving to learn, taking on as many challenges as I can. I will question others and listen to their responses, and understand what their perspectives are and why. I will continue to challenge myself and chase my dreams, even if I am told that I cannot do it because I know now that I am capable of doing what I put my mind to if I continue to be determined. The Experiment in International Living has had the most positive impact on myself and how I see myself. I have learned more in the six weeks on program about myself, others, and the world; more than I thought was possible. I will take these lessons I have learned and apply them to all future challenges I face in my life, and will always keep this experience very close to my heart.
Cuba's got it figured out
Submitted by Kaeli - Fryeburg Academy | November 10, 2016
On my trip to Nicaragua and Cuba this summer I was able to observe many different, critical issues that are affecting many people there. Many of these problems are faced in other places in the world as well, lack of resources, lack of food and water, et cetera. These are all critical global issues that are well known, however, in Cuba I came across one substantial, social issue that we are facing everyday in the United States, the fight for equal rights for all.
In many ways the United States of America are ahead of a lot of the world, economically, religiously and with work ethic. On my trip, however, my ideas of America being ahead in all ways were slightly shattered. While in Cuba and Nicaragua I discovered that in the realm of equal rights, the USA is lacking. We are still fighting everyday for gender equality, racial equality and sexual orientation equality; women are still fighting for equal pay, and we just recently gained the right to legal same-sex marriage in the USA.
While I was in Cuba, my group and I had the amazing opportunity to talk with a woman named Norma Guillard Limonta. Norma is an elderly woman living in Havana, she has worked her whole life as an activist for women’s rights and LGBTQ+ rights. She has written countless papers and articles on these rights as well as participating in Cuba’s first Gay Pride Day Parade and taking part in the LGBTQ+ equality documentary called Censex 2009. While listening to her stories I was astonished to learn how much more Cuba has accomplished with these social issues than we have achieved in the USA.
I realized the impressiveness of this small country when Norma began telling us more of the history of these rights in Cuba. She told us that not only is health care free in Cuba but that since the early 1940’s abortion has been included in that free health care, a procedure that is not only expensive in the USA but also illegal in many places. And that hospitals have been performing trans-gender surgeries for people that need it to be physically, mentally and emotionally healthy for free since 1986. In Cuba the women and men are paid equally at their jobs and that everyone has equal opportunities.
After hearing these facts and comparing them to the USA I was impressed and saddened and inspired. I realized that we should not still be fighting the battle on whether women should be allowed to receive the health care they need or arguing about equal pay. I realized that it is not new ideas and multi-generational misunderstandings that make us incapable of making these changes to our laws and our society, but it is because we as a nation are not as accepting as we should be and as some countries are. These realizations lead me to thinking about things that I could do to help make a change, I can educate others, I can put more effort into my branch of the UN organization GirlUp club, and do my part to make the world a better place.
An Italian getaway with a purpose
Submitted by Matthew Cardoza - Daly City United States | October 15, 2016
If you told me a year ago that I'd get a chance to go to a foreign country before I'd even graduate from high school, I'd think you were pulling my leg. My name is Matthew Cardoza. Currently, I'm a high school senior who this past summer took one of the biggest opportunities of my life by going on this month long program, which took myself and 14 other high schoolers from all over the U.S. and the world to a country, in this case Italy, to learn about its culture and communities. The leaders of my group were very experienced in Italian language and took us through five different locations, which were Rome, Cortona, Cosenza, Asti, and Venice. Some of the places had little day trips to places like Florence, Tropea, and Torino mixed in their to further increase our places to visit. The other students who I was with not only were a collection of awesome people of varying backgrounds, they inspired me to get out of my comfort zone and made even the difficult times better for me! A huge part of the trip was getting introduced to an actual Italian family and living with them for nine days. While there, I had to utilize my Italian skills and my social skills when I had to interact with the family and all their friends. This was challenging at first due to awkwardness and lack of fluent Italian speaking, but soon I got the hang of it and even spoke fluently in a speech dedicated to them at the final dinner with all the families! Overall, I had an amazing journey with this program and the people who went on it with me, and I now have the ability to use this experience as an excellent thing to remember and to tell to other people!