The Experiment through the years: A photo essay depicting the power of study abroad
Since 1932, The Experiment in International Living has sent high school-aged youth from the United States around the world on unforgettable educational exchanges. Over the sweep of nine decades, these Experimenters have exemplified the words of Experiment founder Dr. Donald Watt: People learn to live together by living together.
This 90-year history comes with stories to tell, complete with photos that illustrate the kind of cross-cultural immersion students encounter with The Experiment. To honor this history and those stories, we asked Experimenters of all ages to send us photos of their journeys. Below are some of our favorites.
Thank you to everyone who submitted one!
“Here is a picture of Mount Nebo, a memorial of Moses,” writes Experimenter Lindsay Espaillat. “I thought it was super cool to visit ruins of Moses, a figure present in many different religions! The flyer matched what I was seeing.”
Experimenters traverse the desert of Wadi Rum, Jordan, by camelback. Take a close look to spot some of our Experiment merch!
“1979 was a memorable year to be in Ghana,” writes Experimenter Laura Laubach. “We experienced life in villages and cities, lived through a currency devaluation, participated in a rural development project, and enjoyed diverse, intense homestays. We were welcomed everywhere, and, as in this photo, invited to participate in the fun.”
An Experimenter rows a gondola in Venice, Italy. These long, narrow Venetian boats are world-famous, as they used to be the only means of transport through Venice centuries ago.
These Experimenters connect for the first time in 52 years! After finding each other online during the COVID-19 pandemic, they now meet monthly. Calling themselves the “Swedish Meatballs,” this group first met in 1968 on their Experiment trip to (you guessed it) Sweden.
Experimenters walk hand-in-hand down the Spanish Steps in Rome, Italy. The top of the 135 steps offers a beautiful view, and the steps’ three terraces represent the Holy Trinity.
“During our time in Salta, Argentina, my group decided to use one of our free afternoons to take a cable car to the top of Monte San Bernardo. The views were amazing, and we were there in time to watch the sunset over the city,” writes Experimenter Carmen Miller.
Experimenter Laura Laubach is pictured with her homestay family, who lived in a village about an hour’s bike ride outside of Kathmandu, Nepal.
Experimenters take turns on a great bamboo swing. Called Linge Ping, these swings are built by many villages in Nepal for Dashain, the great harvest festival. The festival honors Goddess Durga and is a time for family reunions, prayers, and gift exchanges.
Experimenters pose together under the Lion of Lucerne in Switzerland, one of the most famous monuments in Switzerland. This memorial honors the sacrifice of the Swiss Guards defending the King of France in 1792.