By: Emily Bracher
Founded in 1932, the Experiment in International Living (EIL) is an immersive learning program for students around the globe. For up to a month, young individuals get to explore a foreign country where they focus on different ideas, and learn about about the area surrounding them.With topics like cultural discovery in Spain, or ecology in Ecuador, new knowledge gained through experience relating to these topics is the overall goal.
Key West High School has been working with the Experiment for the past 5-7 years. This year, over 10-15 students from the high school were given the opportunity to take part in this program. Lindsay Moore, Takestock director, helped a lot of the students with the application progress. “The process of traveling to a different country, meeting new people. They gain independence. It’s like an ever evolving learning experience,” Moore explains.
Eric Barter, sophomore, made his way to Thailand this summer where he explored temples, and ziplined through the mountains. He got to be a part of daily life in a Thai village where he stayed with his host family. “While I was there I saw how different life was,”Eric states. “If I hadn’t thrown my myself into adventures, I would have never gone zip lining in the mountains, and eaten bugs in the street markets of Bangkok. You’re really only there once, so make it count.”
Another sophomore from the high school, Jamison Klettheimer, crossed the pond and traveled to Germany. There she studied the European Union and international relations. “I think it has changed me as I am more independent and it really steered me from what I thought I wanted to do, to something I like even more,” she explains. “Pick something that you really love or even something that’ll take you out of your comfort zone but do it because it’s worth it for the experience and the memories you make.”
Every program came with two, American, group leaders. Darriel McBride was one of the Journalism and Media in the U.K. group leaders. “I decided to become a group leader because I love to travel and I love working with high school students,” Mcbride elaborates. “I enjoyed the one on one conversations I had with each of the students and discovering what we all had in common.”
At least one time throughout the school year, a representative from EIL will make an appearance at the school.. They will share information about the program, scholarship opportunities through the school, and alumni stories. For more information about the program, visit the website www.experiment.org.