World Learning approaches education through a comprehensive portfolio of international development education, experiential programs abroad for high school students, and higher education for undergraduate and graduate students in the United States and around the world.
World Learning offers a large number of educational programs at the high school, undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels, through its experiential and academic programs:
These programs attract thousands of talented and passionate individuals from around the world each year. They are designed to expose students to a variety of perspectives and to cultivate invaluable skills, connections, awareness, and knowledge to lead and thrive in a variety of contexts. These programs are rooted in experiential learning and are based on a commitment to social justice and intercultural communication.
World Learning believes that education is the driving force behind positive, sustainable development. We support inclusive, equitable, and responsive education systems that meet the needs of children and youth around the world. Program areas include:
- Children and Youth Education
- Tertiary Education and Workforce Development
- Language Teacher Education
Our programs target a range of educational needs including teacher professional development, school-community linkages, English language and mother tongue literacy improvement, stakeholder engagement with policymakers, and curriculum reform. Our core approach is capacity development—empowering individuals and institutions to define, initiate, and sustain long-lasting, transformative change.
The Experiment in International Living offers immersive summer abroad programs for high school students who want to engage with the richness and complexities of another country. Today, the Experiment offers programs in more than 20 countries in Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Asia and the Pacific.
Students are challenged to explore their host country through hands-on experiences in local communities. Programs are designed around specific themes to equip students with essential intercultural skills and a deeper awareness of the global issues shaping the diverse communities they visit.
A pioneer in experiential, field-based study abroad, SIT provides academically rich programs in more than 30 countries for undergraduate students. As students explore global and local issues firsthand, they acquire new theoretical frameworks and broaden their worldviews.
SIT Study Abroad programs examine critical global issues in specific cultural and geographical contexts within a single country, or in multiple countries within a comparative study structure. Our comparative portfolio is based on the International Honors Program (IHP), which became part of SIT Study Abroad in 2011. Programs are designed to be respectful of the strengths, knowledge, and unique vantage points of local partners.
SIT Graduate Institute offers internationally focused, full-time and low-residency master’s degrees, as well as certificate and professional development programs. Areas of study include international education, sustainable development, peacebuilding and conflict transformation, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), and a self-designed option. Programs are based on the experiential learning model, a commitment to social justice, and intercultural communication.
Founded in 1964 as the School for International Training, SIT served as a training center for early Peace Corps volunteers. Today, SIT Graduate Institute prepares students from around the world to become informed and effective leaders, professionals, and global citizens.
Children and Youth Education
Of the world’s 650 million school-aged children, 120 million will not reach fourth grade, and an additional 130 million will fail to learn basic skills like literacy and numeracy. High dropout and repetition rates, in combination with local obstacles—such as poverty, conflict, gender inequality, language, and disability—compound this problem. Improving educational opportunities for all children and youth, particularly the most vulnerable and disadvantaged, is essential to the growth of human potential worldwide.
For years, World Learning has committed to addressing these issues, and our success stems from three main approaches.
- Focus on experiential learning that results in lasting change.
- Emphasize locally identified activities that make education more available and relevant.
- Remain sensitive to the particular educational needs of vulnerable children and youth, including child laborers, children affected by conflict, those impacted by HIV/AIDS, orphans, and those excluded by gender, disability, or ethnicity.
Many countries struggle to adapt to unstable economic environments and a global marketplace that increasingly demands innovation in science and technology. More than ever, governments need a skilled workforce with the human capital necessary to prosper in a modern economy.
Furthermore, the more than one billion young people in developing countries are three times more likely to be unemployed than adults. Education systems are failing them, leaving millions to drop out before acquiring basic literacy and numeracy skills. Those who continue on to higher education often graduate without the skills to meet the needs of the labor market. The situation is exacerbated in fragile states where rising youth unemployment threatens to destabilize efforts to create vibrant and healthy democracies.
World Learning supports governments in tackling the employment gap through interventions in both higher education and general workforce development. Our programs focus on developing young people's technical and English language skills so they can find employment, provide for themselves and their families, and become more engaged members of society. Our programs strengthen traditional higher education structures while encouraging the private sector to play a larger role in shaping education programming.
Language Teacher Education
English language proficiency is an increasingly vital skill to access and succeed in higher education and the global workforce. Yet many people around the world—often in the poorest and most disadvantaged areas—are unable to obtain quality English language training. Many countries now mandate that their education systems move from mother tongue to English language instruction during primary or secondary education and require support to manage the transition.
World Learning’s methodology is based on experiential, reflective learning that results in long-lasting change, and our emphasis on locally identified priorities ensures that language education is accessible and relevant. Training English language teachers and developing the capacity of governments and educational institutions to implement English language instruction programs allows more people to obtain these skills and helps prepare individuals, communities, and countries to thrive in the 21st century.
Building on decades of experience with course delivery, we also support host countries’ international development goals through comprehensive English language education reform programs. Partners include ministries and state departments of education, local and regional education authorities, small and large higher education and vocational training institutions, and community organizations in countries across the globe.