What We Do
- WHERE WE WORK
Welcome Message from Carol Jenkins
For more than 85 years, World Learning has equipped individuals and institutions to address the world’s most pressing problems. We believe that, working together with our partners, we can change this world for the better.
On my travels, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with many of those who have joined us in this mission. In Baghdad, we’ve trained more than 2,300 Iraqi youth who are already giving back at home. In London, our partners in the TAAP Initiative strongly believe that we are all responsible to practice inclusion. And in Vermont, our Experiment in International Living and School for International Training participants prove every day that they have the tools and the determination to change the world.
Please join us in our pursuit of a more peaceful and just world.
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It all began in 1932, when Dr. Donald Watt founded World Learning Inc.’s flagship program, The Experiment in International Living. Inspired by the belief that sending Americans abroad would expand their worldview and cultivate cross-cultural understanding and respect, Watt and 23 young men — the first Experiment group — sailed for Europe to attend a summer camp with Swiss and German teenagers.
The students returned transformed. They had a different outlook on the world, as well as new leadership and communication skills. The following summer, The Experiment became the first program to offer homestays so that American students could fully immerse themselves in different cultures.
In 1961, President John F. Kennedy tapped Sargent Shriver, one of the original Experimenters, to become the first director of the newly formed Peace Corps. Shriver drew upon his experiences with The Experiment to craft the Peace Corps’ founding principles and ultimately invited The Experiment to help train the first volunteers prior to their deployments.
Inspired by this work, The Experiment founded the School for International Training (SIT) in 1964 to prepare students from across the globe to be effective leaders, professionals, and citizens. SIT carries out this mission through its two main programs: SIT Graduate Institute, which offers internationally focused master’s degrees as well as certificate and professional development programs, and SIT Study Abroad, which offers worldwide undergraduate study abroad programs.
In the mid-1970s, the organization began putting decades of experience into practice around the world through a Projects and Grants unit that managed grant-funded assistance programs in developing countries. It also began expanding its portfolio of international exchange programs. These two units eventually merged to become World Learning Inc.’s nonprofit global development and exchange arm, World Learning, which aims to expand access to quality education, foster youth leadership, improve economic opportunities, and promote citizen engagement and good governance.
Today, World Learning Inc. continues to build on its decades of success. The Experiment sends more than 600 American teenagers abroad each summer for life-changing experiences. SIT Graduate Institute offers accredited graduate degrees in Vermont and at our centers around the globe. SIT Study Abroad provides more than 80 study abroad programs for undergraduate students, including multi-country comparative programs through the International Honors Program (IHP). And World Learning oversees 92 programs with participants from more than 150 countries, including the 2,000 emerging leaders we bring to the US every year on international professional, academic, and youth exchanges.
Together, we are building the foundations for a more peaceful and just world.