Discover the environmental and cultural diversity of Brazil, one of the world’s fastest growing economies. On this high school summer abroad program, explore contemporary opportunities and challenges facing Brazil, particularly in the areas of sustainability and environmental conservation, while experiencing many of Brazil’s different cultures and communities. Visit coastlines, mountains, and forests to see the unique species inhabiting some of the most biodiverse locations in the southern hemisphere.
Cananéia, a historic coastal town founded in the sixteenth century, will be your base for exploring the Atlantic Forest, home to diverse species, many of which are endemic to the area. Visit fishing villages and trek through the forest and pristine beaches of Cardoso Island State Park. Spend time in an indigenous Caiçara community and quilombo communities, originally formed in the nineteenth century by escaped slaves. Learn about conservation and sustainability efforts in the area.
A 13-day homestay, which will allow you to become part of a Brazilian family, will take place in Monte Alegre do Sul, a town nestled within the Mantiqueira mountain range. Share in the daily activities of your host family. Start learning Portuguese and practice your new language skills over home-cooked meals. See colonial architecture while strolling down cobblestone streets and enjoy the view of the surrounding mountains while sipping coffee in local cafés. Visit nearby waterfalls and mountain forests and see toucans and parakeets in their natural habitats. During the program, you and your group will participate in community service projects.
Your Experiment begins in the northern mountain city of Chiang Mai, home to hundreds of ancient temples. You will visit the city’s famous sites, explore lively street markets, and discover Buddhist temples as you get to know your group. A cooking instructor will help you shop for the freshest ingredients at a local market, then teach you how to whip up traditional Thai dishes with the items you buy. You will stay overnight at a Buddhist temple and learn about the cultural importance of the art of meditation. Introductory Thai language lessons will prepare you to communicate with your host family during your homestays.
As your Thai journey continues, you will live with a Kon Muang family in a lowland northern village in Chiang Mai province, and then with a Lisu family in a hill tribe in Chiang Rai province. Together, you will work on a community service project, such as teaching English to young children, helping build a natural water dam, or assisting with reforestation work. You will continue to develop your Thai language skills as you interact with locals.
The northern region’s lush tropical valleys and highlands will be your backdrop as you embark on outdoor activities such as trekking, zip lining, and visiting an elephant park. You will also visit Sukhothai, the first capital of Siam and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, before traveling to the seaside town of Hua Hin to explore the breathtaking beaches. Your Thailand exploration wraps up in Bangkok, where you will visit sites of cultural and historical importance, such as the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
To learn more and view a sample itinerary, visit experiment.org/THS.
At the conclusion of this program, each student will earn a language certificate noting the number of hours of community service completed.
Get to know your group in Mexico City before beginning your journey to La Paz, where you will meet with researchers and work closely with a marine biologist. Snorkel among colorful schools of fish and observe sea lions in their natural habitats on the beautiful island of Espíritu Santo, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. During your homestay, live with a Mexican family and experience daily life. Practice your Spanish as you explore the region’s incredible natural wonders and culture with your host family.
As the program moves to the Yucatán Peninsula in southeastern Mexico, you will experience a totally new natural environment. On the island of Cozumel, learn about pearl farming and witness ecosystem restoration efforts through the installation of artificial reefs. Do the night shift of turtle nest patrol to hopefully watch giant sea turtles laying eggs in the sand. See the starfish at El Cielo to learn why they call it “the sky.” Back on land, you will discover the region’s strong Mayan cultural influence through visits to the archaeological ruins at Coba or Tulum.
Your Experiment concludes in Mexico City, where you will deepen your knowledge of Mexico’s culture, history, and cuisine from the vantage point of the country’s expansive capital city. Taste authentic tacos, visit the famous cathedral in el Zócalo, and stroll through the Frida Kahlo Museum.
To learn more about this program, visit experiment.org/MXM.