Begin your environmental and language studies in Ho Chi Minh City, the country’s bustling capital, before traveling to mangrove forests, the Central Highlands, and the Mekong Delta to explore jungle and coastal areas. Acquire firsthand knowledge of Vietnam’s ecology while discovering the threats, including climate change and development pressures, affecting the country’s natural environments and indigenous communities.
During an excursion to the mangrove forests in Can Gio, you will canoe down the Dong Nai River for an intimate view of monkeys and birds in their natural habitats. You will visit an endangered primate rescue center and learn about conservation e orts and challenges at Cat Tien National Park, home to mammals such as elephants and sun bears. You will attend seminars on climate change, visit the floating markets on the Mekong River, discover local ecology and bike, trek, and snorkel on the beautiful Côn Đao islands , which boasts numerous coral reefs and seagrass beds.
Immerse yourself in the daily lives of two Vietnamese families during homestays in Ho Chi Minh City and Da Lat. During the program’s college stay in Hoa An village, you will participate in a community service project, such as building a biogas system or farming with local families. Travel to the Central Highlands, learn about indigenous traditions, attend workshops on Vietnamese folk music, and practice Zen meditation. You will meet with local NGOs working to advance the quality of life of vulnerable people and communities. Continue learning about Vietnam’s history and culture through visits to historical sites such as the Cu Chi tunnels, one of the longest systems of underground tunnels from the Vietnam War. Your trip concludes with an overnight visit to the gorgeous white sand beaches on the Côn Đao islands while en route back to the capital for final exploration and reflection.
To learn more and view a sample itinerary, visit experiment.org/VNS
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.