Last updated on April 13th, 2018 at 06:02 pmHigh-schoolers experience riding while immersed in the
culture of MONGOLIA or ARGENTINA
Are you looking to give your child a once-in-a-lifetime experience? The Experiment in International Living offers a unique, life-affirming experience to high-school students through their carefully crafted travel packages to Argentina and Mongolia. Students can select from a range of activities in either Argentina or Mongolia, including a host of experiences like sleeping under the stars or helping renovate a school or orphanage.
The trips represent an opportunity for personal growth and experiential learning within foreign cultures through an organization with more than 85 years of experience in showing more than 70,000 students the wonders of the world.
Mitsuki, a student who spent a month in Mongolia experiencing the riches of another culture, said, “Coming from hectic New York City, I never saw anything as calm and open like the Gobi. I lost track of time, just looking out into the blue sky and never-ending desert.”
For 2018, the programs feature elements that help build students’ confidence, in a secure environment. The students gain cultural, leadership, language, and college-prep skills.
As well as experiencing the magical Gobi desert, the Mongolia trip (July 5–August 2) takes participants to Buddhist landmarks, including temples and meditation caves. They ride through majestic scenery and spend the night in a ger (a traditional felt-lined tent) under the desert sky. They are immersed in Mongolian culture through local host families, while learning to herd animals and cook traditional dishes along the way. A particular cultural highlight is a visit to the Naadam Festival to see traditional Mongolian horsemanship, wrestling, and archery competitions.
There are multiple opportunities to ride horseback, but participants also get the chance to try their hand at camel riding in spectacular grassland scenery.
If it’s South American culture that offers greater appeal, the Argentina program boasts a month of outdoor activities, Spanish-language classes, and community service from July 4-31. It starts in Buenos Aires, where participants explore the city’s sights and architecture while learning Spanish.
An integral part of any trip with the Experiment in International Living is a homestay with a local family. In Argentina, the two-week homestay is in Jujuy Colonial, where students undertake community projects such as volunteering at a center for children with developmental disabilities or helping to renovate an orphanage or school.
The outdoor adventure includes camping, rafting, and roping cattle. Students discover the extraordinary vistas of both the Salinas Grandes, Argentina’s expansive 3,200-square-mile salt desert, and mountain scenery on horseback. Argentine cowboys, known as gauchos, prepare a traditional barbecue called an asado with steaks and local vegetables.
Devin, who went on the Argentina program, said, “At first, I was nervous about trekking in Salta, but our group hiked a mountain together. Then we took a tour of La Caldera, played soccer with local children, visited a statue of Jesus, and rode bicycles.”
Both programs from the Experiment in International Living offer a unique, safe, and educational way to see the world. They focus on immersive learning, and the students travel in groups of no more than 15 participants led by two carefully selected and trained adult group leaders.