The organization that would lead to the founding of SIT, and to the establishment of World Learning, was originally founded in 1932, as The Experiment in International Living. The organization was inspired by Dr. Donald Watt, who had a simple idea — to improve understanding across cultures and nations by sending US students abroad to expand their worldviews.
In the early 1960s, Sargent Shriver, the first director of the Peace Corps and an alumnus of The Experiment in International Living, called on The Experiment to conduct orientation and training for the earliest Peace Corps Volunteers. These orientation and training activities gradually led to the establishment of an academic institution, the School for International Training (SIT), in 1964.
SIT programs—in international education, sustainable development, peace and conflict, and TESOL—are offered through on-campus and hybrid formats to accommodate a global student body living and working around the world. The curriculum is composed of coursework that combines lectures, demonstrations, structured discussions, and experiential exercises; a supervised field experience; and a culminating project that provides a structured process through which students test, extend, and integrate their learning.
Through the course of their program, students create strong, multicultural learning communities as they analyze complex issues, share common experiences and challenges, and examine issues from a variety of theoretical and cultural perspectives. Each student works closely with a faculty advisor to develop a personal learning contract and to set specific objectives tailored to his or her career goals.
SIT students complete their practicums around the world in the fields of sustainable development, international education, TESOL, conflict transformation, among many other areas. Through the social, academic, and professional connections this global network provides, SIT students have an easy and dynamic way to connect with like-minded individuals and learn about potential employers worldwide.
The SIT Graduate Institute Student Association is recognized as the collective voice of the students. Representation includes a student from each degree program. Responsibilities of this group include recognizing official student organizations, allocating funds, providing input on campus policies, and acting as liaison between students, faculty, and the SIT Graduate Institute administration. SITSA also coordinates the appointment of a student representative to the World Learning Board of Trustees.
SIT is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. (NEASC) through its Commission on Institutions of Higher Education.