What is Experiential Learning and Types of Experiential Learning Programs

If you ask any student regarding their career goals and how they aim to achieve them, they will answer that they will sign up for every opportunity open to them to improve their chances of getting the jobs they want. From internships to volunteering, they will participate in them and include them in their resume.

Some employers look for the applicant’s work experience through internships and other similar programs to determine if they are the right person they are looking for.

Opportunities such as volunteering and internships are examples of experiential learning. What is experiential learning, and why is it important?

What is Experiential Learning

Experiential learning is a particular type of learning that allows students to feel their chosen field in person and apply what they learnt. As they do their chosen experiential learning program, they will develop the skills they will need to succeed and know how to use them in real life.

For example, suppose a student is taking up computer engineering. In that case, experiential learning will allow them to apprentice under a licensed computer engineer who can help them hone their skills by giving them tasks to practice what they learnt.

Types of Experiential Learning Programs

Experiential learning programs vary depending on the chosen industry or career of the student taking them. During these programs, a student’s analytical skills, independence, engagement skills and capability to adapt will help them in the future.

Here is a shortlist of the various types of experiential learning programs you can select for your career goals:

  1. Apprenticeships
  2. Co-ops
  3. School Employment
  4. Internships and Externships
  5. Fellowships
  6. Field experience
  7. Job shadowing
  8. Practicums
  9. Student teaching
  10. Foreign study
  11. Volunteering
  12. Service-learning programs
  13. Returnships
  14. Informational interviews

How to Sign Up for Experiential Learning Programs

If you are interested in taking one of the experiential learning programs to help you with your career, there are many ways you can sign up for them.

Students can speak to their career services office to help them find internships and other opportunities where they can learn more about their chosen careers. The office can also help students reach out to alumni who offer job shadowing and other similar options.

Some companies also offer internships or apprenticeships for their employees, both future and current, to help their careers. Other companies also offer volunteer programs to support the causes they are interested in and build their network in the process.

The government also has special programs available for interested students or employees who want to expand their skillset further.


The job market is very fierce in any industry, both here and abroad. With this in mind, you will need all the edge you can get to show employers that you are the one they are looking for.

With experiential learning, you will show that you have the training and experience to deal with the job. If you get an opportunity to take an experiential learning program, whether you are a new job applicant or you already have a job, don’t be afraid to take it!

Are you a fresh grad? Check out these helpful articles to boost your new career path:
5 Tips for Graduates Entering the Workforce During Pandemic
How To Choose Your 1st Job When You Graduate
A Letter To A Graduate

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9 Comments Add yours

  1. hey there, another great topic. I’ve done a whole load of stuff called experiential learning, largely as a way of being given some sort of vocational and peer to peer acknowledgement for knowing stuff you just can’t teach…. so the good thing is that I am Alec Fraher, FMIOCP, MIHM AASW…. Great Eh?…well, not really…sure enough there was credit gained where credit was due but it masked the fact that, like so many and perhaps more so today, I had to be in paid work to look after my, then, young family and couldn’t afford to go to school or college. So, doing stuff while doing the job was the only thing to do…. at times it did my head in… the theory to practice and vice versa was an unfunny joke and the real jokers with University education simply picked your brains and never really thought that yours awards were the same as there MBAs… why would they they’re job and security were threatened… some of the more enlightened recruiters actually know that there’s no reliable way to assess competency… just as you don’t ever really know anyone unless you’ve lived with them… so in this sense internships make perfect sense… it’s away of getting to know someone and seeing and feeling them for real… my Belbin has me down primarily as the Plant-disruptive and single minded – but this too is contextual… and one must never forget this… finding ways to compensate people differently hasn’t had any follow through… sure, we all need cash but if internships are to genuinely match people to employer then strip out the exec perks and give lease cars or travel passes, good food and housing with costs for fuel to the interns…and a wage too… people gotta live… the narrative of Requisite Agility has challenged how leaders are thinking but hasn’t changed the actual make up of the cohort of leadership recruitment and their selection… sure, some do get through, around or under the barriers and just do it anyway and persist, persist, persist, persist… but when basic human needs aren’t met and for so so do many… who’s really going to go all out? and as importantly what are the lessons of teaching people to use one set of words to impress, get on and fit in when the actual behaviour demonstrated is based on some of most destructive time compression techniques ever discovered?…. I’ve said a lot again Kally… enough for now though… thanks for posting too… I do respect the fact that you encourage discussion even if its difficult sometimes…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. hey Yolanda thanks for the like hon… and for having my back too…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. capost2k says:

    They say “Experience is the best teacher,” but no one comments on whether he is going to be easy or extremely difficult! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kally says:

      You’ve just sum up everything!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. msw blog says:

    This is a good list; I will say with number one you can still be an expert and be caught off guard. When this happens to me, I kindly say, “I don’t know the answer to that, but I will find out.” I course find out for myself and the individual asking, and promptly get back to them in 24-48 hours if possible.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kally says:

      Good advice, indeed,

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Experiential learning has always been attractive to me! I went for volunteering in my field. Actually, my time as a volunteer was what made me decide I wanted to do the work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kally says:

      Have an awesome weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

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