Kokomo Experience and You

The IU Kokomo Experience and You: It’s your future, so we're giving you the KEY.

You've heard there’s no substitute for experience. Employers would agree. They value experience highly when they hire college students. Besides, learning by doing—creating, collaborating, traveling, and leading—is the best way to learn.

Due to this unique experience I believe I am better focused on my goals and have a better idea of what I am looking for in employment. Additionally, I believe that if I put their advice into practice I will be better prepared to interview and significantly increase my options and my success.

Informatics student, spring break trip to Google headquarters

When you study at IU Kokomo, you enjoy tons of experiences, the kinds that both employers and students love. We care about your future, so we give you the KEY (“Kokomo Experience and You”): a four-year program of experiential education. Depending on your major, you might design a social media campaign for a community agency, help children in Guatemala, study fossils at the Field Museum in Chicago, present your research at a national conference, pick up career advice from professionals in Chicago, or immerse yourself in your art or writing in a retreat away from campus. The world is your classroom!

Prepare to love learning, graduate on time, land a good job, and start changing the world. You have the KEY.

IU Kokomo Experience and You

KEY Experiences

Check out the full list of trips and outings planned for students and see if any of them sound like a good fit for you!

Find a trip

Read about KEY trips

Want to hear what some of the experiences are like? Read about the past KEY trips

Read about KEY trips

Watch KEY-The Kokomo Experience and You with Audio Description

Description of the video:

Transcript for KEY-The Kokomo Experience and You Video

A narrator’s voice is heard as pictures and video clips of students are shown at Disney World, Yellowstone National Park, and multiple locations around Indiana: “We speak KEY around here. You’ll see the shirts. You’ll hear the stories. You’ll. Go. There.” 

Students wearing KEY t-shirts wave from Disney World in front of Cinderella’s Castle. Two students help another student cross over some water. Flashes of footage from wooded trips. More footage is shown from Disney World. A professor works with two students at Yellowstone National Park.  

The narrator continues: “But, what is KEY? And what does it mean for you?”

Students work together to track various things at Yellowstone.

Students describe their experiential learning moments in one word.

A student speaks to the camera at Disney World: “One word to describe my experience is, ‘Magical!’”

Another student speaks to the camera from a nature preserve: “Fantastic.”

Another student, wearing a ziplining helmet and a KEY t-shirt, speaks to the camera in a wooded area: “Tired.” He nods and smiles. And repeats, “Tired.”

Another student, wearing a ziplining helmet and a KEY t-shirt, speaks to the camera while throwing her arms up in the air: “Excitement!” And laughs. 

Another student speaks to the camera from the nature preserve: “Incredible.”

Another student speaks to the camera from Disney World as a pink bus drives behind her, “Magical!” and laughs.

Another student, wearing a KEY t-shirt and ziplining gear, speaks to the camera, “Ummmm…excitement!” and smiles.

Another student speaks to the camera, “It’s a hands-on experience; it’s really engaging. It’s just a really cool insight to see outside of the classroom.”

Students and faculty walk around Epcot at Disney World. Students and faculty talk with staff at Disney World.

A student is interviewed in Alumni Hall as visuals of her trip to Yellowstone National Park are shown, “So, it’s not just about textbooks and stuff. You know, you could really see what you’re learning. You could feel it. You could touch it. You could really experience it.

Scenes are shown from Yellowstone National Park. Students walk through Yellowstone in a single file line across a wooden bridge.

Students observe sandhill cranes through binoculars as the KEY logo appears on the screen reading: KEY: The Kokomo Experience and You.

The narrator continues as:  “KEY, The Kokomo Experience and You., is your chance to take what you’re learning in the classroom out into the world. In fact, your classroom is the real world.”

Pictures and footage are shown from various trips including students holding up an IU flag, a student posing with the World Series trophy, a group posing at the Grissom Air Reserve Base, students learning about breweries, students practicing art at Bradford Woods, and more. 

The narrator continues: “Team building at Bradford Woods.”

Students work together to cross a tightrope at Bradford Woods.

The narrator: “Studying conservation at Yellowstone National Park.:”

Students work on various projects at Yellowstone.

The narrator: “Getting an inside look at the winery business.”

Students listen to a winery specialist.

And So. Much. More.

A student ziplines while holding a GoPro. Students check out and record live birds. Students walk through Walt Disney World. Students high five. Students and faculty observe various organisms at a state park.

The narrator: “Once you leave the walls of the classroom, you’ll build deeper relationships with classmates, faculty, and the community.”

“The connections I was able to build,” A graduate speaks to the camera above the Cougar Country Café, “with faculty, with staff, and more importantly with the students that I went on the trips with, that was exceptional just because it was nice to get closer to my classmates in my program and I think I ended up creating at least a few lifelong friendships.”

Students pose in Chicago with their KEY shirts. Students pose in a bakery. A student smiles at the camera in Chicago. Students stand in a circle and chat, wearing KEY shirts, at Disney World.

Narrator: “As you’re exploring, you’ll be packing your resume with tons of experiential learning that employers are going to love. The best part? You’re invited!”

Students work together to cross a plank at Bradford Woods. Students look at sandhill cranes using binoculars. 

The narrator speaks again as more visuals of experiential learning trips are shown: “Trips are open to any student and we work hard to make them either free or super affordable…even for a college student.”

Students run into a circle, clapping their hands and chanting. Students help each other through an obstacle course at Bradford Woods.

Narrator: “Check out the KEY program at iuk.edu/KEY.”

Indiana University Kokomo

Fulfilling the Promise



Please give to the Kokomo Experience and You Program.

Give Now


Please share your experience about the Kokomo Experience and You Program.

Share Now

KEY Experience: Friendships that Never Fade

Students step back in time, explore utopias

Students explore utopias

Imagine living in an ideal world — one in which all people are equal, and united around a common vision. One Indiana University Kokomo class stepped back in time, visiting sites of two 19th century utopian communities, to see for themselves what that experience might have been like. Donna McLean, associate professor of communication arts, led the honors colloquium, studying historical utopian societies, intentional communities established mostly in the 1800s, with the goal of creating a perfect world, free from crime, poverty, and violence.

Step back in time to learn more

Art students unplug during nature retreat

NMAT camp

Hands covered in dirt, Brittnee Collins flicks open a pocket knife and begins whittling the end of a stick into a sharp point. As rain drizzles on her, she stands back, examining the fortress-like rectangle she’s built in the mud, before jamming the sharpened end of the stick into place. “The story in my head is getting lengthy,” she said, stepping a few steps away to consider her progress.

Learn more about the nature retreat

Senior takes advantage of KEY travel experiences

Erica Washington travels

From visiting a village for dementia patients in Amsterdam, learning the latest in psychology research at a professional conference in Chicago, and hearing an Oscar-award-winning actress in person in Bloomington, Erica Washington’s worldview has expanded at Indiana University Kokomo.

Washington, from Carmel, took advantage of nearly every travel opportunity available to her while earning her degree in psychology.

More about Erica

Video - IU Kokomo: The Yellowstone Field Experience - 2018

Yellowstone National Park

Students traveled to Yellowstone National Park to get a hands-on experience in the fields of geology and biology.

More about the Yellowstone trip