About Us

Experience International promotes leadership development, capacity building, and technical and cultural exchange in fields related to agriculture, forestry, fisheries, science, engineering, business, marketing and natural resource management and conservation.
(completed programs)

The Experience International Team

  • Charlie Walkinshaw
    Charlie Walkinshaw Director

    Charlie is the Executive Director and Founder of Experience International with a lifetime of international experience and service.  He holds a graduate degree in Agricultural Education and has over 30 years experience in Latin America as a private consultant, workshop facilitator, project evaluator and trainer in fields related to agriculture, resource management & conservation. He has taught in an agricultural school in Kenya; was an Agricultural Education Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay; is a founding member of and facilitated the initial meetings that led to the birth of the Forest Stewardship Council; and designed training programs for FSC Certifier Assessment Teams. Charlie is a Washington State native, sings with the Kulshan Chorus in Bellingham and is passionate about his family, fly fishing and skiing.

  • Sarah Pearson
    Sarah Pearson Director of International Training & Exchange Programs

    Sarah is the Director of International Exchange Programs at EI and her primary responsibility is to administer the Inbound J-1 Exchange Visitor Program, the Outbound Program for U.S. Citizens, and Short-Term Immersion. She holds a degree in Biology from Smith College, was an exchange student in Indonesia, taught science in the Peace Corps in Samoa, and was previously Associate Director of the Running Start Program at Whatcom Community College. Sarah has two teenage children and loves to run, swim, travel, and spend time with family and friends.

  • Ross Zimmerman
    Ross Zimmerman Program Assistant

    Ross is the Program Assistant at Experience International. Ross was born and raised in Green Bay, Wisconsin and he is a big Packers fan. He relocated from Wisconsin, where he previously worked for the WI Department of Natural Resources, to Washington in September of 2015. Ross has a degree from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in Environmental Studies and a minor in Spanish. His passions are family, fishing, hiking and golf. Ross is very excited to be working here at EI and is enjoying life in the Pacific Northwest.


  • Heather Swift
    Heather Swift Program Coordinator

    Heather is the Program Coordinator for Experience International, responsible for facilitating the inbound EI exchange programs by assisting applicants, hosts and partners. When she was younger she wanted to save the world so she earned a degree in Environmental Science from the University of California, Riverside. Then she became a mother and found that to be the best job ever! Now that her kids are older and she is wiser, she is excited to help others, formally at a local college as a first point of contact for students, and now helping students and graduates from overseas and the U.S. gain training and expertise by interning abroad. When not working, Heather enjoys annoying her children and doing just about anything outdoors.

Where We Are

Within the United States, the Northwest includes most of Idaho, Washington, and Oregon states, and a portion of northern California. Ecologically speaking, the Northwest extends northward through Canada, and includes much of British Columbia and southeast Alaska. The Region contains the world’s largest temperate rainforest zone, stretching from Alaska to northern California. It also contains the Cascade Mountains (up to 14,000 ft. [4,300 m] in elevation), and the dry deserts of eastern Washington and Oregon. Our office is located 80 miles north of Seattle, WA and twenty miles south of the U.S.-Canadian border.

Contact Us

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