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 Exchange Programs

    Sarah is the Director of International Exchange Programs and she administers the Inbound J-1 Exchange Visitor Program, the Outbound Program for U.S. Citizens, and other initiatives. 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 almost-grown children and loves news podcasts, running, swimming, and traveling.

  • Ross Zimmerman
    Ross Zimmerman Program Coordinator for Training Development

    Ross is the Program Coordinator for Training Development. 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 Wisconsin 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.


  • Rachael Ropkey
    Rachael Ropkey Program Coordinator

    Rachael is the Program Coordinator of Participant Development for Experience International, responsible for facilitating the inbound EI exchange programs by assisting and educating applicants and hosts. Being raised in the Northwest of the U.S. and growing up in Port Townsend, Washington, Rachael is excited about landing in Bellingham, Washington after spending all of her working life out of the country.  Rachael earned a degree in Spanish education from Northern Arizona University and her TESL certification from Seattle Pacific University.  She is currently a master’s candidate in the International Education Program through the School for International Training (SIT).  Her passion for travel and understanding different cultures has provided her the opportunity to live and teach in South and Central America as well as in the country of Oman.  Rachael has been an educator and program coordinator in education programs for the last eight years, as well as an education volunteer for the Peace Corps in Nicaragua.  Just for fun, Rachael enjoys hiking, spending time in the outdoors, socializing with friends and family, listening to music and dancing.  During Bocce season, Rachael can be found on the bocce court with the Unified Special Olympics team in Port Townsend.

Where We Are

Our office is located 80 miles north of Seattle, WA and twenty miles south of the U.S.-Canadian border, in Bellingham. 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.

Contact Us

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