I'm looking for a noun that describes a person that experiences something while he is experiencing.

As an example (I look for the word for the general case), a young person (John) that accompanies a farmer at his work for few days, to check how is it feeling for him, in order to decide later if he wants to study agriculture. The missing word would be one word that describe John while he is in the farm:

John is a _____.

Another example: someone who is considering participating in a surfing camp, and takes a one-day trial to check whether it is for him. What I'm looking for is what to call him during that day.

  • What is the context? What is the register? Any desired connotations? What is the sentence you are looking at? If you can't decide on the best word to use even though you have all the context that you need, then how exactly are random strangers off the Internet supposed to perform better when given no context whatsoever?
    – RegDwigнt
    Commented May 17, 2017 at 12:45
  • 1
    Skydiving - if at first you don't succeed, it's not for you...
    – Tim
    Commented May 17, 2017 at 13:36
  • There is no single word for him or people like him. In a different context, candidate might cover it but not the way you asked… Commented May 31, 2017 at 1:37

3 Answers 3


Depending as always on context you can call them a prospective farmer or prospective surfer. This would mean they are doing something as a test.

They could actually be called a farmer and a surfer since they are actually doing these things. Their intentions will not be known until they have finished doing them.


I would say 'amateur', but it highly depends on the context you're using.

Also try: neophyte, apprentice, pupil, greenhorn, novice.

Possible (but not quite academic): rookie.

You can also use colt, which usually describes a young horse.

I honestly find it quite fitting for your example*.


Closely related to another answer, you could call them, and they could call themselves, a prospect:

6 a : a potential buyer or customer
b : a likely candidate for a job or position
from m-w.com

This is also used in the other direction: if the farmer is evaluating whether or not to hire John, he would consider John a prospect.

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