There was a term I read years ago, probably in my college course on childhood development, and for the life of me I cannot remember the actual term.

It describes a trip or experience where a pre-adult leaves their home for a period and experiences life away from their parents and household rules and such. After the trip/experience, the youth returns home. It's either implied or explicitly more than 1 day, and usually between a week and 6 months in length. Typical examples are summer camp and boarding school. It could also be an extended field trip, living with a relative during the summer, or going on a camping trip (provided their parents don't go on the same trip). Kiki's training period in a new city in Kiki's Delivery Service would fit the bill.

I think it started with ex-, but I could be wrong on that since the word often goes with "experience".

Example sentence: "My son is 12 now, and he should really have a(n) _____ experience soon."

  • M-W defines extramural in general terms: adjective 1: existing or functioning outside or beyond the walls, boundaries, or precincts of an organized unit (such as a school or hospital) Sep 22, 2017 at 16:34
  • I think the closest English gets to that is an adventure or to the extent trip can be related to road-trip, a trip. Sep 24, 2017 at 20:17

3 Answers 3


Aussies (I think) use "walkabout," tho not exclusively for that age group.

Maybe 'visionquest,' for the meditatively inclined.

The only 'ex' word that comes to mind is "expedition."


For some Amish and some other Mennonites, it's rumspringa.

It's a Pennsylvania German noun meaning "running around". It serves as an adolescent rite of passage, before deciding whether to commit to the community.

  • While this is also what sprang to my mind, it's a very special case of the more general types of activities that he asks about. You wouldn't use this to refer to a typical child going to camp or boarding school.
    – Barmar
    Sep 22, 2017 at 22:29

The word extrafamilial exists and both Merriam Webster and the OED have entries for it. (MW spells it as a single word, OED hyphenates it) The OED entry, with the sole example given is:

extra-faˈmilial adj. outside the family.

1952 C. P. Blacker Eugenics: Galton & After xi. 312 Their nutrition is surprisingly average—doubtless due to extra-familial feeding in schools.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.