There are two common uses for the English word experience:
- the specific sense, as in "skydiving was an interesting experience"
- the more general sense, as in "I have the job experience you're looking for"
The former is a description of the immediate process of living through something, perceiving it, etc. Where as the latter is typically more focused on the knowledge or expertise gained by having participated in something. They're not cleanly separate, of course, since the former typically leads to the latter.
Whenever I've looked up experience in an English-Russian dictionary, they always give опыт as the translation—often the only one. My sense is that that word is the best translation for the second usage above. Is it also the proper term for the first usage, or would переживание be better for that?
I've also noticed, on Linguee for example, that переживание is indicated to be less frequently used. Is that because опыт meets the same need, or because the second usage above is a more common topic of conversation among Russians? I wouldn't normally wonder that, but in this case it does conform to my sense of the cultural differences between, say, America (whence I come) and Russia. But perhaps I'm reading too much into it.