Thousands of teens from around the world attend a variety of summer programs throughout the United States.
For many students, the idea of spending any portion of their long summer days in an air-conditioned classroom is simply not appealing.
But adventure-seeking teens can discover summer programs that combine fun, learning, and exploration. Many university preparatory boarding schools in the United States offer summer programs that take students outside the classroom, yet still provide enriching educational experiences designed to hone academic, character, and leadership skills.
Thousands of young people from around the world attend a variety of summer programs throughout the United States. There is everything from English as a Second Language (ESL) to culture studies; academic preparation to outdoor recreation; music and dance to art and design; and computers to television and radio. Programs may be for young children or teenagers, single sex or coed.
When considering a summer program, you will need to think about where in the United States you want to spend your summer. Do you want to be near the ocean, mountains, deserts, lakes, grassy plains, or cities? Do you want to see regions in the West Coast, Northwest, Southwest, Northeast, Midwest or South?
You should also think about your overall goal. Are you interested in ESL programs, enrichment opportunities, recreational activities, or preparation for returning to school in the fall?
English as Second Language Programs
An excellent way to improve your English language skills is by spending a few weeks or months attending a summer program in America. There are several schools and summer language programs that offer intensive English language training for beginning students. If your English is more advanced, you may wish to take other academic classes or activity classes and supplement your studies with an English as a Second Language (ESL) course.
For students seeking a wide range of learning experiences, Southwestern Academy, in San Marino, California, near Los Angeles, operates coeducational ESL and academic programs for grades 6-12. Classes include all areas of English language instruction, art, music, computers, mathematics and sports. In the summer, students may attend the summer American Culture Program for four weeks, or may stay for a half or full semester to earn high school credit.
Many recreational programs take advantage of their beautiful locations. Whether you choose lake regions, ocean settings, alpine mountains, or desert floors, recreational programs across the United States offer a variety of activities. Canoeing, hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, sailing, swimming, archery, arts and crafts, and wilderness camping are available at the majority of the recreation camps.
Sports camps involve intensive, weekly skill-building exercises. Some sports camps even offer instruction from professional athletes. There are several programs in basketball, soccer, tennis, wrestling, fencing, baseball, golf, hockey, and many other sports.
Applying to Summer Programs
With such a variety of summer options, you should consult the admission office of each program that interests you. Ask for brochures and applications.
No matter what kind of summer program you choose, you will benefit from the opportunity to develop confidence, independence, leadership, and build lasting friendships. Attending a summer program in the United States gives you an experience that may prepare you for life and memories that will last a lifetime.
Tracy Wilson is director of advancement & admissions at Ojai Valley School.