Understanding the Diversity of Summer Programs for Teens


There’s a myth that summer programs for teenagers are mostly sports camps or language schools, but that’s definitely not the case.


In fact, schools, colleges, and universities in the United States offer thousands of programs for international students. Some of them really offer just a few weeks of chatting with peers from around the world in English and an opportunity to learn a new culture. The rest provide much more than that, but there are so many to choose from! There are excellent programs with a strong academic side which will help students succeed in the new school year and go beyond their school curricula. There are also interest programs that allow children to develop their out-of-school interests, such as film production, robotics, etc.; there is a broad spectrum of those. For older kids, programs can make it possible to sample a wide range of classes and activities at the university level. Those work both ways: the universities involved get a glimpse of potential strong applicants in the process.

In the United States, gaining admission to a good university, especially a top-rated one, is a difficult process. The results don’t depend on the size of the applicant’s parents’ wallet, but on their preparation and motivation. For admission to the best US universities, applicants need to start as early as possible — and summer programs are a great opportunity to do so. Applications for many great programs close by the end of March, and some are as early as the end of January!


My experience shows that some parents prefer their children to go to a camp closer to home, but if you are seeking the greatest positive impact on your child, it’s best not to be bound by any preconceptions. So do you find any of these top programs that help your kid develop in the United States? Many of the best summer programs are located in the north — in New England — where some of the most prestigious American schools and universities are. Boston, the largest city in the area, is a renowned education hub - we have over 80 college-level institutions,including the world’s top universities such as Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Just a couple hours away are Yale and Brown, as well as colleges like Amherst and Wellesley. Where else in the world would you find such a high concentration of talent?!

The best summer programs are organized by these and other leading universities, as well as by the best private boarding schools in America, most of which are also located in New England. This is not an accident. Leading boarding schools are known as “feeder schools” - “feeder schools” because they “feed” the best universities with their best graduates. In some cases, these “neighborly” relations have existed for centuries. The most prestigious summer programs conduct a very competitive preliminary selection process — and these are the best and most effective programs. Participating will help with later enrollment in universities, including even those that are included in the Ivy League.

In my next blog, I’ll talk about specific summer programs and how Hermiona Education can help you decide how best to spend your child’s summer.