With nearly three months of school-free time over the summer, the possibilities seem endless. You could tap into your sense of adventure by trying a new activity or traveling abroad, exercise your scholarly side by exploring a topic you’ve always been interested in, or work your social networking skills by meeting students from all over the country and the world with diverse backgrounds and interests.
Or do all of the above and more through one of Brown University’s Pre-College Summer Programs.
With multiple sessions that last from one to seven weeks, Brown’s Pre-College Summer Programs include more than 300 courses taught on the Brown campus in Providence, R.I., online and abroad. To be clear, this isn’t summer school. No matter what summer program you choose, you’ll be engaged in hands-on learning activities and research in a campus setting that will give you a true taste of college life and academics.
To give you a sense of what the programs are all about, here’s a sampling of some of the unique things you could be doing if you choose a summer at Brown.
1. Kayak Rhode Island’s Mount Hope Bay.
In the Ocean State, it’s believed that no summer is complete without time on the water. At Brown Environmental Leadership Lab (BELL): Rhode Island, the idyllic grounds of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology in Bristol, R.I., are your classroom and home for the two-week session. While there, you’ll get out on the water to explore the coastal ecosystem and investigate the challenges of the local environment. Other activities include an early-morning quahog harvest and a visit to a local farm. Two days are spent off site, one at the Brown campus, where you’ll get a dose of college life, and another full day at a Challenge Course where you’ll utilize leadership skills gained during the first week.
2. Hike Alaska’s Russian River to witness the salmon run.
BELL: Alaska lets you explore the unique environment of the northernmost state. For the two weeks you’re there, you’ll learn about how Alaska balances economic growth with cultural and environmental preservation and some of the challenges to striking that balance. Among many exciting activities, you’ll count salmon with fish and wildlife employees, venture into a rocky intertidal zone to assay species, and spend two days mid-session at the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies’ Peterson Bay Field Station.
3. Ponder the possibility of happiness.
It might sound like a heavy topic, but if philosophy is one of those subjects you’ve always wanted to dive into, now’s your chance through Summer@Brown. Or, if writing, engineering, drawing or pretty much any other subject is more your thing, there’s probably a course for you among the more than 200 offered. Reflecting Brown’s broad liberal-arts curriculum, courses range from one to four weeks and are taught at the first-year college level. Outside of the classroom, students experience all that college life has to offer while living on the Brown campus and taking part in a full program of activities and events.
4. Conduct a forensic analysis of a crime scene.
Ever wonder what it would be like to be a neurologist, rocket scientist or CSI investigator? Brown’s STEM I and STEM II programs offer middle-schoolers and rising 9th- and 10th-graders the opportunity to explore science-based disciplines of their choosing through hands-on lab experiments, research talks, field trips and independent projects. You might find yourself launching a high-altitude balloon that you and your classmates engineered in a class on flying machines, building a pacemaker-like device to collect biological signals or even using scientific techniques to investigate a mock crime scene, depending on the program and course you choose.
5. Change the world.
Even small actions can have far-reaching consequences and at the Brown Leadership Institute, you’ll learn how to take action on a social issue you care about. Understanding such issues is the first step. Through interactive learning activities such as case studies, field trips and discussions, and hearing the diverse perspectives of classmates from dozens of countries around the world, you’ll gain a deeper knowledge of various social challenges facing the world today. Throughout the on-campus session, you’ll take part in activities like public speaking and a Challenge Course that will strengthen your leadership skills. You’ll then develop an Action Plan to address a specific issue, and return home a socially responsible leader ready to make change happen.
6. Make croquetas in a Segovian kitchen.
Brown’s Pre-College Location-Based Programs offer immersive learning experiences that take students to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Ga; to Rome, Italy; and to the IE University, one of Europe’s premier business schools, in Segovia, Spain. In each of these programs, the location becomes the classroom, with learning that’s as much experience-based as academic. Depending on the program you choose, you might spend part of your time touring Rome with local architecture and cultural experts, visiting with a local Segovian family to cook and sample traditional cuisine, or conducting research in CDC labs, among many other cultural and academic activities.
7. Experience the benefits of a virtual classroom.
If you can’t make it to the Brown campus for a summer program, you still have options. Several of our Pre-College courses are offered online. You can delve into the same topics, learn from the same instructors and engage with the same types of exceptional students that you would if you were in the classroom. You also have the option of taking an online course while taking part in a program on the Brown campus. Online courses offer the same rigorous, active-learning experiences that those on campus do, and subjects range from neuroscience to solar-powered energy to leadership. You can learn it all without having to leave home.
8. Get a jumpstart on your college credits.
If you’re a rising or graduating high school senior, you can start your undergraduate career a bit early through the Pre-Baccalaureate Program. Choose from a selection of subjects ranging from American studies to visual arts. You’ll study alongside Brown undergraduates while experiencing life on campus and get some credits under your belt before heading off to college.
9. Advance your English skills.
If English is your second language and you want to strengthen your speaking and writing skills before college, the Intensive English Program at Brown could be a great option for you. The three-week courses focus on developing higher-level English language skills while exploring a range of interesting topics including American and global culture, history, economics and the arts. The program will give you a leg up on college as you experience life on the Brown campus, learn to balance academics and social activities, and gain insight into the college application process.