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    U.S. Coast Guard Academy Summer Experience

    U.S. Coast Guard Academy Summer Experience


    • Listing Type: Summer Programs
    • Program Delivery: Residential
    • Destination: United States
    • Provided By: College
    • Session Start: July
    • Session Length: One Week
    • Entering Grade: 12th
    • Gender: Coed
    • Category: Academic
    • Sub-Categories: STEM, Engineering, Preserving the Environment, Career Exploration, Environmental Science, Cybersecurity
    • Selective: Yes
    • Ages: 17, 18
    • Minimum Cost: $500 - $1,499
    • Career Clusters: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
    • Credit Awarded: No
    • Call: (860) 701-6177
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    Coast Guard Academy Summer Experience - AIM.   Attend the most realistic military service academy summer experience - for six high-intensity days in New London, Connecticut.  This is an experiential program, not a seminar. Live as a cadet, led by cadets. Discover what it means to test your limits and emerge Semper Paratus - Always Ready - to serve your country and humanity.  Is the Coast Guard Academy right for you?  Attend AIM and find out!

    The Coast Guard Academy is consistently ranked as the top undergraduate college in the Northeast, and one of the country's top STEM/engineering colleges.  It is also the most distinctive military service academy due to the varied missions of the U.S. Coast Guard - a military service with law enforcement and regulatory authority, protecting America here at home.

    The Academy Introduction Mission (AIM) is for rising high school seniors.  Three sessions are limited to just 170 participants each, making for the most personal academy summer program.  Because cadets lead the entire program and prepare for this role as part of their own leadership development curriculum, you have extensive access to cadets who are well prepared to share their own experience navigating the Academy. 

    Admission is selective.  Plan ahead - recommendations and a transcript are required for application.  

    AIM is about one thing - whether the Coast Guard Academy is right for you.   It is hands on and experiential, designed to help you experience stress, overcome it, and build the kind of teams the Service relies on to save lives and protect our country.  Participants say it is not only the most realistic of the military academy summer programs, but the most rewarding. Discover purpose and find new confidence in yourself.  Participants also appreciate the FIT college workshop, planning sessions that will help you make smart decisions about career and college during your senior year of high school. 

    A typical day starts at 0600 and ends at 2200 (10 pm). Highlights are many - the schedule is non-stop!

    • Morning calisthenics and drill practice on the parade field
    • Engineering team design-and-build competition to explore in-demand majors such as Cyber Security, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Naval Architecture, and Marine Science
    • Sailing instruction
    • Fun intramural sports & coach introductions
    • FIT college planning workshops
    • Meetings with your Admission Officer
    • Frank discussions with your cadet leaders to explore the unique challenges and opportunities of cadet life
    • Career exploration - tour a rescue helicopter and patrol boat, meet the pilots & crews
    • Recognition based on individual and team performance
    • Lasting new friendships

    About 85% of AIM grads decide to apply to the Academy, and they go on to comprise about 35% of the next cadet class.  This summer program will inform you of the opportunities at the Coast Guard Academy, and may also be the best summer program for understanding the rigors of a military college and technical degree program. 

    Reviews (5)

    • What Surprised Me About AIM?
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      Reviewed on Jan/07/2022 by JCastel

      "This is not a summer camp." That was the first thing that I was told when I stepped onto the campus not knowing what the intense the AIM program held in store for me. From the second we stepped out of our parents' embraces and stepped into Chase Hall, the cadre flipped the switch and turned into terrifying and foreign individuals ushering us into a swab summer-like environment that tripped up all of us AIMsters who then banded together and grew closer and stronger through the week like I'd never experienced before. That camaraderie that I felt at AIM drove us to excel as a platoon showing us the truly great impacts of teamwork and trust. Not only did I grow to trust the other AIMsters in my platoon, but I by the end of the week I felt immense respect for our cadre

    • A Unique AIM Adventure
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      Reviewed on Jan/04/2022 by MichiganderMack

      AIM was actually how I found out about the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Since my sophomore year of high school, I had my mind set on going to West Point and was planning to attend their in-person SLE program. However, those plans fell through when I learned that SLE was cancelled due to COVID. I was looking forward to exploring the East Coast and learning about life at a service academy, so I began to research alternative options. And those Google searches were what led me to AIM! I was surprised to see that AIM was still going to be held and, deeming it to be my only option, I sent in the application form on the day it was due. Although the program was switched to the virtual format shortly after that, I spent the whole month looking forward to it. The first day of AIM, I was laying irrigation tubes at a greenhouse I worked at. No worries- I popped in my earbuds and listened to the sessions that way. After only an hour, I knew that I wanted to go to USCGA. I realized that the academy offered everything that I had been looking for: excellent academics, an opportunity in the service, free education, a small school, a close community, the list goes on. I HIGHLY suggest looking into AIM for yourself.

      Just one week can change everything!

    • Excellent!
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      Reviewed on Jan/04/2022 by Mia-Martinelli25

      I was pleasantly surprised at how dynamic and informative this experience was, despite it having to be online due to COVID restrictions. As a current cadet, reflecting on the experience, I can say that it truly gives you a taste of the fast-paced nature of academic and physical demands at the academy. This summer experience also introduces each participant to other students who are considering applying to the Academy, as well as future mentors that you can develop relationships with if you attend the Academy. Overall, attending this experience will teach you so much and it will help you to decide whether the Academy is right for you.

    • What was the hardest thing about AIM?
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      Reviewed on Jan/03/2022 by edeery

      AIM is a summer program like no other. I can say without a doubt that the hardest thing was pushing myself out of my comfort zone by completely immersing myself in what life is truly like as a cadet. Though demanding, I emerged with the satisfaction, confidence, and fulfillment that can only be achieved through completing such a rigorous program. Because of my experience, I learned more about myself in a week than I ever thought possible. If you are searching for a high-intensity, hands-on, rewarding experience, look no further. My only question to you would be: are you up for the challenge?

    • AIM Review
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      Reviewed on Jan/03/2022 by mrickey

      It was a challenging week that helped stretch me out of my comfort zone. I learned a lot and was introduced to the Coast Guard Academy. I would highly recommend it if interested in coming to the Coast Guard Academy or any of the military academies in general.


    • Read AIM student blogs at https://www.uscga.edu/aimblog.aspx?id=4068. Watch AIM videos featuring Academy grads at https://vimeopro.com/uscga/admissions

      - Susan Bibeau, Academy Admissions - December 30, 2021
    • "It was one of the best experiences of my life!" MC - Virginia. So, I have survived the AIM program. It was the experience of a lifetime! I loved every minute of it, but now it is over. My parents and four younger brothers picked me up from graduation with smiling faces, and we drove up to Maine for a family event. However happy I was to be reunited with my family, I found it hard to relax without my Bravo Platoon family. When we arrived at our location we sat down to a family dinner, but I found it too hard to relax and eat without my shipmates; out of my entire experience that was the first and only time I cried. I called my former roomie and talked with her for a few minutes, then I went back and sat down with my family. In these days after graduation, many of my shipmates have said that they have had similar experiences. We have all slowly gone back to normal life, but now with 25 new friends to talk with. Since coming home many people have asked me about my AIM experience, and every time, I preface my description by saying that 'It was one of the best experiences of my life!' Because it was. I talk about the stress of meal-time, the sounding off, an extremely competitive kickball game, a helicopter landing, the running, the triumph over Alpha in a very intense planking competition, and the subsequent funeral for Alpha Platoon pride. I tell of the many struggles, triumphs, and adventures that made me a part of something bigger than myself, part of a team. I hope to get the opportunity to experience the same things next year at the Academy. In case it is not obvious through my writing, I had an amazing experience! I would definitely recommend going to AIM, but that said, I will not say it is an experience for everyone. It pushes your boundaries, but it has made me realize that I can challenge myself more, it has made me more confident in my abilities. So I definitely recommend AIM as a way to challenge yourself and test yourself to the limit, and to also make lifelong friends. If that sounds appealing to you then please try it! I had an amazing experience and I hope anyone reading this in the future who goes to AIM, shares that same experience.

      - Mary C - August 1, 2021
    • "For the first time in my life I was 100% sure of something." MB - North Carolina. The first step out of the Academy after a week of experiencing so many new things was filled with relief and excitement. Relief that I was able to do my best over the week and challenge myself physically and mentally. Excitement because for the first time in my life I was 100% sure of something; and that is the United States Coast Guard Academy is my dream and I need to be there. The first thing I did when I got home was contact my Master Chief and let him know that this is an opportunity I am very passionate about. Over the course of just six days I have grown tremendously. Even on the second day I could see the change in my demeanor and my thinking. This week broke me down and put me into a military mindset; then lifted me up and gave me confidence I never knew I had. Confidence in my skills and competence. It is crazy to think that I can come out of a six day summer camp with a deeper understanding of life at the Academy and the hard work it takes to be one's best through various challenges. Additionally, I have developed a great sense of teamwork and realized challenges are easier when working as a team than when trying to do it all by oneself. For example, when rushing to organize and clean our rooms for inspection we all went around to each other's rooms and helped each other out so we could finish as a team. I would 100% recommend this experience to high school students. Even if one doesn't plan to ever join the military or go to the Coast Guard Academy, one would benefit from this experience tremendously and improve as a person. By being a better person, you look at certain inconveniences in life differently. For example, when I got home, I had work the next day; I had never been so excited to wake up early and sit on a lifeguard stand for 8 hours. As I was sitting all day, I was so grateful to be able to do my job and I was very appreciative of my work environment. The little things like that are what make me realize that AIM was the best thing I could have done to change my life; and I know my life will be great because AIM made my heart yearn to be a cadet at the USCGA. Hopefully, I can see the beautiful campus again but as a SWAB.

      - Mackenzie B - August 1, 2021
    • "It was the hardest thing I've done in my life." IS - Florida. It hasn't even been 48 hours and I already miss the Coast Guard Academy. While the farewell was tough I was ready to get home and do my laundry. I remember when doing laundry my uncle asked how my trip was and the first thing I did was smile. My response, "It was the hardest thing I've done in my life." One thing my cadre wrote in my thoughts of the day was that I will find the program very rewarding if I put my best foot forward and he was 100% right. After my laundry was done I grabbed my dog, book, towel, sunscreen, and headed to the beach. I ended up meeting with friends and shared my experience; I will never forget the look on their faces. They explained how that's crazy and they'd never do it. In all honesty it made me sad, not because of their responses, but because I realized I wasn't surrounded with like-minded people anymore. The laughs and hardships I shared with my fellow shipmates will keep me motivated to become the best candidate I can be for the Academy. Additionally, going to AIM I thought I had it all figured out, well, that was wrong. I thought I went into AIM open minded, but I didn't. It wasn't until day 3 that I completely did so, and once I did my college plans did a 180. I discovered that I want to call the Coast Guard Academy home. AIMster Sekulovic wants to be a part of something greater than herself. Furthermore, for any student reading this and contemplating whether to go to AIM... GO! It truly is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Not one AIMster that I met claimed they were unsatisfied with the program, every student walked away with an incredible experience. If someone has the chance to go to AIM they most definitely should.

      - Isabilta S - August 1, 2021