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Program Details

What makes this summer program distinctive?

We hope our program will inspire you with a love for the arts and humanities and that you will learn a lot about New England history and culture that you won’t learn anywhere else (even if you grew up in the area). We also hope our program will prepare you for college work (and impress college admissions officers) in a way that AP courses won’t. In your Exploring New England courses, you won’t be memorizing dates and facts or preparing for a standardized test. Instead, Smith faculty will introduce you to ways of thinking they teach their own undergraduates, but using a method that is much more experiential and inquiry-driven. You’ll get to engage in the kind of work that real scholars do (and that many college students never get to do): reading original documents like manuscript diaries or probate records; handling Native American baskets and shards of tea pots; and learning how to “read” New England paintings and historic house styles. You'll also make new friends with other exceptional girls from area schools and have a whole lot of fun!

What kind of background do I need?

You don’t need to have any specific knowledge or background. The critical factor in succeeding in the Exploring New England program is that you are enthusiastic about learning about New England history and culture and are willing to challenge yourself with new ways of thinking and learning.

When should I apply?

It is best to apply before the early application deadline of April 1. If you apply by April 1, you will hear back from us by May 6. Applications that arrive later than April 1 will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and we will continue to accept applications until the program is filled. Please feel free to contact our office to ensure that your application is complete.

Do you have financial aid?

Yes, we have both merit-based and need-based aid. Merit-based scholarships will be offered to the strongest applicants; there is no need to apply. On the Application Form there is place to request need-based aid.

Is there an application fee?

There is no application fee to apply to the 2011 Exploring New England program.

What is included in my tuition?

Your tuition covers all costs involved in participating in the program, including lunch, transportation for field trips, admissions fees for local museums, and access to Smith facilities.

Do I get credit for the courses in the Exploring New England program?

No — and you don't get grades, either. Students learn so much in this environment where there are no pressures. They learn because they are interested. At the student's request, faculty will complete an evaluation for each student that can be used to enhance her high school portfolio.

Why should I apply this year?

Beginning in 2012, the program will become a residential program for students from around the country and the world. Tuition in future years will be significantly higher than for this summer because students will be living in Smith housing for the duration of the program. This summer, our program is meant to attract local students and to offer them the benefits of the program without the extra costs of living on campus.

Will I have homework?

In general, no, but occasionally you will be given a short reading to complete in the evening.

Will I have to take any tests?

No, there are no exams in any classes.

What are the end-of-course presentations like?

At the end each course, all of the students will give a presentation of their work. Everyone takes part in planning and delivering her class presentation, which is scheduled during the Friday activity period. The presentations provide students with an opportunity to be creative in how they present what they've learned. Presentations will be informative, interesting, and fun to watch, but the form they take will be up to the students in the course, in collaboration with their professor. Parents and friends are invited to attend.

If I have a driver’s license, can I park my car at Smith?

Yes, if you get written permission from your parents, we’ll give you a parking permit for the duration of the program. However, under no circumstances may you drive another program participant in your vehicle coming to or from campus for the program.