Summer Opportunities Office to Hold Annual Fair Sunday; Over 70 Program Representatives to Visit

PA students will be able to spend their summer interning in London, serving the community in South Africa, roaming Berlin, or almost anywhere else, studying their subject of choice. This year’s Summer Opportunities Fair will represent all of these programs, encompassing a wide range of interests from academic enrichment to outdoor adventure and international home stays. The Fair is a joint project between the Phillips Academy Summer Opportunities Office and the Parents of Students of Phillips Academy (PSPA). Spokespersons from over 70 programs will be available to talk to students and their parents, as well as the Representatives from over 10 interim year, term-long, and yearlong programs. At least 15 PA students spent their summer partaking in some of the programs represented in last year’s fair such as, The Summer Academy, Experiment in International Living, Intern Exchange International, EF Language Study Abroad, and Where There Be Dragons. Tanisha Colon-Bibb ’06 participated in The Summer Academy based in Cape Town, South Africa with 45 other students from Europe, Africa and the U.S. The program was divided into three sections: classes, community service, and field trips. Colon-Bibb took six classes, visited Nelson Mandela’s former jail cell, and drew a mural on the wall of a library as part of her community service project. “Originally there was a lot of tension between the American students and the African students. The Americans were mainly from New York and California and the African students were split in their views of the American students. Some wanted to be part of American culture, and they were intrigued, but some of the Africans thought that Americans, especially African-Americans, were ignorant about their own culture,” she said. Sam Hall ‘06 went back-country rock climbing on the Wind River Range in the Rocky Mountains of Wyoming with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). Hall was the youngest in a group of 13 people. He said, “It was the best experience I’ve ever had. I learned so much from the mountains and developed a lot as a leader.” Dan Bacon ’06 participated in Intern Exchange International, a four-week program which gives students internship opportunities in London. Students enrolled in this program can choose to intern among a wide variety of industries, such as banking, international relations, law, retail, community service, medicine, public relations, and information technology. “I did an international relations internship at a think tank. It was a great way of finding out what I wanted to do in college,” said Bacon. Where There Be Dragons is a travel program that provided homes for students in Tibet last summer, though the location varies year to year. Jeannette Francis ’06 said of her experience last summer, “I guess their philosophy is that when you travel to new countries, you should be a traveler, not a tourist.” The program’s aim is complete immersion in Tibetan culture, particularly with a home-stay. “They gave us one exercise where they would write down a place on a piece of paper and we had to go on our own and stay there for one and a half hours. Some of us played with local kids. A mother let me hold her baby. It really taught me not to be scared. I didn’t speak their language, but in the end I was really comfortable about being around Tibetans,” Francis said. The Summer Opportunities Fair will take place on Sunday, February 5 in upper dining halls of Commons.