PA Offers Wide Range of Summer Opportunities

Students will get a chance to browse through more than 80 programs in academic enrichment, community service, arts, sports and internships at the Summer Opportunities Fair this Sunday, sponsored by Phillips Academy. The annual fair, held in the Cage, attracts Phillips Academy students, parents and local families looking for interesting summer options. According to Director of the Summer and Interim Opportunities Office Roxanne Barry, the top summer program types chosen by Andover students are academic, community service and living abroad. For those interested in gaining cultural experience, the world language department hosts immersion programs in several different countries. Joanna Wang ’11 is one of 10 students who will participate in the school’s first summer trip to Dijon, France for three weeks. “I’m really excited. You’re able to experience outside of the classroom with your classmates,” Wang said. During the three weeks in France, students will study language in the morning, explore downtown Dijon and take a field trip or participate in an interactive lesson to learn about French culture. Spanish students can immerse themselves the language and culture in Burgos, Spain. Rekha Auguste-Nelson ’09 participated in the Burgos program last year. “I went to Burgos to put the stuff that I learned in class to use,” said Auguste-Nelson. Students who travel to Burgos, Spain take classes that meet two to three times a week, focusing on vocabulary and grammar. Students enjoy the city on their nights off by exploring and making excursions to the downtown scene of Burgos. Students that go to Burgos, like the students that go to Dijon, are paired with a host family with a “brother” or “sister” close in age to the student. “Going to Burgos gave me much more confidence when speaking Spanish because I was now aware of all the colloquial terms of Spanish that I’m not able to learn in the classroom. It gave me a very different experience from learning Spanish at Andover,” said Auguste-Nelson. “Also, our ‘brothers’ or ‘sisters’ corrected us every time we made an error while speaking Spanish, which was really helpful.” Students can also choose to spend their summer working in community service. Last year, six students worked with children near Mumbai, India. The students also spoke with officials and worked with non-governmental organizations to promote children’s rights through a program called Niswarth. Michaeljit Sandhu ’09, whose father’s family lives in India and who has visited India before, applied to participate in the Niswarth program to “experience a different side of India—the less privileged side.” “No day is the same,” said Sandhu of his experience with Niswarth. Matt Cranney ’08, another Niswarth participant, said, “Learning comes as a result of service and reflecting about your day.” According to Mundra, this summer’s Niswarth program will be similar to last year’s, except for an addition of a faculty program, to be led by Dr. Christopher Shaw, Instructor in Economics. Shaw’s program will devote more attention to learning about India’s economic development and will include an academic paper that must be completed over the summer.