When you think of summer camp, images of people sleeping in cabins, swimming in a lake, or eating together at long wooden tables might come to mind. This definitely exists in the U.S., but guess what? There are many more options that will allow you to sleep in a bed – in a city.
The most typical or common type of summer camp is this:
- English Language Summer Camps
Also known as ESL Camps (English as a Second Language), the goal of these programs is for you to improve your English skills. The camps usually mix classroom learning with outdoor activities such as scavenger hunts, sports, and other games.
- Outdoor Summer Camps
If you actually like camping and want to sleep in a cabin or tent, then you are looking for the traditional camp experience. These are your typical summer camps where you can swim in a lake and eat all your meals at long wooden tables.
- Academic Summer Camps
These types of summer camps are not as well-known as the two above, but they do exist. Academic doesn’t mean school, though. It just means educational. ExchangeMate USA is a great example of what amazing academic programs are out there, hosting a Robotics Camp, YouTube Creator Camp, and more.
- Sports Camps
if you review ExchangeMate USA’s camp programs, you will also see the option of a soccer camp. Sports camps are a great choice if you are interested in mixing your English skills with your favorite sport or if you want to learn some typical American sports such as American football or lacrosse.
Why Choose an Academic or Sports Camp?
If you already have big goals and plan to apply to a top U.S. university (think UC Berkeley, MIT, Columbia) or you are trying to get an athletic scholarship, going to an academic or sports camp could help make you a stronger candidate.
The admission rate for these elite universities is very competitive and showing interest in activities outside of school (extracurricular activities) is a way to show that you are a well-rounded person and dedicated to achieving your goals.
Even if one of these top schools isn’t on your list if you are interested in developing a personal hobby or working towards a specific career goal, why not start now? If you’re not sure what you want to do, even better! Experimenting is the perfect way to discover what you love and what you’re actually good at.
Where Will I Sleep?
This will depend on the type of program you sign up for. If you choose a non-traditional summer camp (everything except Outdoor Summer Camps), you could have a couple of options.
- Homestay: A homestay is a great choice if you want a full cultural experience. You will live with an American family and usually have your own room with meals prepared for you.
- University dorms: Staying in university dorms is common for academic summer camps and some ESL camps. This is a great way to get a preview of what it would be like to go to college in the U.S.
All camps that are not language camps usually require international students to have a certain level of English. The language level needed is to make sure that you will be able to fully take advantage of all the activities. If you don’t think you have a high level, don’t worry. Camps are purposely in English so that you can improve both your listening and speaking skills in a more natural and fun way.
Why You Should Talk to Your Parents Today
If you’re reading this in the middle of summer, it may be too late to sign up for a summer camp this year. But we think you’ll probably need some time to convince your parents. Especially if this is your idea and not theirs.
If you’re reading this blog, then we are assuming you are responsible and probably a bit organized. But we also know that you may not have the money in your bank account to pay for these programs, which means you’ll have to convince your parents. That’s why we want to give you a summary of how to sell them the idea and convince them.
If you already know your parents are going to say yes – congrats! But maybe these tips can be helpful for a friend.
What’s Not Included
The table above shows what is usually included in the price of a U.S. summer camp program. This can change depending on the company you work with and the program you choose, but these are the basics you should be prepared for.
If anything, our biggest tip would be to start saving your birthday money. Why? Your parents may be willing to pay for the whole program, but may want to set a limit for spending money. But that is something you can have a little control over.
Check back soon because we’ll have another post for the adults in your life who you have to convince to let you plan your U.S. adventure today.
If you are still interested in our high school programs or want more information about our university programs contact us today for a free consultation!