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More than Summer Camp: How to Help Your Teen Prepare for College

More than Summer Camp How to Help Your Teen Prepare for CollegeAs the number of applicants for colleges across the nation increases, the standard and competitiveness of entry into any university becomes more rigorous, especially for top ranked universities. Success both in college and through the college application process requires both academic and emotional preparation. Parents can make the adjustment easier and more successful by involving students in programs that help them mature and prepare for the academic rigor of college. Here are some of the best camps and preparation courses that can help.

Study or Volunteer Abroad
Teenagers can prepare to live away from home while gaining experience attractive to prospective colleges by studying or volunteering abroad. High school students learn to adjust to new social situations, practice foreign language skills, learn to manage finances, and take courses with students from across the globe. For those who do not want to go abroad for a semester or more, volunteering or interning abroad for a few weeks over a school break still prepares teenagers for living away from home. Teens who study or volunteer abroad over the summer get to combine summer travel with preparation for college.

Boarding School
Boarding schools provide a supervised social environment similar to a collegiate atmosphere, while also preparing teens for college by challenging students academically. In this environment, high school students engage in activities that help them find their interests, from archaeology to marine biology, by participating in extracurricular activities and elective coursework. Some boarding schools like Admiral Farragut Academy also offer summer programs for teens who do not attend year-round boarding schools. Teens engage in the same activities and classes as residential students and live in dorms without the commitment of a longer program.

College Coursework

One of the best ways to prepare for college is to take real college courses. Many state and community colleges have programs that allow high school students to take college courses during high school. Teens earn college credit while developing an understanding of the commitments of college-level courses. During the summer, teens can take courses at local colleges or online without interference with their high school education. Many universities also accept general education courses, such as English, math, or foreign language as transfer credits, reducing the time students need to spend in college.

Preparing teens for college requires exposing them to new experiences, challenging them academically, and easing their adjustment to life away from home. Parents can help their teens by encouraging and facilitating participation in activities that mimic the situations teens can expect at college. Teens should start this preparation early to make a healthy adjustment to college.

Tim Esterdahl

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