fbpx Exeter Summer Student Life | Phillips Exeter Academy

Exeter Summer Student Life

Student life at Exeter Summer extends from the Harkness table to the dining hall and the playing fields. Whether you’re a day student or a boarder, you’ll take part in the wide range of activities available both on and off campus.

The Student Activities Office offers a variety of recreational options during weekends and Wednesday afternoons. Weekday evenings are reserved for on-campus extra-curricular activities from dramatics and choir to chamber orchestra and educational films and seminars. Rounding out the calendar are some traditional Exeter Summer favorites: talent shows, dances, plays and the International Day festival — featuring music and food from countries around the world.

Choose from optional excursions such as beach outings, amusement parks, shopping trips, mini-golf, mountain hikes and local sporting events, which are chaperoned by Exeter Summer faculty and staff. Unchaperoned trips to the cities of Boston and Portsmouth require parental permission. Trips vary in cost from approximately $10 to $40 and are not included in tuition.

Your advisers and teachers may sponsor their own trips to local eateries, beaches and nearby attractions to create a bonding experience for dorms and classes. You can also take advantage of extended hours at The Lamont Gallery and athletic facilities on weekends.

Dorm Life

At the end of the five-week session each year, students universally agree that living in a dormitory is one of the most valuable experiences of spending the summer at Exeter. You share a special bond with your dormmates reinforced by events such as dorm barbecues and trips. Living with peers who represent many different backgrounds and interests broadens your knowledge of others and provides important preparation for college.

Day students are affiliated with an assigned dorm and encouraged to participate in dorm activities.

​There are 20 girls in my dorm, and we all know each other so well. I love it!"
Student from Virginia

Through dorm life, you have further opportunities to get to know your teachers, who serve as dorm parents and advisers to individual students. In addition to interacting with teachers in the classroom, you will spend time with them informally in the dorm and dining hall, and participate in such activities as the faculty/student soccer game together. The ratio of faculty to students in dormitories is approximately 1:10.

Life in a residential school requires you to take responsibility for managing a daily schedule and for meeting the expectations of the school community. We strive to help students adjust to being away from home by providing a number of support mechanisms. In turn, we expect students to check in to dorms by the appointed time, to observe quiet study hours in the evenings, and to abide by school rules.

Colleges and Universities

The UPPER SCHOOL program offers you the opportunity to meet approximately sixty college admissions officers. A wide variety of colleges and universities send representatives to our campus for a large evening fair early in the term. In recent years, those colleges have included Yale, Dartmouth, Bowdoin, Smith and Tufts. During your stay at Exeter, you may visit college campuses by signing up for excursions to certain local universities.

In addition, the Exeter Summer College Counselor oversees a program of speakers and workshops designed to demystify the college application process and to help high school juniors and seniors prepare for completing college applications. You’ll work one-on-one or in small groups with a college adviser as you begin to formulate lists of colleges that match your interests and academic profiles. The Academy Library also offers college search materials and guides.

Health Services

The Lamont Health and Wellness Center is staffed on a 24-hour schedule by registered nurses. You will receive a medical form that must be completed and returned before the student arrives in Exeter.


You’ll be encouraged to examine and deepen your beliefs and values while at Exeter Summer. Although attendance at religious services is not required, you’ll have the opportunity to express concerns and to celebrate in communal worship if you desire, Churches and temples in the Exeter area welcome student participation.

Exeter Summer

20 Main Street, Exeter, NH 03833

603-777-3488 / summer@exeter.edu