Choosing the right summer enrichment program is like filling out your college basketball tournament brackets. But while sports fans argue whether or not it is a good idea to add more teams to the 64 team pool, the Farther Foundation website happily maintains a growing directory of more than 120 enrichment travel programs.
But how to choose? In the basketball tournament, many make their choices on a whim, with no knowledge or research. They might pick their home team, teams with colors they like, the underdogs, the teams with the funniest looking mascots or only teams whose mascots are canines (Huskies, Bulldogs, Foxes, Wolves, etc.).
You might get lucky making a wild guess and win your basketball pool, but when choosing an enrichment travel program, you better do your research. The Farther Foundation website is a good place to start your research. Our “Travel Program Providers” page lists more than 120 programs providers and lets you search through them alphabetically, by category, by name or by key word. You will then see a brief description of the provider and their programs, contact information and links to their website and additional information.
Here are some questions to ask yourself and the program provider:
What type of program am I looking for? Academic, Outdoor Adventure, Language and Cultural Immersion, Service, Arts, Leadership
Where do I want to go? Stay in the United States or go abroad, and if so, where?
How long do I want my program to be? 2 weeks, 4 weeks, all summer, a semester or a full school year
What sort of living accommodations do I want? School dormitories, a host family, a tent
How much structure does the program have?
How much support and supervision does the program offer?
How many and what type of students participate in the program?
Does the program offer discounted tuition or scholarships for low-income students?
This decision is bigger than whether you will lose $5 in your tournament pool. This could be one of the greatest and most influential moments in your life. So take your time and do your research. Ask questions of the program providers. Ask others for advice. Think about what interests, challenges and inspires you. Then, do it; you won’t regret it, and you will be a winner!