Residential Students

Keeping Health + Safety at the Center

As we plan for Summer 2021 with COVID-19 safety front-of-mind, some of our traditional programming may be subject to change. We will continue to follow guidance from the CDC, public health officials, and our COVID-19 planning team, and will provide regular updates to families in the lead-up to arrival day. For the most up-to-date information on our COVID-19 planning, please visit our FAQ page.


A Community That Builds Confidence

Your summer at EXPLO will be as meaningful as you make it. Our entire program is designed to help you practice making choices that are meaningful to you — from the subjects you explore to the trips you take on the weekends, to what you eat for dinner — and build your confidence to navigate high school and beyond.

A Place to Practice Responsibility

As part of a residential community, you’ll have an opportunity to make friends from around the world who share similar interests and diverse perspectives on the world of people and ideas. You’ll also share the responsibility of maintaining our community standards to Be Kind, Be Curious, Be Safe, and Be True.

Living on a college campus when you’re at the beginning of your high school journey is not only a lot of fun, but also a great learning experience. Some of the skills our students report picking up from residential life include:

  • Sharing a room
  • Managing their schedule
  • Doing laundry on their own
  • Managing money
  • Balancing healthy choices and treats at meals

And while you’ll learn what it’s like to live away from home you won’t be on your own. Our staff members, faculty, and administrators are here to help guide you through your summer experience, (gently) nudge you beyond your comfort zone, and make sure you get to experience the endless opportunities an EXPLO summer has to offer while feeling as safe and secure as possible.

Living Groups

Students from 40 states and 70 countries attend EXPLO every summer, and we aim to create living groups that balance a mix of diverse backgrounds and perspectives, new and returning students. Rising 8th graders will be housed together, and students entering grades 9 and 10 will share floors.

Your new roommate could be from New York, California, Texas, Minnesota, France, Japan, Brazil, or Indonesia, and could easily become your new best friend on campus. You’ll both be part of a small living group led by two Residential Advisors who check on you throughout your day, and keep you informed of what’s going on around campus. Consider this your campus family — they’ll care for you as if you were their own.

Staff Support

Our staff’s main priority has always been one thing, and one thing only: you. Staff members, faculty, and administrators are there to help instruct and guide you through your summer experience. Our job is to (gently) nudge you beyond your comfort zone, making sure you get to experience all an EXPLO summer has to offer while feeling as safe and secure as possible in the process. And since we’re as excited to be at EXPLO as you’ll be, we’ll make sure every experience is as fun and fulfilling as can be.


Leaving home for the first time can feel uncomfortable and even intimidating — even in the most welcoming communities. Our staff works hard with each student to make sure they feel safe, secure, and most of all, at home.
For most kids, it really takes the first week to adjust. After the first few days, students are settled into their living groups and new routines, begin to develop stronger connections with their peers and trust with the staff, and quickly recognize that they can successfully navigate a new (and exciting) experience without always needing the support of their parents/guardians.
For more information, please visit our Safety and Security page.

International Students

EXPLO is a diverse community with students from 40 states and 70 countries. Our international students make up a critical part of our learning community and living groups. We also recognize that many of you are much farther from home and have questions unique to attending a summer program in the United States. Head over to our International Students page for more information about traveling to campus, language requirements, and more.

Telephone Calls

In order to allow students to develop their support system on campus, we do not allow students to call home during the first week of the program. We know that you’re excited to hear from them — and trust us, they are excited to share their experiences with you as well — but through the years we have found that calling home during the first week makes the transition away from home to a new community much more difficult. For this reason, calls home begin on the second Monday of the program.

We encourage families to check in with their students throughout the session. Sending messages through the Student Portal, which we print out and deliver to them daily, is a great way to keep in touch. Good old fashioned snail mail is great, too!