Amherst College | Pre-College

Join an international community of high school students at Amherst College, one of the most prestigious liberal arts colleges in the country. Choose two exciting seminars to study throughout your time on campus. Take part in engaging discussions and hands-on projects that allow you to explore new interests or dig deeper into existing passions. Get a taste of college life as you become part of an inspiring and supportive community of faculty and students from around the world.

  • June 24, 2018  –  July 13, 2018
  • July 16, 2018  –  August 4, 2018
Completing grades 9 – 12
US Gateway City:
Amherst, MA
20 days
Typical Group:
$ 5,590 + airfare


  • Debate current events in your Diplomacy & International Relations seminars
  • Produce a short film or short story in your Film & Video or Writing seminar
  • Work in collaboration with Entrepreneurship and Marketing seminar students to launch a new product
  • Experience a weekend excursion in Boston, Montreal, Cape Cod, or the White Mountains of New Hampshire
  • Investigate a mock crime scene with the team as part of your Forensics course


Education: University of New Hampshire, Ph.D., Writing and Rhetoric (candidate) University of Massachusetts, M.F.A., Fiction Franklin and Marshall College, B.A., English

Adam has been teaching college courses in writing and literacy for eight years, and he is currently finishing a dissertation on writing pedagogy. He also… read more

Adam has been teaching college courses in writing and literacy for eight years, and he is currently finishing a dissertation on writing pedagogy. He also writes fiction and essays, and his work has appeared in The Kenyon Review, Slow Trains, and Amherst College’s own The Common. When he’s not writing, he loves to read, play nerdy board games, hike, and talk about the news. During his seven summers at Pre-College at Amherst College, he has taught seven different classes and twice has been Assistant Director.  Adam co-Directed the program this summer.  


Arrival • From the moment you arrive on Amherst College’s ivy-covered New England campus, you join a supportive community of like-minded peers and faculty ready to learn, make new friends, and have fun in the process. Fly into Hartford or Boston, take a train or bus to the Northampton, MA station, or meet your fellow students on campus. Settle into your dorm and take a quick tour of campus before gathering for a full group orientation on your first night. To learn more about how we organize travel, click here.

Campus Life • Consistently ranking at the top of U.S. News and World Report’s leading colleges, Amherst College is the perfect setting for experiencing college life. Amherst’s historic, ivy-covered buildings and the adjacent town common form the center of the “Five College Consortium,” a vibrant academic network that includes Smith, Mount Holyoke, and Hampshire Colleges, as well as the University of Massachusetts. With full access to the college’s top-notch facilities, including the gym, pool, tennis courts, library, museums, and sports fields, Pre-College at Amherst is the ideal program for exploring new subjects or digging deeper into known passions. Live in dormitories located at the heart of campus adjacent to the main quad, and immerse yourself in local life. Instructors and Resident Advisors live alongside our students, creating a community experience that goes beyond the classroom. Shops and cafés fill the town of Amherst, while rolling hills and rivers surround it, making it perfect for hiking, swimming, and biking.

Top-ranked Amherst College is the setting for our Pre-College program

Seminars • Participate in stimulating, seminar-style courses and spend time with like-minded individuals who quickly become good friends. Seminars meet daily for two hours each, allowing for learning both in the classroom and in the field. They are designed to encourage collaboration and hands-on learning, allowing you to get out of the classroom often for field trips, experiments, performances, field assignments, and to meet with local experts. Without the pressure of grades or tests, you can enjoy delving into your courses without the pressure that comes along with a traditional school experience. Each seminar works toward a final project — a short film, a business proposal, a scientific presentation, a performance piece, or a dramatic reading, for example — which you present to fellow participants on the final night of the program. Parents and families are welcome to attend this final presentation. Seminars are limited to ten students or fewer. See below for more information on seminars.

Afternoon and Evening Activities • In the afternoons and evenings, choose from a variety of activities to make the most of your summer and of campus life. Join a soccer or volleyball game on the quad, take a salsa dancing lesson in the dorm lounge, visit a nearby college or university, or head to Puffer’s Pond for a swim. Head to the gym or take part in an instructional sports clinic (choose among tennis, soccer, or fitness studio) with professional coaches. Pursue new interests such as yoga, African drumming, improv, or mountain biking. Learn the art of crepe- or sushi-making with one of our international students, jump into a Zumba workshop, or volunteer at a local farm. Explore the surrounding area with a visit to the monks at the nearby Peace Pagoda, sample delicious ice cream at a local dairy farm, immerse yourself in New England history at Emily Dickinson’s historic house, or go for a jog on a nearby trail.

College Visits • Take the opportunity to visit a number of New England colleges. In past summers we have visited Dartmouth, Smith, Columbia, Williams, and Trinity Colleges, as well as Harvard, Tufts, Brown, Wesleyan, NYU, Boston, and Yale Universities. Visits are generally led by our faculty who are alumni of these colleges and, when possible, we arrange a meeting with an admissions director.

First Excursion Weekend • Get off campus and experience the iconic beauty of New England, as you choose from trips to the White Mountains, Cape Cod, and Montréal.

White Mountains Explore some of the best-preserved wilderness in the East. Spot moose and other wildlife as you hike in the magnificent Presidential Range or swim in some of the region’s many lakes.

Cape Cod Stroll the lively, historic streets of Provincetown, swim or paddleboard on one of the Cape’s pristine beaches, and toast s’mores over a bonfire under the stars. Go whale watching, play beach volleyball, kayak, or play Frisbee with new friends. There is a supplemental fee of $390 for this excursion.

Montréal From our base at McGill University, explore the cobblestone streets of the Old City and soak in the Parisian atmosphere of Rue St. Denis. Bike along the St. Lawrence River, sample some of Montreal’s famous poutine, shop for a picnic lunch at the sprawling Marché Atwater, or catch an outdoor concert at the International Jazz Festival. There is a supplemental fee of $390 for this excursion.

Second Excursion Weekend Take a group day trip to Boston and break into small groups to explore locations like Harvard Square, the Boston Science Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Freedom Trail, or take a surf lesson in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. On Sunday, visit a locally famous flea market in Hadley, MA, visit the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (Mass MoCA), enjoy biking or hiking in the hills surrounding campus or relax on the quad with friends. Students may also choose to visit New York City on the Sunday of this second weekend. While in New York, visit Times Square, stroll through Central Park, and check out the Statue of Liberty. College visits are also arranged in both Boston and New York for interested students.

Final Night • Invite family and friends to attend the culminating Final Night Show.  Celebrate what you have learned in your seminars; perform a concert, present a final project, or host a gallery opening to display your artwork. Say goodbye to your instructors and new friends from across the country and around the world.

Departure • Staff escort students from the Amherst College campus to the local bus or train station, or the airports in Hartford or Boston. Families can also arrange pick up directly from campus. To learn more about how we organize travel, click here.

This itinerary represents our best projection of the group’s schedule. However, we may implement changes designed to improve the quality of the program. This program is licensed by the State of MA Department of Health.

This has been the best summer of my life and I wish I could go back in time and start it all over again.

— Marta B., Colegio Nuestra Señora de Loreto, Madrid, Spain


Due to the dynamic nature of this Pre-College summer program, each day is different. Here is a snapshot of a day on the Amherst College campus.

8 AM • Grab breakfast in the dining hall
9 AM • Morning seminar
12 PM • Lunch in the dining hall or out on the town with friends
1 PM • Afternoon seminar
3 PM • Afternoon activities and optional sports clinics
5:30 PM • Down time and dinner in the dining hall
7 PM • Community meeting
7:30 PM • Evening activities
10:30 PM • Check-in in dorms
11 PM • Lights out

Students hang out on campus on our pre-college program in Amherst


Choose two seminars — a morning and an afternoon seminar — and tap into the incredible resources of our campus and knowledgeable faculty at Amherst College. Seminars are rigorous, focused, and interactive. They get you thinking critically about important topics in today’s world and help you focus your interests as you look ahead toward college.

Morning Seminars (click on seminar to read the full description)

Anthropology & Sociology

The fields of anthropology and sociology span the disciplines of history, science, and the humanities. They seek to answer the question “what is human culture?” while examining the development, structure, and functioning of human society. What common threads bind seemingly disparate peoples as part of the collective human experience? Has globalization affected the world’s cultures for better or worse? Do linguistic and religious differences across the globe create barriers or opportunities for development? Through this discussion-based workshop using first-hand experience, interviews, and case studies, develop an understanding of the diversity of cultures and societal structures in our world —  from indigenous cultures in the Amazon, to the counter-cultural movement that swept the Western world in the late 1960s, to the recent rise of pan-global digital culture. End the course with an analysis of your particular role in your own culture.

Creative Writing

Whether you want to write your first novel or create a poem that captures a specific emotion or experience, this dynamic workshop-style course is a step toward finding your voice and pushing your boundaries as a creative writer. Through personalized, field-based exercises led by published authors, develop skills in the genre of your choosing while exploring important craft challenges such as dialogue, imagery, narrative structure, word choice, theme, and storytelling technique. Draw inspiration from your surroundings, the places you go, and the people you meet. Share your work and receive valuable feedback from your peers and instructor. Host a celebratory final reading and present your best pieces to the Pre-College community.

Drawing & Painting

Develop and refine your artistic vision as you explore a variety of materials and media. Working with acrylics, watercolor, or charcoal, create pieces based on subjects ranging from the human figure to still life, from landscape to portraiture. Through regular critiques, constructively evaluate your own and your classmates’ work. There are frequent visits to area museums, as well as consultations with accomplished artists. Prepare a personal portfolio and present your work at a program-wide gallery opening at the end of the session. All art supplies for this course are provided for a mandatory fee of $100.

English as a Second Language

This course is open to foreign students wishing to acquire English fluency by living and learning in an English-speaking environment. Gain confidence and increase your comprehension through a specially designed series of engaging and active written and conversational exercises and games. Students also learn formal skills of reading, writing, and grammar while increasing vocabulary. Learn to communicate effectively with your American peers and participate fully in the life of the program. Immerse yourself in American culture as you explore the Pioneer Valley.


In recent years the entrepreneur — bold pioneer of business, changing the world and turning a profit along the way — has captured our collective imagination. Larger than life characters like Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, Mark Zuckerberg, and Elon Musk dominate headlines and raise questions about leadership, charisma, and risk-taking. Learn about the conditions that are most fertile for entrepreneurialism, from the Murano glassmakers of 13th century Venice to modern Silicon Valley, and glean insights from the individuals who thrive in these environments. Debate whether entrepreneurs are born or made, and apply the entrepreneurial business model to politics, social change, and cultural movements. Examine the personality profiles, strategies, successes, and failures of famous entrepreneurs as you develop and present your own “formula for entrepreneurial success.”

Forensic Science

From CSI to Dexter, Sherlock Holmes to Bones, forensic science is portrayed as an almost magical tool in modern-day investigations. But is a drop of blood or single strand of hair really the same as a smoking gun? In this seminar, look critically at case studies from around the world and learn how forensic evidence can be used in securing criminal convictions. Discuss the negative impact the CSI-effect can have in the courtroom. Work in teams to solve crimes using scientific knowledge and reasoning. Final projects may take the form of a Mock Trial, examining the use of forensics in vindicating those wrongly convicted, or analyzing and reporting on a simulated crime scene. This is not a laboratory-based course but rather emphasizes critical thinking and complex reasoning.

Law & Legal Practice

In this course, students explore our country’s legal system — and the procedures and infrastructure that support it — to better understand why laws exist, their place in our social world, and the state’s role in enforcing what may be ambiguous or evolving doctrine. Take on issues that appeared recently before the Supreme Court, debate the reach of First Amendment protections, or discuss the notion of activist judges as you examine the philosophical and cultural basis for the rules that guide our government and shape our personal lives. Meet with law professionals, visit courtrooms, and discover alternative forms of community mediation. During the final days of the course, prepare and defend a controversial ruling for presentation to a mock court.

Life Science: Pre-Med Basics

If you think a pre-med track might be your calling, this introductory course covers key concepts and principles in biology and examines broader ethical questions about practicing medicine. From the molecular level, learning how genes and proteins function in cells, to population-level discussions about mutations, diseases, and evolution, explore the interconnections of living systems and the role medical science plays in unraveling the mysteries of life. Meet with researchers and medical practitioners to gain a better sense of the challenges doctors face today and how the practice of medicine continues to evolve.

Media Studies

Until recently, “media” referred to television, radio, newspapers, and magazines, but now that definition must also include news and influence spread through Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and blogs. Investigate this rapidly changing method of information delivery and how we, as consumers and global citizens, respond to and digest this information. In the process, gain a deeper understanding of the ways media influence our behavior and how we can become more intentional consumers and producers of media. With your peers, look at the historical and modern function of media, and the power of social media when compared to the more traditional news outlets. Discuss the meaning of the Trump administration’s fake news campaign and its effect on the public. Develop a critical eye for uncovering advertising strategies, including the role of algorithms to target various populations, and attempt to determine what makes a story go viral. Examine the current focus on “fake news” As a group, design a multi-media campaign publicizing an issue of social importance by applying the lessons of the course.

Model UN

Founded in 1945 after the Second World War, the United Nations aims to maintain international peace and security by fostering cooperation between member nations in solving economic, social, and cultural problems. Since its founding, the UN has grown to 193 member states and has broadened its scope to address 21st century problems, such as climate change and environmental protection, economic disparity, and human rights abuses. Learn about the UN’s diplomatic role as you become a delegate representing one of the UN’s member nations. Through research, discussion, and debate, engage with the issues facing your selected country and develop solutions to global problems. In the process, develop useful skills in communication, public speaking, debate, teamwork, analysis, critical thinking, and negotiation. Gain an in-depth understanding of how the United Nations functions and the challenges it faces in tackling some of today’s critical issues.


Designed for photographers of all skill levels, this course teaches the basics of photography and composition before diving into more advanced shooting techniques and editing instruction. Whether your passion is portrait, landscape, adventure, or abstract photography, build your confidence and nurture your creativity through one-on-one workshops with your instructor and group critiques. Discuss and explore the implications of digital manipulation in an age dominated by the power of the image, collaborate on projects with other seminars, and curate a gallery showing of your newly created portfolio. Students are responsible for bringing their own digital camera, which should have the option of being operated in manual mode. There is a supplemental fee of $125 for this course.

Social Psychology

Why do we obey figures of authority in some situations but not in others? Why do we help desperate strangers on one day but ignore them the next? Explore the influence of social situations on thought, feeling, and behavior, and explain why we act differently when we are alone from when we are in a group. Specific topics include how we develop and change our attitudes, conformity, obedience, prejudice, aggression, social decision-making, interpersonal attraction, altruism, and group dynamics. Examine a variety of classical psychology theories, readings, and experiments and apply these concepts to your own life while observing actual social interactions.

Sports Business & Management

The ever-growing sports industry provides opportunities in a number of fields, including business management, sports marketing and sponsorship, sports media, and even the business of sporting facilities and goods. In this course, examine different cultural models and successful management strategies for sports organizations, paying particular attention to sports leagues and associations such as the NFL, the NBA, MLB, and FIFA. Explore effective marketing and communication methods, including the role of social media and the evolving media landscape. Learn how effective sports managers solve business problems by engaging with case studies and current events, and gain the skill set to understand future career options in this exciting field.

Afternoon Seminars (click on seminar to read the full description)

Architectural Design

Architectural design expresses ideas in spatial, material, and cultural terms. It draws inspiration from sources as diverse as a functional need, the structure of a leaf, or a philosophical text. Explore how we interact with space through engaging field trips around Amherst, design exercises paired with critique sessions, small-scale construction projects, guest designers, and dynamic collaborations with other seminars. Dive into topics like manual and digital drafting, plan reading, artistic analysis, historic styles, and sustainable design. Throughout the session, develop a small portfolio of your work, including a final design project in plan, model, or digital form. There is a supplemental fee of $100 for this course.

Business & Economics

What makes a business succeed in today’s market and what are the steps taken between identifying a need and opening your (real or virtual) doors? This hands-on course begins by explaining the economic playing field where firms operate, with discussions of supply and demand, regulations and free trade, international trade, and currency flows. Through role-playing, discussions, field trips, and lectures, consider the practical aspects of business, including management, finance, marketing, advertising, public relations, the organizational psychology, corporate leadership and culture, and business ethics. Working together as a team, put what you have learned into practice as you research, develop, and pitch your own small business.

Film & Video

Get a hands-on introduction to video in this production-oriented workshop. Practice storyboarding, camera operation, sound recording, lighting, direction, and non-linear editing as you collaborate on a series of video projects. Explore the hidden language of cinema by looking at a variety of films, from documentaries to experimental shorts. As a final project, produce a series of short videos to present at a campus-wide film screening. Students should plan on putting in extra time for editing, and may watch some films that are “R” rated. There is a supplemental fee of $200 for this course.

Graphic Novels & Illustration

Will Eisner’s groundbreaking 1985 book Comics and Sequential Art helped establish in the Western art world something other cultures had known for decades — the depth and legitimacy of the graphic novel art form. Whether historical or fantastical in nature, sequential art is a medium with its own language, capable of provoking powerful emotions and contributing to intellectual debate. In this hands-on seminar, develop your storytelling and illustration skills, focusing on image creation techniques. Learn to use the digital and analog tools preferred by contemporary writers and illustrators. Create coherent narratives and engaging characters whose impact is enhanced by your new understanding of storyboarding, page layout design, inking, and lettering. Read and discuss some of the masters in this field, including Scott McCloud, Fiona Staples, Gail Simone, and Grant Morrison. This course helps both aspiring writers and artists hone their crafts.


The rise of the Information Age, plummeting newspaper circulations, the proliferation of the soundbite, and the immediacy of social media, blogs and digital video mean that being well-informed is a more complex proposition than ever before. In this timely seminar, read and analyze contemporary media, then hit the streets to research and prepare your own stories. Use interviews, observation, and opinion to explore issues of contemporary life, culture, science, and politics. Emphasis is placed on basic news writing, as well as features, opinion pieces, and sports writing. Led by a published writer/journalist, this workshop-style writing course allows everyone in your impromptu “newsroom” to learn from each other, as you refine your reporting and storytelling techniques. At the end of the course, create a blog, newspaper, or news magazine for your Pre-College community.

Marketing & Advertising

What makes a targeted ad on Facebook successful? Why are buyers loyal to a particular brand of shampoo or jeans? In this dynamic, hands-on course, begin by learning about “The Five P’s” — the principles and strategies behind marketing and advertising, which have now expanded to include platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and blogs. Investigate the rapidly changing methods of marketing and how we, as consumers and global citizens, respond to and digest this information. Delve into the psychology behind the decisions businesses make to successfully market their products. Examine trends and brainstorm innovative and creative ideas for the future of the field. Working in teams, research a local company’s approach to marketing and come up with a new plan to improve their business strategy. Collaborate with other seminars and pitch your ideas in the “board room” at the end of the program.

Music Performance

Expand your musical talents and abilities and discover new ways to express yourself through performance, solo improvisation, and group jam sessions. Small composition and arrangement exercises are gradually expanded and elaborated on. Use these exercises as a basis for group performance and a point of departure for improvisation. The course culminates in a recording session and a concert performed for the entire Pre-College community. No composition experience is needed. You are encouraged to bring your instruments and can expect to learn new instruments as well. The ability to read music is helpful but not required. Those who sing or play a musical instrument at any skill level are encouraged to enroll.

Political Science

Aristotle famously claims that humans are the “political animal,” and indeed it seems that wherever people gather, a system of governance and civic rights emerges. Examine the forms and functions of politics from the Roman Republic to the French Revolution and the American “Democratic Experiment.” Discuss case studies based on current events, such as threats of government shutdowns, the U.K.’s Brexit vote to leave the European Union, or the role of money in politics. Guest lectures, hands-on workshops, and field trips challenge your assumptions about government and give perspective on your part in the larger system. Conduct interviews and polls to analyze political participation and perspectives and interview a local politician. Compare the governments of the U.S., China, and the U.K. to decipher the stated and actual differences between democracy, communism, and monarchy. As part of your final project, create your own government system and simulated society to share with the larger Pre-College community.

Psychology of the Criminal Mind

What makes someone commit a crime? How effective are the psychological profiling techniques used by crime investigators? Is there such a thing as the Criminal Mind? In this course, examine the criminal mind through case studies and historical data. Look at evidence that both supports and rejects modern theories and discuss criminal profiling as it is portrayed on today’s cinematic crime dramas. Examine traits that connect serial killers throughout history and discover what makes modern-day white-collar criminals tick. Present a final collaborative project on criminal minds to the entire Pre-College community.

Public Speaking & Debate

Take the first steps toward becoming an effective public speaker as you overcome any reluctance to speak in front of groups and learn techniques for engaging your audience. Discuss and practice formal and informal debating techniques, and learn about the uses (and misuses) of rhetoric. Over the course of the class, prepare and present several speeches on topics of your choosing using John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., former President Obama, and others as examples. International students choosing this course must have a strong grasp of the English language.

Race, Gender & Sexuality

This course examines historical and contemporary views on race, gender, and sexuality. Explore how biology, society, culture, and history contribute to our understanding of these concepts, and how our understanding of these concepts in turn shapes almost every facet of modern life — from education and public policy to entertainment and health. Learn to place complex debates in their historical context, and examine how constructs of race, gender, and sexuality have influenced the development of Western thought and science. Consider the role of Critical Race Theory as a means for studying the intersection of race, law, and power. Delve into current issues of racial profiling, gender discrimination, identity formation, and social justice through guided readings and thought-provoking discussions with experts in the social sciences. Work individually or in teams with peers to assemble a final project or presentation that addresses an aspect of what you have learned in this course.

Technology & Innovation

With emerging technologies such as drone delivery systems, self-driving cars, robotic vacuums, and digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, engineers are constantly striving to develop innovative ideas to improve the human experience. Explore the principles of engineering through case studies and hands-on experiments in this interactive seminar. Meet with professionals and researchers to discuss career paths in this burgeoning field. Use the tools you acquire to build a simple Arduino or Raspberry Pi-based project. Throughout the seminar, explore a variety of technological frontiers, from drones to gaming apps, through creative brainstorms, small workshops, and discussions about the sociological, environmental, and economic impacts of these developments on the larger global community.

Writing & Composition for College

Whether composing lab reports, business presentations, literary analyses, or e-mails to professors, writing will play an important role in your college education. Even those who write successfully at the high school level may be surprised by the varied, rigorous literacy demands of the college or university they attend. This course is designed to help prepare you for these challenges. Become acquainted with writing and reading in a variety of contexts, developing into a better reader and editor of your work as you gain the critical communication skills necessary for college work. Examine many of the genres required for higher education, including rhetorical and critical analysis, research, and reflective writing. Receive personalized feedback on your work and leave better prepared for success in a wide range of writing situations at the university level.

Fitness Clinics (click on clinic to read the full description)

Fitness Studio

Stay in shape while having fun in our fitness studio. This afternoon activity meets twice a week and will rotate through popular fitness courses such as Pilates, yoga, and Zumba. Get individual instruction to improve your technique and have fun with fellow participants with the common goal of physical fitness. Fitness Studio will meet two days each week. There is a supplemental fee of $100 for Fitness Studio.

Soccer Clinic

Taught by college-level coaches and players, the soccer clinic focuses on ball control, passing skills, and offensive and defensive team strategies. Drills complemented by extensive scrimmaging allow you to get a jump on your preparation for the fall season. This clinic meets three times a week. There is a $290 supplemental fee for this clinic.

Tennis Clinic

Led by Nike coaches, this clinic helps you learn the game or maintain your skills during the summer.  Participants are assessed by the coaching staff and grouped by ability in order to assure the best training strategy for your needs. This clinic meets three times a week. There is a $390 supplemental fee for this clinic.

What to Expect

Seminars • Seminars are interactive and collaborative, and use the town of Amherst College and the campus as their classroom. You can expect to meet with local and regional experts, artists, entrepreneurs, and guest speakers during the program. Each seminar works toward a final project — a short film, a business proposal, a performance piece, a gallery opening, or a dramatic reading, to give a few examples — which you present to fellow participants on the final night of the program. Parents and families are welcome to attend this final presentation!

Afternoons and evenings • Each day brings new adventures and a variety of activities to choose from. Instructors lead activities and often bring in guest instructors or local experts and students are encouraged to suggest activities and excursions they would be excited to participate in.

Physical Activity • This is a physically active summer program. Hiking, swimming, soccer, biking, and frisbee are all activities in which you might participate during this program. Tennis and soccer clinics taught by professional coaches are available for students who would like extra instruction during the summer months. Students have access to the Amherst College gym facilities. You do not need to be at peak fitness to participate, but it is important that you are excited about trying new activities.

Transportation • You and your family are welcome to meet us on campus at Amherst College, or our staff can arrange pick ups from the local bus or train station, or at nearby Bradley International Airport in Hartford, CT, or Boston’s Logan International Airport.

This program truly exceeded our expectations. Our daughter’s dorm room was clean and spacious, her roommate was amazing, her writing class was productive and interesting, and there was a never-ending array of fun adventures, excursions, and activities. She grew as a person in three short weeks. What a great sort-of-introduction to a college experience!  

— Page and Paul Bondor, New York, NY

Ask Us

Call Alex at 802.387.5000 or email

The Pre-College Summer Program at Amherst College program is directed by Alex Bodel. If you have questions, are interested in receiving more detailed information, or would like to talk further about the pre-college summer program or any of our summer student travel programs, please get in touch!

Alexandra Bodel

Dartmouth College, B.A., Romance Languages, B.A., Environmental Biology; University of Miami School of Law, J.D.

Originally from Miami, Alex spent childhood summers in Argentina and Uruguay, her parents’ home countries. During college, she studied abroad in Toulouse, France, and Baja, Mexico. After completing her law degree, Alex clerked for a federal judge and worked as a litigator in New York City. She has led or coordinated programs in Spain, Costa Rica, Peru, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, the Indian Himalaya, Nepal, and Pre-College at Amherst College. Alex directs our Pre-College programs. During her free time, Alex enjoys yoga, running, and relaxing with her family. Alex is fluent in Spanish and proficient in French.