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Hands-On Experiences to Inspire Your Future

Learning Beyond the Classroom

Adventure Travel & Cultural Immersion

Community Engagement & Global Awareness

Active Immersion in Language & Culture

Learning Beyond the Classroom

Pre-College Programs

Experiential Learning &

Global Immersion

Putney Pre-College summer programs are designed for motivated high school students who are intellectually curious and passionate about the world around them. Based in exciting, vibrant locations, our programs combine pre-college enrichment and travel, taking you beyond the standard summer class model. Pursue a passion or discover new interests in an exciting atmosphere that encourages active involvement, creativity, a sense of community, exploration, adventure, and fun.

Choose a seminar and dive into your coursework through engaging discussions and hands-on projects. Frame your seminar concepts and key issues, and then take the learning beyond the classroom as you dig deeper through fieldwork, site visits, and meetings with local experts. In the process, gain a better understanding of the subject matter, as well as the research, interview, and analytical tools you need to tackle any academic challenge.

The Putney Pre-College experience prepares you academically and socially for taking the important next step into college. Expand your worldview through travel, meet new people from all over the globe, test-drive potential major fields of study in real-world environments, and explore new interests amid a tight-knit community of like-minded peers and supportive instructors. Emerge from the program with lasting friendships and a new perspective of life beyond high school. 

Distinguished Instructors
Learn From Our Top-Notch Instructors

We select the distinguished instructors in our Pre-College summer programs not only for their impressive academic credentials—many hold advanced degrees from renowned schools—but also for their enthusiasm, passion, and proven capacity to connect with and inspire students. They are dedicated, warm, dynamic, experienced, and caring individuals who in most cases also live in dormitories with students, sharing in their lives and fully participating in extracurricular activities. Click here to meet instructors.

Prepare for College
Prepare for College Campus Life & Community

Each summer, high school students in Putney Pre-College programs find themselves in a community of peers hailing from all 50 U.S. states and countries around the world, who share their enthusiasm and commitment to personal and intellectual growth. Live together with peers and instructors and use Barcelona or Tokyo as your classroom, with dorm-style hotels and residences as your home base. Take advantage of unparalleled access to world-class facilities, residential instructor teams, and renowned cultural sites.

Get a taste of college life as you learn to manage your time between stimulating, college-level seminars, hands-on activities and workshops, lab time, guest speakers, and a wide range of extracurricular activities. Every evening we come together for Community Meeting to share our ideas, successes, and goals, and plan for the coming day.

Students thrive in this learning environment, where curiosity is sparked and fed by the world around them, as they prepare academically and socially for college. Become part of a community where your interests are supported and nurtured, and make lasting friendships in the process.

Engaging Seminars
Learn by Doing Through Enriching Pre-College Seminars

Through a novel combination of experiential learning and global immersion, high school students learn by doing in our Putney Pre-College summer programs. Purposefully small and immersive, our seminars are taught in and out of the classroom for a learning experience that rivals anything you have experienced before. Unlike a conventional school setting, where learning is prescribed, classroom-centered, and text heavy, these field-based seminars are challenging and rigorous, but also innovative, intellectually stimulating, and fun. 

Each campus offers a range of seminars that are timely, timeless, and relevant to the program’s location. Meet with local artists, entrepreneurs, other experts, and listen to guest speakers. Work on a project geared towards your interests. Then prepare a presentation or project and present it to your instructors and peers on the final night of the program.

Putney Pre-College Seminars Are...


Establish a foundation in the classroom, and then take your ideas to the streets and studios, the markets and museums, the temples and skyscrapers—these are your classrooms.


Explore subjects in established and emerging fields and apply what you learn to the contemporary realities on the ground, in the places where these topics matter most.


Immerse yourself in a new setting with peers from around the world. Explore new perspectives and experiences and shape yourself into a global citizen, ready to be a leader in college and beyond.

Examples of Major Seminar Study Areas

  • Anime & Illustration
  • Business/Economics
  • Creative Writing
  • Communications
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Fashion Design
  • Forensic Science
  • Political Science
  • Spanish Language
  • Technology & Innovation

Together with your peers, celebrate your accomplishments and return home ready to tackle the journey of college.

Extracurricular Activities
Supplement Your Learning

Elective workshops and other extracurricular activities are part and parcel of the Putney Pre-College summer experience. In the afternoons and evenings, take full advantage of your travel destination through activities, sports, and excursions: Immerse yourself in the local culture with new friends as you visit museums, go on a hike, join in a soccer or volleyball game, or rehearse a song for our popular talent show. Afternoon and evening activities are not just pre-planned by our instructors and local contacts, but they’re also initiated and led by our students. In the process, learn valuable leadership skills as you share your passions with your peers.


Gain Perspective

Expand your worldview through travel, meet new people from all over the globe, test-drive potential majors in real-world environments, and explore new interests amid a tight-knit community of supportive peers and instructors.


Go Beyond the Classroom

Putney students benefit from our novel combination of experiential learning and global immersion. Our programs are intentionally designed not to be like school, where learning is prescribed, classroom-centered, and text heavy.


Choose Your Campus

From marketing, business, and economics to anime, Spanish language, and architecture, Putney students learn their chosen subjects in exciting and relevant locations around the world. 

“She benefitted so much from interaction in a small class setting with hands-on seminars that resulted in tangible projects within her favorite areas of academic interest.”

— Julie & Stewart B., Arlington, VA

Summer 2024

Pre-College Programs

Baja & the Gulf of California
Chile & Peru
Germany & Sweden

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