Phillips Exeter Academy

For the 4th consecutive year, in the summer of 2017, five students of Pierce – The American College of Greece will study in the summer program at Phillips Exeter Academy, on full scholarships. They are George Palaiologopoulos – Vagena, Maria Eleni Koilakou, Alkistis Mavrogalou, Nafsika Diamantopoulou and Dimitris Gkioulis.  The supporter of the entire process is the scholarship sponsor, Mr. Spyros Bouas, whose generosity allows capable and worthy students to benefit fully from the experience of studying at one of the most highly recognized schools in the world and give new impetus to their academic lives.

A and B Lyceum students were informed about the program and 60 of them declared their interest in being candidates in the selection process.  This process involved an interview before a 5-member Committee, which was comprised of members of the Administration and Directors of the College. The following criteria were taken into consideration:

•    A brief written essay in which they describe their interests and abilities, a person or life experience that has made an impression on them and influenced their progress, as well as the reasons for which they would like to take part in the summer program at Exeter.
•    A graded written assignment in English class
•    A letter of recommendation from the Head of the English Department
•    Their recent grades
•    Their active participation in school activities (which represent the Pierce model student)
•    Information of a financial nature

All of the students that took part in the selection process were invited to present themselves to the Committee, to answer questions and to overcome the anxiety that is to be expected before such a process. Even those that did not make it to the final five admitted that they had had a truly educational experience, supportive of the daily learning process and indicative of commensurate moments that they will experience at the educational institutions they might choose to study at in a few years.

In the summer of 2016, for the 3rd year, five Pierce students were selected to study at Phillips Exeter Academy: Abraham Korakidis, Sofia Chavele-Dastamani, Vasileia Louzi, Xenia Katsika and Chrysiida Tzortzi, who attended classes in Biotechnology, the Arts, Economics and Engineering, for five weeks at the ultramodern campus of the school in New Hampshire in the United States.

All of the students that went through the interview process had a unique educational experience and, in their conversations with the program coordinator, Ms. Mary Petropoulou, at the end of the process, emphasized that they would try again next year! The Selection Committee truly had a very difficult task to carry out as they had to rule out some very worthy candidates. Therefore, Pierce decided to give the opportunity to 3 more candidates to receive a scholarship for the Global Young Leaders Conference, which also takes place in the United States for two weeks this summer (More information here).

 In the summer of 2015, for the 2nd year, five more Pierce students had the opportunity to study at the summer school of Phillips Exeter Academy, with the generous sponsorship of the investor and entrepreneur Mr. Spyros Bouas. The scholarship, amounting to 10,000 dollars, covered the students’ travel expenses to and from the USA, their tuition fees as well as their participation in all available excursions during the five weeks of their stay on the Exeter campus in New Hampshire.

The Pierce students were enthusiastic about the inspired academic program and the exceptional extra-curricular activities. The Exeter coordinators assessed and evaluated their very active participation in all of the activities as well as the conscientiousness they demonstrated in their studies. Four of our students also attended an SAT class and received instructions and valuable advice on their preparation for University studies. According to their report, the foundations that they have built at Pierce proved to be particularly useful in the experiments and laboratory exercises at Exeter. They feel that it was truly the experience of a lifetime which will remain with them forever!

For the first time in the summer of 2014, five Pierce students took part in the summer program at Phillips Exeter Academy, with full scholarships thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Greek-American investor and entrepreneur Mr. Spyros Bouas. Our five students lived for five weeks in the dormitories of Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire in the US, along with their peers from other countries.

Phillips Exeter Academy, which was founded in 1871, is an internationally recognized and distinguished private school that prepares students for the top universities and colleges in the US. Among its graduates are the authors John Irving and Dan brown, the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, and others. In this exceptional educational environment, the scholarship recipients represent their school and have an unforgettable experience. They attend three exciting classes of their choice, enrich their knowledge in very interesting fields, and develop their critical thinking skills through the Harkness method. The difference in this method – which is based on the Socratic concept of dialogue – is that it approaches by placing the student at the center of the learning process, encouraging him/her to ask questions and to share his/her ideas in an environment of reflections, research, collaboration and dialogue and promotes the active participation of students in the learning process, which is accomplished through constructive discussion and cooperation.

Our students return full of joy and gratitude and, according to what they say, this educational experience changes their lives. The students live in dormitories, one of the most valuable experiences at Exeter. They develop bonds with their peers from many different countries and with different interests and thus are prepared for the living conditions of their university years. Participants also have the opportunity to take part in very demanding team sports, such as water polo and squash and also to take part in music classes and debate clubs.

During the program, the students are not limited to classroom teaching but also take part in a variety of social activities, organized on and off the Academy campus, truly living the experience of studying in the US. They visit important sights and museum in the greater region (the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the New England Aquarium, Quincy Market, colleges in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts).

Read about Alice Christakou’s experience of her participation in the program here.