One of the most important aspects to the Phillips Exeter Academy Summer School is the food. Daily, hundreds of students filter through Elm Street in search of something to satiate their hunger. After discussion with both Exeter students and faculty, it’s clear that both can agree that the dining hall is one of our favorite assets to the Phillips Exeter Academy community.
In an interview, Summer School Director Elena Gosálvez-Blanco commented on the significance of the dining hall. She mentioned that the dining hall staff takes extra measures to accommodate all its students, including those who are vegan, vegetarian, or have certain allergies, which explains why the words “soy”, “wheat”, or “dairy” are written on the glass above most foods. Of course, this allows the students to identify what they can and cannot eat, and also gives students the chance to taste and try new things outside of their comfort zone.
This especially applies to international students, who typically enjoy food from different cultures and taste palettes. According to Gosálvez-Blanco, the dining hall serves students from scores of different countries, which could make it hard for most foreign students to adjust. This is proven by the way that the dining hall staff tries its best to incorporate international dishes, such as the Thai Peanut Chicken Wings and Mongolian Beef, while also offering customizable options, such as the sandwich and salad bar.
Something noticeable at the Phillips Exeter Academy dining halls are the lines. These are extremely prominent at the waffle maker in the mornings, and the ice cream machine in the evenings. These two are the fan favorites on campus, which is clear. Who wouldn’t want an ice cream after indulging at dinner?
Certain people say they don’t like the food offered in comparison to what they usually have back home, and that’s a legitimate claim to make. It’s difficult adjusting to life at boarding school, but although that’s a valid opinion, it’s also arguable.
If you’re like Nishat Uddin from London, England, you’d contend that food is better from your home country. She says that she “expected better American cereals, like Lucky Charms and Cap’n Crunch”, but was slightly disappointed that the dining hall wasn’t serving that. Sometimes, people just believe that the food needs improvement. Micah Frenkiel from Australia is a big fan of the school’s oatmeal, but she believes that on some days, it could be a bit “sub-par.”
However, most students such as Rachel Lee from Hong Kong argue that it isn’t that bad. She says, “my favorite dining hall meal is the spaghetti.” Leo Rutyer-Harcourt from New York City says that his are the chicken wings.
It’s all about opening up your mind to different things, and new experiences. That’s the point of the Phillips Exeter Academy Summer School, to experience life on our own and utilize our independence to make the most of our five weeks here.