The Fourth of July Weekend has arrived in Exeter, N.H., which has come to mean one thing at Phillips Exeter Academy … the start of summer!

This year marks the Academy’s 98th summer of welcoming students to its summer enrichment program. There were will be youth arriving here from every quarter—this year’s crop of kids hail from 42 states and 47 countries, and have come to take advantage of the Academy’s offerings and to experience life away from home in an academically rigorous environment. Out of the total 775 students attending this year, 374 are international and 401 domestic.

With roughly 95 percent of the student body new to the school, the Summer Session continues to change and draw new students. “We are very lucky to have such a large and diverse student body that come attracted by or great reputation and the Harkness method,” the second-year Director of Exeter’s summer program Elena Gosalvez-Blanco said.

Middle school students at Exeter will take three courses arranged around a central theme, while the Upper School, made up of high schoolers, can take up to three courses that range from humanities courses like Adventure Literature to science courses like Genetic Engineering.

There will be two new Access Exeter clusters among those available to students this summer: the Shape of Things, in which students will learn geometry, chemistry, and 2D & 3D art; and the Classics, in which students will learn Latin and Greek, as well as some history and mythology. These additions to the lineup means that there are now eight total clusters for students to choose from.

The Upper School also has a few new classes this year, including Cryptography and Summer in Love, which combines literature and philosophy in readings about romance.

Teachers at the Academy, many of which also teach at PEA’s regular session, utilize the Harkness method to lead discussions on course material, and encourage students to debate, collaborate, and discover around the Harkness table. When students are not learning in the classroom, they will participate in extracurricular activities, hang out on the quad, and form friendships with their dorm and classmates.

But PEA’s Summer ‘School’ isn’t just about classes—it’s about having fun, too. The ‘Deans of Fun’ have a few new activities already being planned for the summer, like mini golf and blueberry picking. The polar bear plunge, where students can take an early, chilly dive into the ocean, will also continue to be a regularly-offered activity this year.

More than anything, Gosalvez recommends that students actively seek to meet people and make friends, especially since the weeks sometimes seem to fly by.

“Don’t be shy,” she said. “You won’t regret not talking to someone, but you will regret talking to no one.”