Phillip Exeter Academy is located in the charming town of Exeter, NH. Surrounded by old churches and a complex of neat, pristine stores, Exeter stands out as an oasis in the fields of New Hampshire. That’s how many people seem to feel.

Cambron Wade is a student at Exeter Summer who has traveled from her home in London to attend. She describes the town as “a cute, quaint area.”

“I’m never scared to go down there,” she said.

This idea of comfort is not lost to anyone — just taking a stroll downtown is enough to see that many students feel the same. Groups of Summer School kids interact with the local shopkeepers, buying keepsakes and trying the renowned ice cream. Students who live in different cities around the world seem to come to the same conclusion that this little town is very calm and quiet compared to where they live, making it a nice escape. 

PEA Summer gives a lot of freedom to the students attending, which for some is a strange new reality. Nirvana Khan is here from Dallas Texas, where she attends a boarding school similar to PEA. She claims her school is much more gated than PEA.

“[Hockaday] is not as open and free,” she said.

The freedom here at PEA may be odd for many, but it’s welcomed all the more. Going downtown or taking a 15 minute walk to get Las Olas, a nearby Mexican restaurant, is welcome without hesitation. Trust is granted, which only further exemplifies the safety found here at Exeter.

Everyone at the school is eager to share with and befriend one another, which allows for the sense of safety to prevail. Surrounded by other students from all around the world and surrounded by such welcoming staff members makes the transition much less complicated. Kaitlyn Staley is a part of the Access Summer program at PEA.

“You’re never really alone.,” said Kaitlyn, who comes from North Carolina.

Groups of kids can be seen walking from the Academy Building to grab lunch across campus or sitting out on the lawn with portable speakers, singing barely audible songs. The grounds of PEA are always filled with friendly faces, complete strangers feel comfortable enough to greet one another without hesitation. Campus safety can also be seen driving all around campus as a comforting reminder that protection is always present. You might wonder what their protecting everyone from, for danger is not a possibility on anyone’s mind.