By Cassidy Shi, Summer Times Staff Writer

Time is relentless — it has already been four weeks at Exeter. Everything went by in a blink of an eye and it is almost time to say goodbye. Only yesterday, it seemed, students left their families to take on a journey of life in the dormitory. But like a comet flying past, it’s already time to say ciao, adios, farewell.

Many students have already established feelings for the school. “After living here for a month, I felt like being at home,” said Halee You. “Because I encounter the same thing every day I wake up, I got used to living under the same condition repeatedly for a month. I am going to miss the friends in my dorm, where we spent a lot of time together, we played video games and went on trips, it was really fun.”

Allen Feng added, “People here are very nice. I made a lot of friends, people from places all around the world. I also enjoy the food the canteen serves, it has a diverse serving. I would want to come here again for next year’s summer!”

Students here are surprised at the level of professionalism presented at PEA. The facility and staff here are incredible. Wade Jiang is a fan. “Phillips Exeter Summer program is a good place. The dining hall is great, the teachers are excellent and responsible. I get to meet people from all around the world, learning about other cultures and their ways of life. I wish I could come next year but I need to study and prepare for university and upcoming exams. It was nice living in a dormitory environment, it is a very unique experience for me and will be useful for my future university life.”

Eren Erenel is satisfied. “The teacher here is very professional, which creates an impeccable learning space for students,” Eren said.

It is incredible to see students from all around the world coming together onto the campus of Phillips Exeter Academy and enjoying the unique learning style of Harkness on every one of their chosen courses. We’re experiencing an innovative way of learning that involves extensive communication, collaboration and thinking. It is something very different from what students have back in their native schools.

Wade shared his experience. “The Harkness method is something very interesting and beneficial for me,” he said. “Compared to our school, I see more communication on a student-to-student basis.”

Andy Fang is also interested. “Harkness made me realize that there is so much more than just learning,” he said. “I felt that my school would be a much better place if they adapted the Harkness method as well. In my school, we have a lot of homework. And during class, it’s mostly us studying with our head down on the paper, there is barely any interactions at all.”

Alex Yang was surprised. “The Harkness method has taught me a lot. It represented the importance of communication and interaction between students.”

Some of us just can’t bear the idea of leaving. “I wish the last week could go by slower,” said Christopher Sheppard, a staff member at PEA who was happy to share his thoughts. “It was a lot of fun hanging out with students here at Phillips Exeter Academy. It was a truly unique experience.”

Alexandra Hoyt commented, “I am going to miss school a lot. I made a lot of close friends over the weeks, hang out with them has been fun for me. I missed the experience we had while in Water Country; it was an exciting day, except I got sunburned a little bit.” 

The dining hall was a very powerful memory — students here seem to be in love with the dishes.

Food is much on Francesco Donato’s mind. “The dining hall here is great, he said. “I will miss the food here when I go back to Italy. I loved the ice-cream machine they have. I hope it opens more frequently throughout the week. I made a lot of friends here at Exeter. it’s nice hanging out with them on activities and trips.”

Kaleb Yang was hungry as well. “The food here is astonishing,” Kaleb said. “The dining hall is filled with exclusive dishes around the world. I especially enjoyed the food festival — I get to taste a variety of cultures. I wish I can make the most out of the last week here.”

The ending of the 2019 Exeter Summer truly brought tears from many. Studying together, bonding with each other –friendships are made, and relationships created. It is a life-changing experience. Although the month went by quickly, the memories will last an eternity.