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GRADES 10–12 | COLBY COLLEGE | WATERVILLE, MEProgram Details

Learn how to make the most of your college experience — and start to seize the opportunities your future holds.

Tuition + Admission Details

STUDENT LIFEWhat Does a Day at EXPLO Look Like?

There’s much more to life on a college campus than studying and preparing for your future career. EXPLO mirrors the many opportunities undergraduate students have at their fingertips when they get to college. Learn to navigate your choices and cultivate a wide range of interests that will enrich your undergraduate experience — and your life. Attend academic sessions featuring special guest speakers, participate in student clubs, or head off campus for an unforgettable day trip. You’ll check in at your residence hall by 10:30 PM to relax with your friends and get ready for another day of exploration and adventure.

  • 7:00 AM — Sunrise Electives
  • 8:00 AM — Breakfast
  • 9:15 AM — Concentrations

Concentrations are in session: you may be in labs, studio time, classroom time, or on-site visits, depending on the planned curriculum.

  • 12:00 PM — Lunch
  • 1:30 PM — Concentrations
  • 4:00 PM — Open Time

Open lab and studio time. Join a student club, hop on the shuttle to Main Street or the beach, or check out the gym. Faculty office hours by appointment.

  • 6:00 PM — Dinner
  • 7:00 PM — Community Meeting
  • 7:15 PM — Evening Programming
  • 10:30 PM — Residence Hall Check-in

There’s even more to EXPLO than what happens on the weekdays. Weekends are full of on- and off-campus programming, including brunches, workshops, and unforgettable day trips around Maine. Weekend evenings follow a similar schedule as weekdays, with time to hang out with your friends and extensive on-campus programming options including brunches, workshops, and unexpected adventures.

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ACTIVITIES + EVENTSNew Experiences, Lasting Friendships

There’s a lot more to (student) life than your coursework

At EXPLO, there are delightful happenings all day long and around every corner — from a pickup volleyball match to sunrise yoga and meditation sessions to laid-back open mic nights. Whether you prefer a heated (but friendly) debate with the International Relations Club, trying an improv workshop, meeting up with a guest speaker, or unwinding with a book under a tree – afternoon and evening, you’ll be immersed in a kind of campus life that’s buzzing with activity and connection with others. Activities + Events might include:

  • Dueling Pianos Performance
  • Cooking Competition Series: Bake Off!
  • Current Events Club
  • Staff + Student Improv
  • True Colors (EXPLO LGBTQ+ Alliance)
  • Nightly Film Screenings

WORKSHOPSPersonal Development — With a Professional Twist

From hiring managers to academic administrators, the experts have told us the future will require people who can think across disciplines, collaborate, and come up with creative solutions to complex problems. EXPLO Pre-College + Career program’s diverse offerings of comprehensive Workshops are designed to do just that.

Led by a mix of professionals, practitioners, and our enthusiastic staff, you’ll gain skills and experiences from folks who apply them regularly in their own lives. Insights from these sessions are sure to broaden your perspectives, spark new ideas, and give you a leg up in pursuing your own personal and professional ambitions. In the Workshops, you’ll be out of your seat and, hopefully, out of your comfort zone — where growth really begins.

Workshops may include:

  • Personal Branding + Storytelling
  • The Changing Landscape of American College Admissions
  • Interviewing for College, Internships, and Jobs
  • Ethical Problem Solving
  • Professional Networking 101
  • Preparing for Internships
  • Intercultural Dialogue
  • Human-Centered Design
  • Leadership for the Common Good
  • College Essay Writing
  • Parliamentary Debate
  • Improv for Work and Life
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TRIPSSeriously Fun

At EXPLO, you’ll learn as much outside of the classroom as you do inside of it

It's impossible to fully explore the world of people and ideas if we’re on campus all the time. Pre-College + Career weekend trips might include:

  • Sugarloaf Mountain Activities
  • Schooner Day Sail
  • Colby College Art Museum
  • Blueberry Picking
  • Tubing on the Kennebec River
  • Clambake
  • Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park

Weekend evenings follow a similar schedule as weekdays, with time to hang out with your friends and extensive on-campus programming options.

Our ability to run weekend trips may be impacted by COVID-19 safety protocols. A decision will be made closer to the summer and shared with families prior to the session.

CAMPUS INFORMATIONColby College


Set on 714 acres atop Mayflower Hill in the Kennebec River Valley, Colby College is one of the premier liberal arts colleges in the United States with a storied bicentennial history. Known as a "Little Ivy", Colby is known for its academic and co-curricular opportunities that prepare students for the coming world and is committed to preparing all students for lifelong success by providing extensive internship, research, and global opportunities. The college is top-ranked across several categories by Forbes, Newsweek, and U.S. News & World Report, including liberal arts education, innovation, and undergraduate teaching. Find out more on our Student Life page.

colby college

HEALTH + SAFETYTaking Care of Students is Always Our Top Priority

Keeping students, staff, and the greater community safe is our top priority at EXPLO. We’re working closely with our medical advisors/practices, our longtime health staff, and our host institutions. We’re regularly monitoring information coming from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization, recommendations from the Maine Department of Health, and local regulations. We expect all students, families, and staff to take the EXPLO Health Pledge that acknowledges that individual choice and action will need to be subordinate to the common good of keeping the entire community safe. Visit our COVID FAQ page for more information.

EXPLO’s setup at Colby College offers unmatched campus resources for our explorers. Our Administrators, including the Program Head, live on campus for the duration of the program. This allows for many daily check-ins with faculty and staff, who also have extensive crisis and emergency training. In case of emergency, we not only have a 24/7 Health Center staffed with Registered Nurses, but we also are within close proximity to two hospitals.

Attending a pre-college summer enrichment program helps students prepare for the greater independence of college. That being said, EXPLO does not believe that high school students should be supervised as if they are college students. In order to create an atmosphere that allows learning to be both fun and meaningful, we know that our students (and their loved ones back home) need to feel that our campus is safe — and that our staff is observant and trained to respond to our students’ needs.

Bullying has no place on an EXPLO campus. We have dismissed students who did not live up to our ideals of respect and care; more importantly, we’ve always worked hard to create the kind of communities where bullying would make no sense — whether in classrooms or on playing fields

Our students’ physical and emotional health is a top priority. On the Colby College campus, we have a dedicated health center exclusively for EXPLO students. 

We have an intensive faculty training program at EXPLO. In addition, we support staff members via an extensive supervisory structure to give them professional development feedback and support them I meeting our high standards. We’re regularly told by former staff members that the professional development and supervision they received at EXPLO was the best of their professional lives. While it may be time-consuming and expensive to hire and train this level of staffing — and while none of this completely guarantees the safety of all students — it puts all of us in the best position to keep our students safe and confident that they can let their minds and hearts soar and explore.

We deliberately keep our staff-to-student ratios low. On our Colby College campus, it’s 1:8. This allows us to properly supervise residence halls, trips, and activities. We do this to make sure our students are individually known — and more importantly, that they feel known.

TESTIMONIALSWhat Families Are Saying

Don’t just take our word for it…

on stage

This was by far one of the best decisions I made for my son, for him to explore his independence, decision-making skills, and still have fun.

Nancy H., Parent