UMF expands Summer Experience program to help new students be more successful at college

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FARMINGTON – How can students be better prepared, and more successful with their college experience? The University of Maine at Farmington has seen the success of its popular Summer Experience program in past years and is offering an expanded selection of sessions this summer for first-year students enrolled for the fall semester at UMF.

The three-day, two-night campus stays are a blend of fun and hands-on experiences designed to give students a first-hand look at living and learning at UMF.

“We’re excited about this new format for Summer Experience this year that offers students more flexibility,” said Jonathan Hayes, assistant director of Admissions. “Multiple three-day sessions were created to help students take advantage of the opportunity to experience a slice of life at college without disrupting their summer employment or other obligations.”

During their stay at Farmington, students will live in a campus residence hall where they will get a realistic feel for college residential living. A helpful team of student mentors, many of whom went through the same program just prior to their first year at UMF, will be on hand to provide program guidance, answer any questions and make students feel right at home.

“When I went to UMF’s Summer Experience just before my first year on campus I never realized what an advantage it would it be for me,” said Ali Banks-Mitchell, student mentor and leader of this year’s program from Stow, Mass. “I participated in my first study group with students like me who ended up being a great support group and where I found my best friends.”

“I also had a chance to speak with my advisor and get off to a great start in the fall. I think back to all that I’ve done here at UMF and I don’t think I would have done as much as I have if it wasn’t for summer experience showing me that anything is possible here at UMF,” she said.

As they explore the Farmington campus, students will have the opportunity to make friends, meet with their advisor or other faculty members and learn more about any academic programs or extra-curricular activities they are interested in.

In addition, students can select between five different experiential learning opportunities, including: studying fish migration on the Sandy River; exploring nature-based mindfulness techniques; taking forest measurements to understand carbon storage; discovering the connections between environmental sounds and music; and learning about the sustainable tourism options in Franklin County.

Each section is led by a UMF faculty member, from a wide range of disciplines, from biology to music, in collaboration with upper-class student mentors who assist incoming students with the transition to college life.

Students will also enjoy an assortment of social activities on campus and in the nearby town of Farmington. Mainely Outdoors, UMF’s signature outdoor recreation program, will offer students a taste of outdoor adventure with mountain biking and hiking of local trails.

UMF Summer Experience sessions are available June 20-22, June 25-27, July 11-13 and July 16-18. Attendance is limited to 35 students per session. The program cost is $50 and includes housing, meals and all activities. Some scholarships are available. To register, visit

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