ACA Burlington @

University of Vermont

Set on the stunning shores of Lake Champlain!

  • Overview
  • Electives
  • Campus Life & Activities
  • Weekend Adventures
  • Boston Ext

Welcome to ACA @ the University of Vermont!

On the shores of Lake Champlain, Burlington is a vibrant and cosmopolitan center and a renowned college town. It has the excitement of a large city while maintaining an intimate atmosphere. Surrounded by great hiking trails and bike paths and filled with quaint shops and restaurants, Burlington is the perfect place for anyone looking for an exciting summer. You can even go sailing, swimming or kayaking on Lake Champlain!  All while enjoying Burlington’s idyllic summer weather!

The University of Vermont represents the very best the Northeast has to offer, excelling in academics, research, recreational facilities and athletic achievement. It is an ideal environment and a picture perfect campus for pre-college students who want a real look at top-caliber college life.

  • America’s #1 college town
    (Travel + Leisure magazine)
  • Stunning Lakeside Destination
  • Enrichment Electives & Activities
  • Athletics
  • Montreal & Stowe Excursions
  • Weekday & Weekend Adventures
  • Upscale Resident Hall
  • 10:1 Student-to-Staff Ratio
campus building

Weekday Schedule

  • 8:30 am - 9:15 am
    Breakfast
  • 9:30 am - 11:00 am
    Elective 1
  • 11:15 am - 12:45 pm
    Elective 2
  • 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
    Lunch
  • 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
    Chill
  • 3:00 pm - 5:30 pm
    Afternoon Activities
    (Choice of Several Options)
  • 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
    Shower, Change, Relax
  • 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
    Dinner
  • 8:30 pm - 11:00 pm
    Evening Activities
    (Choice of Several Options)
  • 11:00 pm - 12:00 am
    Residence Hall (Social Time)
  • 12:00 am
    Goodnight (Individual Suites)

Classes run Monday through Friday.

Safety

 At ACA, we know safety comes first. Our ten-to-one student-to-staff ratio – one of the lowest in the industry – lets us provide each student with unmatched attention and supervision. 

As part of our commitment to student safety, ACA staff members live on student-occupied floors, accompany students on all activities and excursions, and are always equipped with cellphones for emergencies. ACA takes care to use private transportation for our weekday activities and weekend adventure trips – never public transportation. The UVM Medical Center is located a few blocks from our residence and is the largest medical center in Vermont.

Parents will also be reassured to know that Burlington not only ranked as America’s top college town  (Travel + Leisure magazine), but it is also incredibly friendly, inviting and one of the most down-to-earth college towns.

Travel to Burlington*

We recommend that students travel with ACA, via deluxe motorcoach, fully chaperoned for the beautiful drive from the Tri-State NY area.  Our program will offer various pickup points making it convenient and easy for families. 

Of course, parents are also welcome to drive students to the University of Vermont directly. Contact our office for further information on any of these travel options.

*Transportation is not included in tuition.

ACA Electives

ACA’s signature Vermont program offers the kind of personal enrichment electives that build confidence for college while also giving you the chance to grow academically and intellectually. 

The ACA experience gives you a welcome preview of college life, and still delivers plenty of opportunities to enhance your knowledge and pursue your interests. Pursue a new passion, explore your inner creativity, practice a sport. Do it all in an amazing summer setting, surrounded by new friends and without the pressure of grades!

The academic portion of ACA’s Vermont program consists of college-style courses.

ACA classes are graded on a “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory” basis, and all students receive an ACA “Certificate of Achievement” upon successful completion of each course.

Classes are held Monday through Friday, and are taught by distinguished members of the University of Vermont faculty, graduate students, secondary school instructors or Burlington-area professionals. Instructors teach in an interactive, seminar style, creating a supportive environment that encourages you to actively participate in each class.

ACA fills courses on a first-come, first-served basis, so we strongly recommend enrolling in the program early to better ensure the availability of your desired courses.

Elective Options: 

You will be able to choose two of the following options for your stay:

Elective 1 Selection (9:30am - 11:00am):

Photography has evolved more dramatically than any other art form, and digital technology has revolutionized how we take pictures. This hands-on course will introduce you to both the basics of taking great digital pictures and advanced tricks for making them even more creative and compelling. You’ll learn how to crop images, adjust color and contrast, and save your work as a great keepsake of your ACA experience! Whether you hope to shoot fashion models and rock stars, capture images of rare animals in the wild or just want to take good vacation photos, this course is picture perfect! Please note: Some studio time outside of regular class is required, and students must supply their own DSLR cameras or camera phones.

From sports stars selling SUVs to pop singers selling soda, advertising and marketing is a huge part of our culture. Sure, it is essential to business, but it also reflects our society. How do advertisers and marketers determine the best way to influence consumers? What campaigns are the most effective? What new trends is technology creating? If you’re planning on influencing others through advertising, public relations or marketing, understanding these concepts will be essential. Get a head start!

An introduction to the fields of mass communication and group and interpersonal communication. Everyone knows that we live in a fast-paced, information-dependent culture – and we need skilled, entertaining personalities to provide us with what we need to know. Whether it’s serious news served up CNN style or a lighthearted late-night talk show, anchors, hosts and reporters have worked hard to ask compelling questions and create engaging interview styles and stories. You’ll study classic ways to cover a story, interview a celebrity and interact with an audience. In addition we will focus on media including newspapers, magazines, books, radio, television, film and advertising. Stick with it and you could become one of the trusted faces we see on TV every night or the one who goes behind the scenes to get the next big scoop!

Everyday we ponder life, the universe, the global world, and the future. This deep and engaging class will focus on life, your future, and how to live every day to its fullest. Have you ever discussed your own philosophy of life with friends or family? Are you curious about techniques and critical ways of thinking that may win more arguments against your friends? Do you ponder what it means to be truly at peace and happy? Be prepared to open thoughts and begin to look at the world with a different lens as we discuss both complex and simple everyday ideas. Throughout existence people like Aristotle and Plato used philosophy to find a greater appreciation for life.

Learn Spanish at your own pace. Whether you’re fluent or just getting started, these semi-private classes will enable your instructor to gear assignments to your level of proficiency. Other languages are also available for study. Contact ACA directly for more info!

It’s time to throw around a little iron! You might be a varsity athlete looking to gain muscle and build power. Perhaps you want to balance your aerobic activity with some strength training. And maybe you’re just sick of being out of shape! This course will get you in the weight room and give you the tools to really work for peak physical performance. Instruction will build upon safe and proper techniques of strength training and conditioning utilizing a variety of exercises, equipment, facilities, and training skills. Students will depart from this course with a better understanding of strength and conditioning techniques. Don’t be intimidated. It’s for everyone!

Add velocity to your serve. Learn to charge the net with confidence. Unlock the power of your backhand. Or maybe just get a better understanding of the game’s fundamentals. All this is possible when you step on the court with ACA. You’ll play on top-caliber courts and get valuable instruction on how to take your game to the top!

Elective 2 Selection (11:15am - 12:45pm):

If you are eager to indulge your artistic side, this course is ideal. Master foundational skills including value scales, sighting, construction, and still life. View works of art on-campus and use them to inspire your own skills. Pursue painting and watercolor techniques, or try your hand at drawing and sketching. See if you can tap the Picasso within!

These days everything — and everyone — is online. This course explains how social media has not only revolutionized the social fabric, but also how to create a one-of-a-kind social media experience. Explore how individuals and companies  use social media to increase their fame, following and value. Examine the business plans of the major social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Tik Tok. This class will also explore how individuals and companies build successful brands across various platforms and the big question – what makes a post go viral?

Successful CSI requires hands-on training and a step-by-step process in the discovery, preservation, and collection of physical evidence. In this course, you will examine the techniques CSI’s collect and preserve evidence from delicate crime scenes. Learn about crime scene management; diagramming and sketching; photography; fingerprint, bloodstain pattern analysis.  The instructor will create a mock crime scene and you will collect and interpret the evidence.  Prepare to experience what you see on CSI!

Launching your own company isn’t for everyone. Only the most daring, determined types need apply, but if you have what it takes, you’ll be in the same league as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, or Google guys Larry Page and Sergey Brin. If you’re ready to develop your own startup, this course could be your first step on the road to success! You’ll create a business plan, hoping to cash in on your innovation and creativity. Research your market, work up a template to put your plan into action, and let your inner entrepreneur take command.

Everyone knows that a good diet and plenty of exercise are the keys to good health, but what’s going to work best for you? Are you a vegetarian, yogi or a protein-pounding weight lifter? Whatever your well-being interest, this course will help you balance mind, body and spirit, discussing progressive fitness techniques and intelligent approaches to nutrition. Students will also learn stress-management techniques such as meditation, breathing exercises, and yoga to develop a well-rounded approach to mental and physical health focused on the mind and body.

Ready to be a force on the field? Fancy footwork is just the beginning. From building more intricate attack strategies to solidifying your defensive play, your soccer skills are in for a kick. You’ll play on outstanding top-notch collegiate fields with coaches who understand the intricacies of the game and know how to improve the performance of any player.

Calling all Harry Potter fanatics! Explore the genius mind of J. K. Rowling. Get sorted into your Hogwart’s House, choose your pet, discover your wand, and create a Wizarding Passport. You’ll discuss the chronicles and adventures of Harry Potter, and his friends, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley. 

Elective 1 & 2 Selection (9:30am - 12:45pm):

Maybe you want to make your drive come alive. You might be struggling with your short game. This course will help you drop strokes and really get into the swing of things. Focused, individual instruction helps you work through your specific golf challenges, taking you from tee to green with confidence and control!

Take to the waves or head over the wall! Whether you’re up for some sailing, paddle boarding and kayaking or you want to try your rock climbing skills, this course is the perfect fit for any outdoor sports enthusiast.

Burlington is set on the beautiful shores of Lake Champlain. Sailors of all levels will have a blast exploring your new sailboat with a certified instructor. Enjoy this age-old sport, improve your sailing skills, and become a sailor for life! This hands-on course will feature safety, boating rules, sailing terminology, parts of the vessel, proper boat rigging, rope work, knots, boat handling under Sail and powerwind and points of sail tacking, jibing, reefing  and docking. This course will allow you to enjoy the scenery, fresh air, and natural beauty of Burlington.

These intensive course builds the skills you need to improve your college admissions test scores. Offering complete diagnostic evaluations each week, students will get the practice they need to prepare for either of these challenging exams. Intensive classroom instruction will help students prepare for all test sections, which can be the key to decreasing test anxiety, increasing test preparedness and maximizing test performance. The full ACT review includes all books, diagnostic exams and classroom materials.

“Only a life lived in the service to others is worth living.” ACA’s Service Learning course embodies this Albert Einstein quote providing, rewarding opportunities to spend time helping to make SoCal an even better place for its citizens and visitors. Our goal is to encourage our students to realize the power they have to grow as individuals while contributing to an environment of cultural understanding and mutual respect.

Morning and afternoon options are available, earning up to 40 hours of community service! Upon completion, every participant receives a certificate highlighting the total number of hours volunteered and projects completed.

Past ACA Service Partners & Projects Include:

  • Food Pantry
  • Beach Clean Up
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Make-A-Wish Foundation 
  • Support Our Troops

* A supplemental supply or lab fee will apply.

Burlington Life

Burlington combines the energy of a classic college town, the sophistication of a Public Ivy and the friendliness of a loyal local community. It’s also a perfect place for anyone looking for an active summer! It’s surrounded by great hiking trails and bike paths and filled with quaint shops and restaurants. You can even go sailing, swimming, paddle boarding, or kayaking, on Lake Champlain! Professional instruction and equipment rental are always available. Be sure to pack your sense of adventure!

You can count on outstanding accommodations – this is ACA!

With ACA, you stay in style, enjoying the finest residence accommodations of any pre-college summer program. ACA’s residence halls at the University of Vermont, feature deluxe rooms complete with wifi and linen service. You’ll also like the fitness center to enjoy in the afternoons and evenings. Plus, the lounge areas on each floor make it easy and fun to hang out with friends. And rest easy, because the front-desk staff and ACA office is on-site to ensure your safety 24 hours a day.

Excellent Eats

Choices, choices, choices! From home-style meals served at breakfast and lunch and dinner options, ACA’s dining-on-the-town option that allows you enjoy favorite restaurants — no pre-college summer program gives you as many dining options as ACA!

Weekday mornings, our breakfast buffet features freshly-made specials like eggs, pancakes and waffles alongside plenty of fresh fruit, cereal, bagels, yogurt and pastries. You’ll have no problem fueling up for the day!

Lunch and dinner at the on-campus dining facility during the week features a wonderful choice of kitchen-fresh entrees, a selection of side dishes, a soup-and-salad bar, beverage bar, desserts, and fresh-baked breads and pastries.

On weekends and occasional weeknights, you’ll be able to take advantage of ACA’s exclusive Dining-on-the-Town-Plan. It lets you choose great dining-out options at a variety of ACA-selected restaurants – and it’s included in your tuition! 

Whether you want to tackle some local delicacies or stick to hometown favorites, you’re sure to find a restaurant that suits your taste. And don’t worry, we make sure everyone eats just as well during our exciting weekend adventures!

Around Town & Beyond

The UVM campus and the city of Burlington are packed with plenty to do, and you’ll have plenty of time to check out the attractions and activities that interest you most! Participate in a ropes course, explore the shops, sights and scenes in Burlington, enjoy a favorite sport, or just relax lakeside on the beautiful beaches of Lake Champlain.

If your sport is shopping, you’ll find plenty to keep you busy at the Church Street outdoor mall. This energetic square is a popular destination for students, residents and visitors alike, featuring favorite stores like Free People and Urban Outfitters along with plenty of great local boutiques, restaurants, bookstores, coffee shops and more!

 You will have plenty of time to get to know Burlington throughout your stay with ACA! Some exciting activities include kayak, paddle board or sail Lake Champlain, hike a scenic trail, take a bike ride or go on a jog on the Waterfront Bike Path, feel the heat at ACA’s bonfire, enjoy a game of pool or ping pong at the Student Union, putt around at mini-golf, catch a movie, and enjoy the sun and sand at North Beach.

Tour the University of Vermont, home to America’s #1 college town (Travel + Leisure magazine), and this 460 acre campus located in the heart of Burlington was founded in 1791. The mascot for UVM is the Catamount (a panther) and the university is called UVM for Universitas Viridis Montis, Latin for “University of the Green Mountains”.

Burlington and The University of Vermont Segway Style – Enjoy an afternoon on this 2 hour tour of beautiful Burlington that includes stops at the waterfront area continuing uptown to the energetic Church Street Marketplace and conclude with a very special tour of  the UVM campus.

Vermont Teddy Bear Factory tour (if available) – On this entertaining, exciting, clever, and educational tour, we will learn how our beloved Bears are brought to life from start to finish as we see the creative process in action. The tour concludes with a stop at Bear hospital where we will meet Dr. Nancy as she provides progress reports and visits with the many patients that have been sent in for care. 

Burlington Nightlife

  • Catch a cool outdoor cinematic experience at the Sunset Drive-In
  • Visit to Nectar’s, famous for the birthplace of the band PHISH
  • Movie night at The Roxy (private to ACA)
  • A nighttime cruise aboard the Spirit of Ethan Allen III
  • Open Mic nights at Higher Ground Comedy Club
  • Sunset hikes, karaoke nights, bowling, laser tag, mini golf, ultimate Frisbee, bonfires and more exciting nighttime events are all part of your summer with ACA!

Staying in Shape

You’ll have access to the University of Vermont’s state-of-the-art athletic facilities including the fitness center, weight rooms, running tracks, basketball courts, outdoor playing fields, indoor pool, and more.

If you’d prefer some fresh air, the campus is surrounded by scenic running and cycling paths, and Lake Champlain beckons for a kayak trip or leisurely swim.

Recreation

  • Beautiful Beaches: You’ll enjoy the beauty of this gorgeous coastal town. Explore three sandy beaches while sunbathing, playing sand volleyball, viewing stunning sunsets, hiking, water activities and more. You’ll get the refreshing feeling of this fabulous coastal community.  Life’s a BEACH in Burlington! 
  • Water Activities: Kayak and paddle boat rentals are available on the picturesque setting of Lake Champlain. Enjoy the beauty of the lake while participating in many exciting water sports.
  • Petra Cliffs Rock Climbing: Look up at your conquest, and let’s conquer it together with the proper safety features and instruction! Petra Cliffs is one of the Northeast’s top climbing facilities and is an incredible indoor facility designed to appeal to climbers of all levels.
  • Adventure Ropes Course: Located in the beautiful woods adjacent to the UVM campus is an exhilarating ropes course. Gain confidence, learn more about yourself and your mental and physical skills as you embark on this exciting adventure.
  • Centennial Field: The baseball park is one of the oldest minor league baseball parks still in operation in the USA and is home to the Vermont Lake Monsters.
  • Echo Lake Champlain Science Center: This exceptional aquatic center is committed to educating all ages about the ecology of animals, plants and marine life in the basin.

WEEKEND ADVENTURES​

Complete your ACA Vermont experience with exciting weekend adventures.

Montreal (2 & 3 Week Program)

Overnight stay at McGill University, commonly known at the “Harvard of the North”

Old Montreal – Visit the city’s most famous landmark filled with charming cobblestone streets, street performers, local cafes in hidden alleys, and the unique European flare.

Jet Boating – Take a thrilling ride along the Lachine Rapids on the Saint Lawrence River and view the picturesque Montreal skyline. 

The Tam-Tams -This weekly festival complete with music, dancing, food trucks, and a bustling marketplace, where you can buy craft jewelry and vintage clothing. Its name imitates the sound of drums and refers to the drum circles that form the focal points of the gathering.

Aquazilla – Splash and play at Aquazilla’s inflatable floating obstacle course and soak up the sun on the beach in Oka National Park.
 

Sainte-Catherine & Saint-Laurent – Discovery the boutiques, shops, cafes, and street art of these two famous Montreal streets.  

Mount Royal – One of the largest urban parks in Canada featuring a lake, hiking and biking paths, picnic areas, playground, and scenic outlooks. 
 
Atwater Market & Lachine Canal – Walk along the picturesque Lachine Canal and stop by the local farmer’s market on the city’s Old Port  

Ben and Jerry’s Factory Tour (3 Week Program)

Enjoy a tour of the official factory located in the heart of the Green Mountains of Vermont. Taste samples, samples and more samples at the most delicious place on the East Coast!

Mt Mansfield/Stowe (3 Week Program)

A ski resort and village filled with shops, restaurants and a golf course. Take in the most spectacular views on the Gondola Skyride. Pack your sense of adventure for the alpine slides, rock climbing and hiking. Shop and relax at the many shops and cafes at the base of the mountain. 

Ben Jerrys Factory
hiking
Lake

Boston Extension

Add 5 days to your Vermont Adventure

Add to your Vermont experience and visit and tour the top of colleges and universities in the Boston area! (supplemental tuition required)

You’ll remain in the secure company of trusted ACA staff members, as well as many of the friends you’ve made on your ACA program. Of course, you’ll also enjoy the comfortable accommodations and superior guidance you’ve come to expect from ACA. 

Sometimes you just have to see a place to know what it’s like. Nothing could be truer for your future college location. Visiting and touring potential schools is so important to the decision-making process. That’s why ACA shows you the most pristine campuses. 

Along with college tours, you will explore the sights of Boston and see what makes it the nation’s ultimate college town. From American history to pro sports loyalty, Boston is one of America’s most exciting cities. From Newbury Street to Davis Square, the combination of big-city excitement and unbeatable college-town charm has something for everyone.

During your stay in Boston, you will get to visit up to 9 of the following schools:

  • Harvard University
  • Boston University
  • Tufts University
  • Brandeis University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Emerson University
  • Northeastern University
  • Wellesy University
  • Brown University
  • Boston College

Residential stay at one of the listed universities with accommodations including suite style, air conditioned residence halls.

Highlights

Photos

TestimonialS

What Alumni are Saying

“Thanks for everything these past two weeks!! It was such a fun experience!”


Austin B.
New Jersey
“Thank you so much for giving Lissie such an amazing experience. She had a blast and loved the counselors and kids! She misses everyone! Sending special regards to you all!”
Jennifer F.
New York
“Reese had an amazing time at the program and even if it was a summer without Covid, this would have been a great way to spend it. Thank you!”

Aerin T.
New Jersey

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