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Residential Life

Out of Class

While Vanderbilt Summer Academy is academically focused, recreational programming offers organized activities for social-emotional balance within your day. In addition to free time, you’ll have numerous opportunities to choose from a number of pre-arranged activities to fill your afternoons, evenings, and Session II and III weekends. Typically, events range from casual get-togethers to structured events both on and off-campus.

After Class Exploration (ACE)

Once the course has ended for the day, students participate in an After Class Exploration (ACE) activity, which typically provides an artistic or athletic opportunity. ACE offerings for each session vary and students will take part in a different ACE each week of their session. Often creative or physical in nature, these classes are designed to engage you in a new experience and provide different opportunities than your academic class at VSA. Students will sign up for ACE once they have arrived on campus for their session. ACE take place for about an hour each academic day.

Free Time

After a structured day, VSA students have about an hour of free time before dinner. This is a great chance to meet up with friends, get in a workout, or enjoy some quiet time on the patio. New to VSA? Hoping to meet new friends? Don’t worry! Our residential staff are present during free time and host low-key, drop-in activities for anyone looking to join a casual group craft time or a board game. You will be free to step in and out of activities that appeal to your interests.

Evening and Weekend Options

Each of our VSA sessions has a slightly different blend of evening activities depending on the age of the students and length of stay. Sessions I and II feature a more structured blend of post-dinner options, while Session III offers more flexibility and independence. Regardless of session or grade level, VSA strives to offer a variety of low, medium, and high energy activities so that each student may select the activity that best matches their interest and curiosity. Session II and III students have the additional benefit of VSA weekends. During this time, additional on-campus events and off-campus outings are arranged — from theme dances to VSA carnivals to to scavenger hunts and movies, weekend nights on campus are engaging and fun. Off campus events also add to the weekend fun as experiences are designed with a particular eye toward exploring the rich diversity and culture of Music City. All outings and activities are included in the tuition cost. Students may wish to bring spending money to purchase souvenirs/snacks.

Winding Down Each Day

After a full day of class and events, students have time to wind down each night with a stretch of free time. This hour is designed to allow you the chance to catch up with floormates, have one last conversation on your floor’s common area, and begin preparing for bedtime. You’ll also check-in with your proctor group during this time for proctor group bonding, daily reflection, and important reminders for the days ahead.