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Student Life

Participants will stay in the same dormitories used by Stanford undergraduates during the normal school year – please note that these residences do not have air conditioning. Each room has a bed and a desk.  Below are lists of items to bring and not to bring to the Summer Institutes.

What to Bring

  • Clothing for temperatures ranging from 50 to 90 degrees F (15 to 35 degrees C)
  • A cell phone or calling card Bathing suit, sunscreen, and beach towel for field trips
  • Spending money for extra activities and shopping
  • All personal beauty, health, and toiletry items
  • A desk lamp, small portable fan (residences do not have air conditioning), alarm clock, hair dryer, and shower shoes are recommended. (These items may be purchased at the Stanford Bookstore.)
  • If desired, personal academic supplies (Summer Institutes will provide paper and all course materials)
  • If desired, a laptop computer or tablet
  • If desired, musical instruments, books, board games, personal sports equipment If desired, an MP3 player or other portable music device and headphones
  • If desired, a USB drive or other device for saving computer files
  • If desired, any special equipment or materials needed for participation in the Talent Show, such as dance shoes, musical instruments, sheet music, juggling pins, etc.

What Not To Bring

  • NO weapons of any kind, including knives, firearms, paintball guns, laser pointers, and other dangerous items
  • NO alcohol, tobacco products, or any unauthorized drugs or medications – violators of this policy will be subject to immediate dismissal
  • NO flammable materials, including candles, incense, matches, lighters, fireworks, or explosive devices NO handheld electronic games, software for computer games, or televisions
  • NO personal transportation, including cars, bicycles, skates, or skateboards
  • NO pets of any kind
  • NO cooking or kitchen appliances, such as refrigerators, microwave or toaster ovens, or hot plates
  • NO valuable personal items (the Summer Institutes take no responsibility for lost or stolen items)
  • Laundry supplies are not necessary, as free laundry facilities and detergent are provided.
  • Sheets, blankets, and bath towels are not necessary, because bedding and towels are provided as part of a weekly cleaning service.

Please visit the Schedule page in the Student Life section for information on the daily routines and the range of activities that students participate in while at the Summer Institutes.

Students will be supervised by Summer Institutes Residential Counselors and Instructors. Please see the Residential Staff and Instructors pages in the Student Life section for information.

Please visit the Dining page in the Student Life section for information on the housing provided for Summer Institutes participants.

Please visit the Dining page in the Student Life section for information on the dining services at the Summer Institutes.

Yes, upon admission into the program, participants will be asked to provide health information and may provide information regarding any other specific needs. The Summer Institutes administrative staff will work with participants to plan necessary accommodations.

The Summer Institutes staff strives to maintain a safe environment for all participants. Palo Alto Medical Foundation Pediatric Urgent Care and the Stanford Medical Center are in close proximity to the Summer Institutes' residences, and residential staff members—supported by a team of registered nurses—are trained to facilitate treatment for the full range of medical and health needs of the students in the program.

The Summer Institutes provides transportation from the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) for participants on designated arrival and departure days only. Participants flying into San Francisco who are taking advantage of transportation provided by Summer Institutes must arrive and depart on the designated days for the session they are attending. The Summer Institutes is not able to provide transportation for participants if they arrive on other days.

Participants who are admitted to the program will be given detailed information regarding the procedure for airport transportation. Participants using the airport shuttle service will provide their flight information to the Summer Institutes, and Summer Institutes staff members will receive participants at the airport and accompany them back to Stanford University.  The Summer Institutes also provides transportation to take participants to the San Francisco International Airport on the day of departure. The use of airport shuttle service on Arrival and Departure days is included in Summer Institutes tuition.

No. The Summer Institutes is a full-time program and participants are expected to engage fully in all course and program activities for the duration of the session. Participants are required to arrive on the first day of the program and depart on the last day; late arrivals and early departures are not permitted.

Due to Stanford University policy, participants under 18 may not use certain facilities if they are not accompanied by an adult. However, supervised use of Stanford University facilities (such as athletic facilities or libraries) will be organized as part of the Summer Institutes program activities.

The average class size is 15 students, with some classes as large as 40 students and as small as 10 students. In addition to the Instructor, each course will be staffed with Residential Counselors who serve as Teaching Assistants for the academic portion of the program. On average, the ratio of instructional staff to students is 1 to 5.

Upon receiving an admissions offer, participants will receive the Summer Institutes Rules for Participants. Students are expected to abide by the Rules for Participants, as well as the Summer Institutes’ Code of Conduct, or they may be dismissed from the program.

All mail during the program can be sent to:

Participant Name
Name of Residence and Cluster
C/O Stanford Pre-Collegiate Summer Institutes
High School Program
220 Panama Street
Stanford, CA 94305

Important: Be sure to include the participant name and name of residence and cluster in all mail. Note that campus mail often takes longer than expected to reach its destination as it is first delivered to the Summer Institutes main office to be sorted. There is no Saturday or Sunday mail delivery.

The Summer Institutes is not responsible for undelivered mail.  We highly recommend that valuables (monetary or sentimental) are not sent via mail to participants while they attend the program.

Summer Institutes instructional and residential staff are extremely busy during the program. Therefore, we ask that parents and guardians communicate directly with participants. In early Fall, participants will receive an evaluation from their instructor detailing their performance in the course.

If participants have any concerns during the program, we encourage them to speak to their head counselor directly so that a solution can be found as quickly as possible.

The Summer Institutes hires a special team of Activities Coordinators for the sole purpose of running and organizing activities for participants during their afternoon activities period (Monday-Friday in the afternoons) and other downtime. Popular activities in the past have included various sports, trips to Stanford shopping center or downtown Palo Alto, chess and other board game tournaments, karaoke, and arts and crafts.  Our Activities Coordinators typically organize a scavenger hunt, a dance, a carnival, Dorm Olympics, and a talent show during each session.

The weekends are a mix of unstructured downtime and planned activities. Participants can use the unstructured time to relax, bond with new friends, and explore the campus. Participants can also be signed out of their residence by an approved visitor during this time. Planned activities may include talent shows, dances, carnivals, etc.

Each weekend participants will spend one day (typically Saturdays) on a field trip to a local attraction. In past years, trip destinations have included to museums in San Francisco, a beach near Santa Cruz, and an aquarium in Monterey. Participants must be present at any planned activities.

Summer Institutes participants are housed by course, with one, two, or three courses with similar subject matter and age ranges, are typically placed into a residence. 

The Summer Institutes do not accommodate roommate requests.  In fact, to further enrich our participants' experiences, we purposefully pair participants from different geographical areas in the same room. The program occupies residences all over campus, so it is very possible that with a participant's program schedule, coursework, and location on campus, interaction with their friend or sibling will be very limited.