This summer, Project Rousseau returned to Geneva and Copenhagen for a two rigorous two-week SAT Boot Camp held at our partner school, the Institut Florimont and Rysensteen Gymnasium. As soon as all students arrived, we went straight to work, coursing through math, reading, and grammar exercises, both as a class and through individually tailored one-on- one tutoring. Our students also learned about the various components of the college application process, including the foundations of a successful personal essay, the basics of financial aid, and the best approaches to the college interview.
Of course, the Boot Camp was not just an opportunity to prepare for the SAT and college applications, but also for our students to broaden their horizons – meet new people and see more of what the world has to offer. Our class included students from the United States, the U.K, Denmark and Switzerland, some of whom were meeting each other for the first time. Because of this diversity of backgrounds and experiences, our students learned a lot from each other and built lasting friendships.
The Boot Camp also included several excursions to some of the major global institutions and attractions based in Geneva and Copenhagen.
At the Palais des Nations, our students learned about the history and the function of the United Nations through a guided tour. Some students even got to spectate at an international moot court competition taking place in Geneva, which was particularly exciting for those interested in the legal profession. Our students also had the opportunity to tour the Red Cross and visit CERN, which was a favorite among them. They learned about the history of CERN and the storied accomplishments and discoveries made at the organization’s facilities over the past several decades. The students were taken aback by the sheer size of the Large Hadron Collider, buried underground with a 27-kilometer circumference. For one student, who reported that she had long forgotten her interest in physics, this experience was certainly a welcome reminder.
Meanwhile in Copenhagen, when not in class, the group had the opportunity to experience the city by taking a canal tour, exploring the David Collection, walking around famous Nyhavn, visiting the modern art museum Louisiana, and riding the Demon at the amusement park Tívoli. The students also enjoyed several great conversations about the differences between Denmark and the US. Discussions included taxes, welfare, immigration, voice levels, the Law of Jante, and hygge.
By the end of the Boot Camp, our students walked away with not only significant increases in their SAT scores, but cherished memories and experiences that they will surely value for years to come. And for that we owe our thanks to the host families who welcomed our students into their homes, as well as the staff at the Institut Florimont and Rysensteen, who could not have been more gracious and accommodating.