During her Summer Experience, a new Farmington student enjoys seeing pictures from back in the day and being a part of a long history of UMFers. UMF Image

FARMINGTON — Starting college can be quite an adjustment for many students. That’s why participating in one of the recent Summer Experience programs at the University of Maine at Farmington offered first-year and new transfer students such a successful introduction to living and learning on campus.

New students who are enrolled for the fall were able to register and select from multiple three-day, two-night sessions this summer where they could stay in a campus residence hall to get a realistic feel for college residential living.

The program just finished welcoming more than 60 first-year students to their soon-to-be home away from home at Farmington.

Learning at UMF isn’t one size fits all or limited to the classroom. An important part of the program was the experiential learning component, where students could explore topics of personal interest, such as Sustainable Tourism; Music of the Environment; American Mythologies; Reviving Temple Stream; and Literature, Computers, and Artificial Intelligence.

“Experiential learning is all about learning by doing and then reflecting on that experience,” said Linda Beck, UMF associate dean of Experiential and Global Education. “The Summer Experience Program permits students to work closely with faculty in a variety of disciplines to learn through hands-on field experiences.”

“Through the experiential learning sessions, students have an opportunity to learn what highly experiential classes at UMF are like, receive one-on-one mentoring from faculty, and develop a cohort with fellow incoming students,” she said.


Students found the experiences fun and informational. “I’m so happy I came to this program, I can’t wait until the fall,” said one student.

“This is just the first step in many students’ transition to college,” said Connor Fahey, coordinator of UMF orientation and transition programs. ”I love that we can share Summer Experience with them. We get to help students find a sense of belonging. For a few days, they can live the college life with a security net under them so by the time they come here in the fall, they are more confident and better prepared for life at UMF.”

Students also had the opportunity to make new friends and get to know the community. Some of the other experiences included a spooky tour of Farmington, Mantor Escape Room, Tubing on the Sandy River, Narrow Gauge Dollar Movie Night, swimming at the Fitness & Recreation Center, Farmington Pizza Challenge, Improv by the Lawn Chair Pirates, and Karaoke.

It was also the chance for them to connect with advisors, Financial aid, disability services, and veterans information, obtain a campus job and take care of any special dietary requirements.

The Summer Experience Program at UMF is a community effort. The three-day events require the coordinated support of Admissions counselors and staff,  nine student mentors, teaching faculty, and faculty advisors.

Behind-the-scenes support also came from offices throughout campus, including Residence Life, Library Services, IT, Conferences and Events, Facilities, Sodexo Dining Services, Mainely Outdoors, and the Fitness & Recreation Center. Many Farmington community businesses were excited to partner with the University and help students feel welcome.

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