Get offline and in-person by spending the perfect summer on the California Coast. Santa Barbara features small-town charm, miles of beaches and the beauty of the surrounding mountains at your fingertips. This stay in place program gives teens a chance to choose their schedule from a wide selection of enriching courses, personal interest and fun recreation.
This is the 14-day version of this high school summer program on the campus of Westmont College. A longer 21-day version is available.
About This Program
What It’s Like
Experience college life with the balance of engaging courses, personal interest activities, free time and social interaction.
Certificate of Completion
Receive a certificate of completion for your courses. Letters of recommendation are also available.
All classes on this program are private to Westcoast Connection.
Courses taught by experienced university-level faculty, instructors, and local professionals.
Stay on-campus in a residence at Westmont College.
Access to the fitness facility, sports fields, basketball, tennis courts and pool.
You’ll enjoy a variety of options catered on campus with 3 meals a day from Monday to Friday and breakfast & dinner on weekends.
Travel by passenger van or school bus around Santa Barbara.
• Pursue your interests with a variety of enriching courses.
• Enjoy sea kayaking and a catamaran adventure.
• Visit Los Angeles: Hollywood, the Kobe Bryant Tribute Mural and Rodeo Drive.
• Wake up to spectacular mountain and ocean views.
• Stay active with Westmont’s athletic & training facilities.
• Meet and make new friends while living on campus.
• Take golf lessons or challenge a friend to a game of tennis.
• Prep for college with a professional workshop.
Westmont College Campus
Enjoy Westmont College’s incredible campus situated in one of the most beautiful beachfront cities in the world surrounded by picturesque mountains.
The Armington residence features individual twin beds, two desks, two closets, shared bathrooms, and Wi-Fi. This convenient campus location is close to everything – the dining hall, fitness center, pool, classrooms, and athletic fields.
Athletic Facilities, Pool, Basketball & Tennis Courts
Stay active with complimentary access to Westmont’s facilities. Enjoy the weight training equipment and cardio machines at the Weight and Fitness Center . Refresh in the pool or break a sweat playing basketball, volleyball, tennis or soccer.
Organized Sports & Games
Our sports coordinator organizes games of all kinds outside of class time. Play a game of ultimate Frisbee, tennis, soccer, football or basketball.
Positive Social Experience
This program is designed to give you a taste of the excitement and independence you will experience in college. Just like in college, you will be part of a large group of students, live in a residence, and have your choice of classes and personal interest activities. And like in college, you will enjoy a warm, family environment within your residence where you enjoy many opportunities to socialize with other students.
This intensive hands-on entrepreneurship program focuses on all facets of business plan development. Learn to assess the competitive entrepreneurial environment, develop a venture concept and growth strategies, create marketing approaches, build a cohesive management team, launch operations and develop financial projections. During the program, participants work as a team to create a business and on the final day, each team presents their business plan and participates in a friendly “shark tank” type competition.
This course provides students with an overview of business for professional sports including finance, marketing and technology. Learn about professional sports entities that make billions of dollars entertaining people around the world. Through lectures, case studies and guest speakers, explore topics such as producing live events, broadcasting rights, athlete marketing, sponsorship, the fan experience, and sports law.
International Business and World MarketsAfternoon
Examine the dynamic world of international business, globalization and how global markets work. You will learn about the international flow of goods and services, trade agreements, investment, foreign currency and regulation. You’ll be introduced to business problems and work on strategies to resolve them in the context of current events, both in the U.S. and abroad.
Social Media MarketingTHIS COURSE IS FULLMorning
This course looks at the channels of marketing, advertising and communication that make up social media platforms, exploring how these tools fit into a company’s integrated marketing strategy. Using real-world examples from large corporations and small businesses, students explore how marketing professionals embrace online social networks, user-generated content and content sharing to create brand awareness. Learn tips and techniques to successfully leverage your own social media marketing.
This interactive course combines an introduction to the framework of the U.S. legal system with an exploration of special topics in law. Through engaging activities and lectures, you will learn about current and practical legal issues, such as your rights and responsibilities when you turn 18, discrimination, immigration, criminal law, and First Amendment rights. We'll also look at career options in the legal field.
Psychology of Human BehaviorTHIS COURSE IS FULLMorning
This course introduces basic concepts in psychology including behavioral, cognitive and clinical psychology. Through the use of discussion, film and in-class activities, explore topics such as how to improve emotional intelligence, limitations in perception, cognitive distortions and how to improve memory. Other topics included are mental illness, stereotyping and prejudice.
Social Justice & Leadership ForumAfternoon
Climate change, bans on religious freedoms, racial injustice, gender-based violence… the list of human rights violations, and social and ecological injustices are seemingly endless in the world around us. Join this forum on social justice and human rights where we will explore a number of topics through a systems thinking lens to examine why and how unequal distributions of rights and freedoms manifest. We will also consider our personal identities, positions and power within these systems challenging our ideas of how to make positive social change in the world in which we live. This forum will involve participant discussion.
Community Service: Santa BarbaraTHIS COURSE IS FULLMorning
Perform meaningful service in the communities in and around Santa Barbara. You will work with the Community and Neighborhood Department of the City of Santa Barbara, concentrating on beautification and historic preservation of neighborhoods. A letter recognizing 16 hours of service is issued after the summer. Westcoast Connection is a Certifying Organization for the President’s Volunteer Service Award.
CookingTHIS COURSE IS FULLMorningAfternoon
From learning basic knife skills to creating succulent dishes, if you are a foodie, this course is for you! Whether you’re creating gourmet entrées, delicious desserts or learning quick dishes to whip up in a dorm room for college, this course is guaranteed to make you salivate. Our expert chef will help you develop technical skills in the kitchen in this hands-on culinary experience, where each class focuses on a different theme.
* A supplementary fee of $195 applies.
Health & FitnessAFTERNOON COURSE IS FULLAfternoon
Focus on your health and fitness as you follow your own independent workout regime or join in with the group. Learn to be active and listen to your body. From running, yoga, HIIT, strength training and more, you’ll complete challenges focused on helping you live a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
SurfingAFTERNOON COURSE IS FULLMorningAfternoon
Want to hang ten and ride the waves like a pro? Head to the beach in Santa Barbara where you learn how to improve balance and technique and perfect your form in no time. All levels of ability are welcome.
* A supplementary fee of $195 applies.
GolfAFTERNOON COURSE IS FULLAfternoon
Improve your golf game. With time split between professional instruction and play you’ll be able to focus on improving your short game, driving, approach shots and putting. You will have access to the driving range and be able to play a round before dinner. Participants must have experience playing on a 18-hole course.
*Each golfer is required to bring their own set of clubs to the program.
* A supplementary fee of $195 applies.
During your stay we’ll have the opportunity to discover the beauty and excitement that Santa Barbara has to offer including:
Adventure There’s a lot to be “wow”ed about in Santa Barbara as adventures await you. Head out sea kayaking, enjoy a catamaran cruise, hang ten in your surf lesson, and cycle by the beach on your 2 or 4-person surrey bike.
Beaches With Butterfly Beach and East Beach so close, you can take a walk along the sand, catch a sunrise, picnic, play volleyball, or just relax. We’ll offer excursions to other popular beaches which may include Hammond's, Hendry's, and Leadbetter. Just to the south, Rincon offers its famous surf and to the north, several state parks boast of their beautiful beaches.
Take a Hike (we mean it!) There are many hiking trails just an easy walk from campus. Cold Springs Trail and Tangerine Falls are accessible above Page Hall. These trails wind into the hills and open up to a breathtaking aerial view of the ocean and Santa Barbara far below. Other trails include Inspiration Point, Nojoqui Falls, and Porter Trail.
State Street There’s plenty to see and experience in downtown. From the beautiful buildings, to the delectable eateries, to the cute shops and boutiques, palm-lined State Street never disappoints. Will you sip smoothies at Blenders or grab a burger at Eureka? Maybe it’s ice cream at McConnell’s? Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find it here.
Hollywood & Highland and Mann’s Chinese Theater, Original Farmer's Market, the Kobe Bryant Tribute Mural, Rodeo Drive.
Workshop 1: Choosing the Right School and College Application Process
Choosing the right college for your academic and personal interests is the first step in the application process. It requires careful research and self-evaluation. This interactive workshop provides you with tools and resources to help you develop a list of criteria integral in choosing appropriate colleges. Explore the basic elements of the college application and learn the ins and outs of the Common Application. Develop your academic/co-curricular profile, learn how to craft a high caliber application and set up your timeline for completion of applications, supplements and essays.
Workshop 2: College Essay Writing
Explore different essay topics and strategies to write a proper admission essay that distinguishes you. As one of the top qualitative measures in the admissions process, your personal essay is an integral part of your application. As a critical aspect of your first impression to an admissions officer, the essay is an opportunity for you to share your stories, adding greater depth and dimension to your application. This workshop includes an overview of fundamental writing skills using real examples of college essays. The focus is on practical tips for writing a great college essay, including finding your voice, brainstorming essay ideas, understanding the prompts, focusing on a theme and the importance of editing and proofreading.
Typical Weekday Schedule
Choose a morning and afternoon course or activity. Your personal schedule and lunch time may vary based on your choices.
Morning & Afternoon Courses
8:00 AMWake Up
10:00 AM - 12:00 PMMorning Course
12:00 PM - 2:00 PMLunch
2:00 PM - 4:00 PMAfternoon Course
4:00 PM - 6:30 PMStudent's Choice (sports, fitness center, exploring, beach, special activities, free time)
6:30 PM - 8:00 PMDinner
8:00 PM - 11:00 PMEvening Activities
Flight to California As a participant on this program, you may fly on our chaperoned flight from the New York area to Los Angeles. Our leaders greet you at the airport and are with you from check-in onward. For the many travelers from outside the New York area, you may fly to Los Angeles or Santa Barbara and be greeted upon arrival and for flights in designated times, enjoy complimentary transfer from the airport to our residence. If you prefer, you may be dropped off directly at our residence and meet your staff there.
Return Flight Home from California For the 14-day program return from Los Angeles or Santa Barbara, for flights in designated times, we provide airport transfer and our leaders help you to check in and remain in the airport until flights have departed. You may also arrange to be picked up at the residence if you prefer.
Food & Meals A big part of your success depends on how well you eat. We are proud of the fact that year after year we are complimented for our quality, quantity, and choice of food! Monday to Friday you will enjoy a variety of options catered on campus (3 meals a day). On weekends breakfast and dinner is included and lunch will be your choice in town or by the beach. Food options are varied and plentiful. The Westmont dining hall features a different menu every night.
We have satisfied the choosiest of eaters and gladly accommodate most special dietary requests including vegetarian, anaphylactic food allergies, lactose intolerance, celiac disease, and kosher style. We welcome discussing your individual requirements with you and have extensive experience in this area.
Laundry You will only need one week’s worth of clothing as outlined in the packing list that will be sent to you prior to departure. We have the opportunity to do laundry at your convenience in our residence hall.
Included in your program tuition is all lodging, breakfast and dinner daily, recreation & entertainment listed, day and weekend excursions, application fee, use of Westmont athletic facilities, Wi-Fi in residence, campus identification fee, courses (supplementary fees may apply for some) airport transfers in designated times, gratuities & taxes.
Not included is transportation to and from the program, lunches Saturday and Sunday, snacks, personal spending money for souvenirs, and laundry. We also make available optional travel insurance that is not included, but highly recommended.
Please contact us with any questions. We are happy to hear from you!