Current Blue Lake Campers
Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp students may apply for the International Exchange Program during their time at camp. There is no obligation to participate when applying. More than 2,500 campers apply each season for approximately 200 student positions. Invitations are offered based on a student’s personal interview at camp, their written application, counselor and faculty evaluations, as well as their audition ranking from the summer camp ensemble. Only those interested in the International Youth Symphony Orchestra must perform an additional audition.
Limited positions are available for those who are not affiliated as Blue Lake campers. Openings are based on instrumentation needs. The acceptance process includes an application, interview, recommendation letters, and an audition. For more information on openings, contact the Blue Lake International office.
Artistic ability, maturity, manners, and character play an important role in a student’s acceptance. Members of the International Program not only perform at a high level of artistic proficiency, but also serve as goodwill ambassadors for Blue Lake, the United States, and their own communities and families. Students enrolled in the International Exchange Program are expected to demonstrate a high standard of maturity and discipline, as well as an eagerness to travel to new countries, regions, and cultures.
The Enrollment Process
Enrollment in the International Exchange Program is by invitation only. An invitation, contract, and supplemental materials are sent from the administration office once a student has been accepted. Invitations include detailed information regarding tuition, dates, payments, and refunds, as well as an extensive explanation of the International Program’s behavioral expectations for the student. Families are given two to three weeks to read the materials, discuss the opportunity, and call with questions before the contract is due. The signed contract materials, along with a deposit, must be received by the International office in order to ensure enrollment.
Tuition for the International Program consists of a non-refundable deposit plus monthly payments through June 1st of the of the year in which the student travels. Some limited scholarships are available for key artistic positions, as well as for those who enroll early. An additional discount is available if tuition is paid in full at the time of enrollment. Tuition includes: Lodging, meals, and supervision while at camp, artistic instruction and group preparation, travel expenses (bus and air fair), as well as limited fees for some group activities while traveling. Families are responsible for travel to and from Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp for rehearsal and homecoming commitments, required uniform items, personal passport fees, and spending money.
Many students who travel with the Blue Lake International Exchange Program have substantial portions of their tuition covered by their own fundraising efforts. Family, friends, local businesses, school booster organizations, and service organizations understand the value of such an exchange program for students and are often willing to help if asked. Students who choose to write personal letters to these people are encouraged to submit contact information to the Blue Lake International Office. The International Office will send a letter on the student’s behalf to reaffirm the student’s participation and to stress the value of our International Exchange Program. In recent years, students have become very creative in grass roots style fundraising. Beyond the typical bake sale and pop can drive, students have utilized social media, performed in fundraising play-a-thons, recitals, craft sales, and partnerships with local restaurants for sales proceeds. Creativity is the key!