Expand Your Mind (EYM):

For Rising 8th – 12th Grade Students

A Unique Experience on a College Campus


Expand Your Mind brings together talented students from across the Twin Cities, the nation, and the world for intensive learning and discovery during two 2-week summer sessions. Located on the beautiful campus of Macalester College, EYM challenges students academically while developing leadership skills, instilling self-confidence, and fostering lifelong friendships among like-minded peers.

Summer 2020 Program Dates:

  • Session A:  June 15 – 26 (M – F) – Canceled due to COVID-19
  • Session B: July 6 – 17 (M – F) – Canceled due to COVID-19

Program Hours: 

9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Program Location: 

Macalester College

Program Highlights:

  • Students take one class per session, allowing deep exploration into a specific topic of interest
  • Meaningful exposure to a college campus that empowers students to get a glimpse of their own post-secondary journey
  • Over 30 unique course offerings designed specifically for motivated learners
  • Exceptional, inspiring teachers
  • Small class sizes (each limited to 16 students) to ensure individual attention
  • Rec Time, a long-standing midday tradition designed to allow students to try new things and to socialize with a diverse group of peers from around the world
  • Commuter and residential options

EYM At-A-Glance:

  • Format: Academic summer program with residency option
  • Ages: Students entering grades 8-12 in the fall
  • Cost:
    • Commuter: $795
    • Resident: $2,000
    • International Resident: $2,500
    • Financial aid available
  • Application Date: MITY is no longer accepting applications for summer 2020
  • Application Fee: None (non-refundable deposit required with application)

MITY students are able to get a meaningful glimpse of post-secondary life while studying on Macalester College’s beautiful campus.  They learn in modern classrooms, laboratories and studios, bask in the sun on the commons and experience the power of a liberal arts education as a force for positive change.  Macalester attracts learners from around the world and MITY students enjoy the warm, accepting climate that such diversity brings.

Students who choose to reside on campus during the sessions live in a dorm, experience the excitement of having a roommate and eat together in the dining hall.  The 53 acre urban campus is small, safe and attractive. Students gather in the common areas and often walk together to classes. The MITY Office is located near the Student Center.

The winding, tree-lined streets of Macalester’s immediate neighborhood have earned it the nickname “Tangletown,” and it is one of St. Paul’s most popular neighborhoods.  Unique shops and restaurants, along with plentiful biking and walking paths, make it a fun place to explore!

Fun Facts About Macalester College:

  1. Macalester was founded in 1874 with core beliefs in internationalism, multiculturalism, and service to society.  Today, its student body represents 97 countries and all 50 of the United States, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

  2. Notable alumni include Kofi Annan ’61 (Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1997 to 2006), Danai Gurira ’01 (actress and playwright), Esther Torii Suzuki ’46 (first Japanese-American student at Macalester; her admittance freed her from a WWII-era internment camp), and Walter Mondale ’50 (42nd Vice President of the United States). 

  3. A few times a week, you might find Kevin, Leo, or Bubba—Mac’s therapy dogs—around campus for students, staff, and faculty to play with and pet.

MITY’s residential program gives students the opportunity to experience living away from home on a well-respected, safe college campus. Students live together, two students to a room, in Bigelow Hall on the campus of Macalester College. Carefully selected and trained Dorm Supervisors live on each floor with the students and accompany them on all residential program activities. These activities include things such as movie nights, counselor group activities, field trips to museums and theater/sport complexes, and exploration of the local neighborhood. Evening activities also include MITY traditions such as the Talent Show, Dance Off, and “Shar-odds” (a.k.a. Charades) competition.

Residential tuition includes all instructional costs, field trips, supervised dorm rooms, meals, entrance fees and transportation for weekend and evening activities, and a MITY t-shirt.

The Rec Program is designed to allow MITY-fine students the chance to get into a different “activity gear” with others in their class and in other classes.  It gives students the opportunity to try out new things in a safe and supportive environment, build teamwork and leadership skills, and develop new friendships.  Students are free to embrace their true selves, take risks, and experience the true joy of the MITY community. Students call this the “MITY-fine attitude!”

Each day, from 12:30 – 1:30 PM, students choose one or two of the many Rec activities that range from beading to ultimate frisbee to chess.  There are also special events on several days, including a student talent show! Mr. Rec, the mastermind behind Rec Time, visits classes each morning to talk about the day’s activities and challenges. 95% of students report that Rec Time is very important to them

Students will learn much more about the Rec program on the first day of their session(s), but here is a sampling of what you can expect to experience:

  • Class vs. class challenges in soccer, ultimate frisbee, urban bocce ball, and Shar-oddz (a.k.a. charades)
  • The joys (and challenges) of hula hooping and/or “double dutch jump rope”
  • Tournament Time featuring chess and Trivial Pursuit (separate tournaments)
  • The MITY Geo (-graphy) Bee
  • Duct Tape Stuff Clinics
  • Swimming and basketball in the Macalester Leonard Center
  • The Wacky Track Meet (which is very, very wacky according to some…)
  • Student-led fencing clinic
  • Decorative beaded jewelry making with Karen
  • Ping pong at the Leonard Center’s ‘Kofi Annan’ ping pong table
  • Yoga
  • Student All-Stars vs. MITY Staffers in urban bocce
  • And much, much more!


MITY seeks applicants who demonstrate both academic talent and a passion for learning.  Students must be entering grades 8 – 12 in the fall of 2020 to be considered for admission.  All requested materials (application, transcript, teacher recommendation and student essay) are considered.  Students who attended EYM or ExplorSchool last summer only need to submit an application and updated transcript.

Application Process:

  1.  Apply Online. Remember to apply early as classes fill quickly.
  2. Upload Required Materials
    1.  Current Transcript / Grades (All Students)
    2.  Short Student Essay: Write a 200-word essay about yourself, why you want to attend MITY and why you want to take the class that you selected. (New Students Only)
    3.  Teacher Recommendation: Send this link to your teacher. They should submit the completed recommendation directly to MITY. (New Students Only)
    4. Upload and Send: Upload and send required materials to mity@macalester.edu
  3.  Pay deposit or submit financial aid form. (see section below)
  4.  Acceptance Email from MITY.  Once MITY receives the deposit and all materials, you will receive an official confirmation email.  Please allow two weeks for MITY to review your completed application.
  5. Complete Health Form. All students must have a completed health form on file one week prior to the start of the session or they will not be allowed to attend class.
  6. Tuition balance due May 15.  Families will receive a statement in the mail in late April.

Minnesota Institute for Talented Youth does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, gender, sexual orientation, disability, national or ethnic origin in administration of its education policies, admission policies, or financial aid program. 

Expand Your Mind 2020 Tuition Rates:

  • $795 per session for Commuter
  • $2,000 per session for Residential
  • $2,500 per session for International

Tuition Includes:

  • Commuter Tuition:
    Includes all instructional costs, field trips and a MITY t-shirt.  It does not include lunch. MITY does not offer transportation to campus, but will send out information to families interested in carpooling.  The Macalester Campus is conveniently located on Snelling Avenue in St. Paul.
  • Residential Tuition:
    Includes all instructional costs, field trips, supervised dorm rooms, meals, entrance fees and transportation for weekend and evening activities, and a MITY t-shirt.  Students live together, two students to a room, in Bigelow Hall on the campus of Macalester College. Carefully selected and trained dorm supervisors live on each floor with the students and accompany them on all program activities.
  • International Tuition:
    includes all instructional costs, field trips, supervised dorm rooms, meals, transportation to and from MSP International Airport, entrance fees and transportation for weekend and evening activities, and a MITY t-shirt.  Students live together, two students to a room, in Bigelow Hall on the campus of Macalester College. Carefully selected and trained dorm supervisors live on each floor with the students and accompany them on all program activities.

Methods of Payment

  1. Check payable to MITY. Please write the student’s name on the memo line.  Send the check to our address below.
  2. Pay by credit card using PayPal. You do not need to have a PayPal account.  Select the correct item(s) using the drop down menu.  NOTE: To add multiple items, select “Continue Shopping” before checking out. Please enter the student’s name in the space provided.

    EYM tuition
    Please enter student’s name.

  3. If wiring money from a foreign bank, please contact us at 651-696-6591.

Cancellation Policy

All applications must include a deposit of $300 ($500 for residential) or a completed financial aid application. One hundred dollars of the deposit is non-refundable. After March 31, the full deposit of $300 ($500 for residential) is non-refundable. The balance is due by May 15. After June 1, there is no refund of tuition.

Financial Aid

There is limited financial aid available for students applying to MITY’s programs. There are two ways to apply for financial aid:

  1. For Minnesota residents who qualify for free or reduced lunch: You are eligible to apply for the Summer Academic Enrichment Grant offered by the MN Department of Higher Education.  You will need to complete the Summer Academic Enrichment Grant Form
  2. You will also need to include a copy of the free/reduced lunch qualifying letter you received from the student’s school in the fall.
    If you do not qualify for free or reduced lunch: You can apply for financial aid through the MITY giving program.  Complete the financial aid form and return it to the MITY office along with the first page of your most recent federal tax statement.

Director’s Welcome

MITY welcomes students from all over the world each summer.  International students have an opportunity to engage with students from throughout the United States and other countries. You will discover academic challenges, experience life on a college campus, improve your English language skills, and immerse yourself in American culture.

MITY offers a residential program for students who are currently in grades 9 – 11.  Expand Your Mind (EYM) is a two-week program that begins on a Monday and ends on the following Friday.  We have two sessions, Session A: June 15 – June 26 and Session B: July 6 – July 17. International students should arrive on the Saturday before the session begins between noon – 5:00 p.m. or on the Sunday before between 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (Central Standard Time).  The session ends on Friday and students leaving on an international flight should plan on departing between 4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

International students enrich our program and often make life-long friendships with other students.  We hope to welcome you to the United States and to MITY!

Please contact me if you have any questions. Below are some details to help make your arrival smooth and your stay memorable.

Erica Brewinski
MITY Executive Director


(651) 696-6591


Students will live in a campus dorm in double rooms. Roommates are assigned according to roommate information sent with the acceptance packets. We do our best to pair international students with students from the United States.


International students have the same application process as US students.  Transcripts and teacher recommendations should be translated into English.  If there are any concerns about our process, please contact Erica Brewinski, MITY Director, at 651-696-6591.


Students will need proof of health insurance; this is part of our Health Form. For students traveling with a chaperone, please include a copy of a letter giving the chaperone permission to make health decisions for the student.


If you have any concerns about a student’s English language skills, please contact Erica Brewinski, MITY Director, at 651-696-6591 or ebrewins@macalester.edu


MITY takes place at Macalester College, one of a handful of selective liberal arts colleges located in a metropolitan area. The Twin Cities—Minneapolis and St. Paul—are home to 3.5 million people and countless opportunities. The tree-lined boulevard in front of campus is a favorite pathway to the Mississippi River, about a mile from campus, and a quick way to access everything in downtown St. Paul.  Students and their chaperones can explore the community using public transportation, on foot and by bike. Minneapolis and St. Paul are known as two of the best biking cities in the United States, and there are two Nice-Bike stations (rentable bicycles) very close to the campus. There are two major bus stops as well.  Macalester is located on Grand Avenue, which is home to an abundance of restaurants, stores and coffee shops. The campus is conveniently located a short distance from the Minneapolis/St. Paul International (MSP) Airport.


Students receive three meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner). The meals at Café Mac are healthy and delicious, offering many choices for Macalester’s own international community.  Café Mac has been committed to “food service for a sustainable future” for decades so you will always find something wonderful to eat!


Residential students are carefully supervised by specially trained and selected resident interns who look after their safety and well-being and coordinate and lead all activities.  International students who come as a school group must have at least one chaperone accompanying them on their flight. The MITY staff will help with accommodations for the chaperone if needed.  Chaperones are given a bus pass and are encouraged to explore the Twin Cities while the students are in classes. Chaperones are welcome to join the evening fieldtrip events. Please contact Erica Brewinski at 651-696-6591 or ebrewins@macalester.edu for details about the cost for chaperones.


A MITY staff member will meet you at the MSP airport and make arrangements for transportation to and from the campus.


Tuition for international students is $2,500 for the two weeks. This includes tuition, room and meals, evening and weekend events, and transportation to and from the airport.  Students should bring their own spending money. One of the evening trips is to the Mall of America. Tuition can be paid via a wire transfer or credit card.


Because MITY does not award credit for their courses, students need to enter the United States on a visitor status instead of F-1 student status. For citizens of countries requiring a visa, students should obtain a B-2 visa. Students should submit a copy of their visa and passport with their health information. For students traveling alone, it might be wise to have a letter from MITY stating the reason for the student’s visit (summer camp) in case there are any questions going through customs.  Please contact Erica Brewinski at 651-696-6591 or ebrewins@macalester.edu if you need a letter.

What do students do for lunch?

Lunch is not provided.  Students should either pack a lunch or bring money to buy food at the campus grill (a la carte) or in the cafeteria (about $10.00).  

Is transportation available?

There are two public transportation bus stops at Macalester.  Families who are interested in carpooling are given a list of other interested families so that they can arrange ridesharing. 

What does “grade level” refer to on the application form?

The grade the student will be entering into in the fall.

Do students receive letter grades or credit?

MITY does not offer high school credit for our classes; however, several students have requested credit from their high schools for completion of a MITY course. Students complete 60 class hours and receive a final evaluation. With that information and the overview of the course curriculum, every student who has requested credit from their home high school has received either the credit or advanced placement in their schools. Teachers and administrators in Minnesota schools value the quality of the education that our students receive.

Should all the application components be sent together?

All the application components do not need to be sent together; however, we will not review your application until all the materials and deposit are received.

What are the admissions criteria?

Applications are reviewed once all the materials have been read. There is no specific test score or GPA requirement. We are looking for students who perform well in school and are excited about learning.

How long does it take to receive a decision on my application?

MITY accepts students on a rolling basis, so once we receive all the information we will make a decision and notify families via email. If we do not have all of the necessary materials after 3 or 4 weeks, we will notify families in order to complete the process.

How many students are in each class?

Classes with one teacher have a maximum of 16 students. In some instances, a class will have two teachers and up to 24 students.

Are students free to leave campus?

The EYM programs runs from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. After the first day, students should report directly to their classroom at 9:00 AM and are expected to be picked up immediately after the program concludes at 4:00 PM. If your schedule requires your student to arrive early or depart late, we recommend that they wait in the Student Center. Please note that after hours commuter students are not supervised by staff. Between classes, students have lunch and have the opportunity to participate in several activities. During this time, students are expected to remain on campus or within one block of the campus where several coffee shops and restaurants are located.

Can you accommodate students with food allergies or other special needs?

Yes, students will be asked to provide health information and details on specific needs. MITY staff will work with families to plan the necessary accommodations.

What if a child gets sick or injured during the program?

The MITY staff strive to maintain a safe environment for all participants. If a student becomes sick or injured, parents will be contacted immediately. In an emergency, students may be taken to either Aspen Clinic at Ford Parkway or the Children’s Hospital at United in St. Paul.

Can parents visit a resident student on campus during the program?

For security reasons, nobody, not even family members, are allowed to enter the dorm once students have checked in. Resident students have a very busy schedule and we ask that families call, text, or email their student instead of visiting.

Can a resident student visit relatives or family friends in the Minneapolis area during the program?

Resident students are often very busy with evening and weekend activities. There are 5-6 dorm supervisors who accompany students and arrange the activities, many of which take place off-campus. If a student needs to leave the resident program for any reason, they will need to check out in the MITY Office between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM Monday – Friday and return during those hours only. Therefore, if a student needs to be gone on Saturday, they will need to leave before 5:00 PM on Friday and not return until 8:00 AM on Monday. These guidelines are in place to ensure that our dorm supervisors can focus on the students who are there and not on someone who is leaving or returning.

Carpool Information:
Families who indicated an interest in carpooling on the application form will receive a contact list of students in May. Families can then contact one another to arrange carpools.
Code of Conduct:
All admitted students must read and agree to abide by the MITY Code of Conduct during their time in the program. You will be asked to sign an acknowledgement of this code on the health form.
Daily Schedule:
  • Class: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • Lunch: 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM
  • Rec Time: 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM
  • Class: 1:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Drop-off & Pick-up:
You will receive a campus map in early June that identifies the location of the Concert Hall, your student’s specific classroom, parking lots, and areas for drop-off and pick-up.  Parents and Guardians: Please be sure to coordinate a designated pick-up location with your student each day.
Teachers will evaluate each student at the end of the session.  This evaluation will be sent to your home address.
First Day of the Session:
All students will gather in the Concert Hall for a brief Opening Program.  Parents are invited to attend, but are not required to do so. During this time, students will meet the Executive Director and Mr. Rec, receive logistical information, and celebrate the start of the session!  Students will then meet their course instructor, who will accompany them to their classroom. Note: Students should report directly to their classrooms at 9:00 AM for all subsequent days of the program.
Health Form: 
All admitted students must submit a completed health form one week prior to the start of the session or they will not be allowed to attend class.  This form must be updated annually. Your typed name is your signature.
Last Day of the Session:
The program ends at 2:30 PM on the last day. After lunch, families are invited to attend performances, exhibits and the Closing Ceremony. A schedule for this will be sent out once the program is in session.
What to Bring:
Students do not need to bring supplies to class.  Students should bring a snack and lunch or money to buy lunch at the campus grill (a la carte) or in the cafeteria (about $10.00). MITY classrooms are NUT FREE. Please avoid any snacks that contain any form of peanuts or tree nuts.

Ready to Join the MITY Family?

Start your journey of discovery and summer fun today!