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Getting Here

By Car

If you arrive by car, you’ll be required to exchange a government-issued ID (e.g., driver’s license) for a visitor’s pass at the gate. Follow the signs to the Residence Hall for check-in. Students driving themselves will be required to leave their keys with a member of the SMSC staff. Keys will be returned at the end of the program. Students park for free in the Residence Hall lot during their stay. The address for your GPS is 1500 Remount Road, Front Royal, Virginia, however, your GPS may not take you directly to our main entrance, so make sure to review the directions below.


From the North:

  • Take I-495 (Washington Beltway) to I-66, then follow I-66West.
  • Take the Front Royal/Linden exit (Exit 13).
  • At the stop light, make a left; go under the overpass (route 66) and at the next stop light make a right onto Route 55.
  • Follow Route 55 for 5.5 miles until you get to the intersection of Routes 55 and 522.  Make a left onto Route 522.
  • The entrance to SMSC is 1.9 miles ahead on the left side of the road.  The sign out front reads Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.
  • Enter Gate #2 (the Main Gate) and follow the signs for check-in.

From the South or East

Take I-66East to Exit 13 and follow the directions as outlined above.

By Air

Students traveling by airplane should plan to arrive at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD). Send your flight information in advance and we will make arrangements to transport you from IAD to the SMSC campus.


Because of the busy, compact schedule of our high school programs, students are not permitted to have visitors during the course, and may not leave campus at any time except in the event of an emergency or to seek medical treatment.

Housing on Campus

Students will stay on campus in our Residence Hall. Bedrooms are double-occupancy and have their own bathroom (shower, sink, toilet), with two students of the same gender assigned to a room. The residence halls are accessible by SMSC key card, and a front desk is monitored by trained residence life staff.

Each bedroom is furnished with:

  • Two extra-long twin beds
  • Two desks
  • Two chairs
  • Closets
  • A phone that receives outside calls
  • Free wireless internet and ethernet connections

Residence hall amenities include:

  • Linens: Linens, pillows, washcloths, and towels are provided.
  • Laundry facilities: Four free washers and dryers are available for use.
  • Public computers: Two desktop computers and a printer are available in the multipurpose room inside the Residence Hall lobby.

See a list of what to bring


Students will be provided three meals a day in our Dining Commons. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served in the Dining Commons, which serves options for vegetarians, vegans, and those with special dietary needs.