How to Select a Summer Program
You can reach the 2012 Summer Programs List from our Intranet page.
Like choosing a college, deciding on a summer program depends on your interests and talents. A musician may want to hone her skills at a music-oriented program. An athlete might jump at the chance to attend a sports camp. Or you may want to try something completely new. It's up to you.
One popular summer experience is living and learning on a college campus. Some programs even offer students the opportunity to earn college credit. Why would you spend your summer vacation studying? To get a taste of college and learn about a topic that interests you.
Some students make the mistake of choosing summer programs based on what might look good on a college application.
A resume of exciting adventure used only to look good for the college application is seen as exactly that. The college admission folks will tell you that they want to see what makes the student the person he or she is. That means choosing summer activities based on your interests, not on what you think might impress an admission officer you haven't met at a college you haven't decided on yet.
Of course, you can have a fun and productive summer without participating in a formal program. You might want to volunteer for a cause that's important to you, find a summer job, "shadow" an adult working in a career that interests you, or travel on your own or with your family. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination and resources.
You can even find a need in your own community and to make a plan to meet that need. For example, if you like music, you can borrow instruments from a local music store, get permission to use a school building, and provide transportation for local underprivileged kids to learn about music for a week.
Counting the costs
Some summer programs are relatively affordable, but others may be pricey. Some offer financial aid for international students, many do not. It's a good idea to talk with your parents about what you can afford. If a 3-month trip abroad is too much for the family budget, look into shorter programs or opportunities closer to home. Shorter programs also give you the chance to get a job for part of the summer, which could help pay for the program.
Whatever you choose to do, don't forget to leave some time to relax and spend with friends and family. Have a great summer!