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Making the Most of Summer Vacation. A guide to a productive summer. Options for Summer. A summer job Career exploration Summer study Community service Travel Language immersion Prep for college admissions/ applications. Summer Employment. Earn money Experience the world of work

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Making the most of summer vacation

Making the Most of Summer Vacation

A guide to a productive summer

Options for summer
Options for Summer

  • A summer job

  • Career exploration

  • Summer study

  • Community service

  • Travel

  • Language immersion

  • Prep for college admissions/ applications

Summer employment
Summer Employment

  • Earn money

  • Experience the world of work

  • Get a first-hand look at a possible career area

  • Gain responsibility

  • Possible recommendation letter from employers

Career exploration
Career Exploration

  • Internships in field of interest

    • Opportunities to learn more through unpaid experiences

    • Students should contact appropriate venues well before summer vacation begins:

      • TV or film production companies

      • Advertising agencies

      • City Hall/ law offices

      • Hospitals/ Drs offices/ Veterinarians

Career exploration1
Career Exploration

  • Research Experiences

    • Field research – Archeological

      dig, environmental studies,

      marine biology, paleontology

Dinosaur Academy, WY

Students at Crow Canyon, CO Newfound Harbor Marine Institute, FL

Making the most of summer vacation

HS Summer Program

Northwestern University, IL


Student at Baylor, TX

HS Summer Science

Research Program

Research Mentorship

Program at UCSB

Some programs offer students a stipend; others charge fees

Check with local theatre companies art schools symphonies and musical groups
Check with local theatrecompanies, art schools, symphonies and musical groups.

  • Apprenticeship Programs

    in the visual and performing arts

La Jolla Playhouse Summer Conservatory

Summer study
Summer Study

  • At local community colleges through dual enrollment programs – often free but high school students have lowest priority in selecting classes

  • Take regular college courses at area universities – these courses are more likely to be accepted for credit by more selective colleges.

Residential summer study
Residential Summer Study

  • Gain a first-hand look at the life of a college student

  • Take one or two introductory-level college classes

  • Get a head start on college credits

  • Learn to manage time and physical needs

  • Live in a residence hall with other high school students supervised by resident advisors chosen to work with this group. Engage in planned activities.

Types of residential programs
Types of Residential Programs

  • College Prep: students take one or two college courses in a program designed for high school students

Northwestern University

College Prep Program

Harvard Secondary

School Program

Cornell Summer College

Specialized programs on college campuses
Specialized Programs on College Campuses

  • Introduction to engineering

Introduction to Engineering Program at

The University of Notre Dame

University of Dayton Women

in Engineering Summer Camp

These programs provide a look at the

different fields of engineering. Most

include lab work, field trips, speakers

Making the most of summer vacation

  • Architecture programs

    - provide insight into careers in architecture

    - students may work on portfolios to supplement their college application

    - visits to work sites, talks by practicing architects, hands-on studio experiences

Architecture Design Camp at

Auburn University

Exploration of Architecture at USC

Mathematics programs
Mathematics programs

  • Allows students to immerse themselves in mathematical study

PROMYS at Boston University

Hampshire College’s Summer Study

In Mathematics Program

What do kids say about spending a summer studying math
What do kids say about spending a summer studying math?

These comments about the Summer institute in Math at the University of Washington: (a free program)

"SIMUW was simply an amazing experience. The program isn't about covering hardcore college topics, but rather about skimming through topics and promoting mathematical thinking. I personally had the best summer of my life. No one who has ever attended SIMUW has regretted it.“

"Without a doubt, SIMUW was one of the most rewarding experience that I have ever had. People may think that math is the only thing that we do at math camp, but it is not true. The counselors organized numerous activities, and I vastly enjoyed my time at the UW. I learned a lot of abstract math that are not taught in high school, and the friendship that forms among the participants and counselors is remarkable. Also, spending 2 months at a university itself is a wonderful experience. The 6 weeks absolutely flew by, and at the end, I wished I didn't have to go home."

Visual and performing arts programs
Visual and Performing Arts Programs

  • Permit intense study in desired area

  • Meet with working artists to learn more about their field

  • Compile an art or design portfolio/audition tape/ student film

  • Gain technical experience not possible in a high school setting

  • Experience specialized educational setting such as an art institute/ conservatory

Making the most of summer vacation




Visual arts

Film & video

Intros to cadet life
Intros to Cadet Life

  • Students considering application to one of the military academies should plan on attending their summer program during the summer after junior year

  • These programs provide a look at life as a military cadet as well as introduction to the subjects emphasized at military academies.

  • Summer Leaders Seminar at West Point; Summer Seminar at the U.S. Naval Academy; Summer Seminar at the Air Force Academy.

Community service options
Community Service Options

  • Work for organizations in your community

    • Homeless shelters/ food programs

    • Parks and recreation

    • Religious organizations

    • Hospitals

    • Habitat for Humanity

    • Schools

Take part in an organized service learning program
Take Part in an Organized Service-Learning Program

  • Opportunities available throughout the U.S. and abroad

  • International programs may involve home-stay experiences, language instruction, cultural exchange

  • Some are free, while others (especially international programs) require a financial commitment.

Community service opportunities
Community Service Opportunities

Landmark Volunteers Student Conservation Association

Making the most of summer vacation

FromFree & Almost Free

Adventures For Teenagers

Service learning abroad
Service-Learning Abroad

Lifeworks International

Visions Service Adventures


  • Organized travel provides a taste of life in other countries

  • Living abroad for an extended period of time enhances the experience

Language immersion programs
Language Immersion Programs

  • Enhance language skills

  • Allow students to experience what life is like in another culture

  • Programs available in U.S. restrict participants to using foreign language only and attempt to recreate life as lived in the country selected

Language immersion programs without leaving the u s
Language Immersion Programs without leaving the U.S.

  • Concordia Language Villages

Spanish FLIP at Oswego

Middlebury-Monterey Language Academy

Language cultural immersion abroad
Language/ Cultural Immersion Abroad

  • Large variety of programs to choose from centered in the country where language is spoken

  • Many programs provide cultural immersion through home-stay experiences with local families in addition to intensive language instruction

  • Programs often include a community service component

Making the most of summer vacation

Brighton Study Abroad

in Costa Rica

Learning Programs

International in


Nova Language Adventure

In France

Search for summer programs at www enrichmentalley com
Search for summer programs at

  • Free searches for Enrichment Programs

  • Over 350 programs listed with more being added daily

  • Many include reviews by former participants, parent, educators

  • The site also includes gap year and school year opportunities

Additional sites to search for summer enrichment programs
Additional sites to search for summer enrichment programs:


    formerly called Science Service – now the Society for Science


    Sloan Career Cornerstone Center – links to science, technology, engineering and math


    - Engineering programs

  • - math programs

Prepare for the college search and application process
Prepare for the College Search and Application Process

  • SAT/ACT Prep

  • Visit College Campuses – either with your family or on a group tour

  • Finalize your college list

  • Download applications / work on Common Application

  • Begin writing essays/ personal statements

Sat act prep

  • Take a group or individual course

  • Books and guides

  • Use online prep:

    • Free:

    • Free:



Visit college campuses
Visit College Campuses

  • Get there for an info session

  • Take the student-led tour

  • Eat lunch/dinner at a dining hall

  • Visit the library

  • Check out the residence halls

  • Speak with current students

  • Sit in on a class

  • Some offer on-campus interviews

Finalize your college list
Finalize Your College List

  • Reaches

  • Probables

  • Safeties

Begin work on applications
Begin Work on Applications

  • Download application from college website

  • Check if your schools are on the common application or the universal application

  • Look for in-state public group applications such as or

Begin working on essays personal statements
Begin Working on Essays/Personal Statements

Brainstormideas, rough draft, review, revise, repeat