The ways that students spend their time over the summers can make them more attractive to colleges. Participating in the right kinds of activities provides evidence that high school students are actively exploring and developing their interests. Even playing video games can be an option, if your student plans to earn a degree in e-sports or displays enough talent to qualify for an e-sports scholarship.

For consideration, here are five ways students can successfully show that they’ve used their summer wisely:

  1. Develop core interests/bolster current activities: There are hundreds of summer programs and internships that satisfy almost every interest, and many of them are being offered online. From theatre and music to STEM and debate, students have plenty of ways to gain valuable experience. Tell us your student’s interests, and we’ll recommend a few programs.
  2. Explore personal interests: Traveling to a foreign country fits into this category, but things are different this year. Other great options include starting a business, mastering a language or an art, participating in research, or joining a community service organization. Want to further explore a personal interest? Our counselors know of a number of opportunities for students–both in-person and online.
  3. Gain firsthand work experience: Working at a job or internship demonstrates commitment, responsibility, and maturity. Plus, internships and jobs can help students choose a career path or discover new strengths or interests.These options can be both in-person or virtual/remote. Remote internships are most common for internet-friendly jobs such as marketing, scientific research, design, tutoring, virtual event planning, service support, writing, and tech.
  4. Acquire new knowledge: Students can take classes in almost any subject: cybersecurity, marine biology, fashion design, entrepreneurship, and thousands more. Websites like edX, Coursera, Udemy and Harvard offer free online courses. Students who want to earn a certificate or want to receive feedback on assignments will have to pay a fee; otherwise, many of these courses are free. Students can also take college classes for credit. Most of these classes will be offered online with a few exceptions. A select number of colleges are still offering residential pre-college programs for high school students this summer where students can get a glimpse of college life by living on campus.
  5. Acquire leadership experience and new skills. Camp offers students a break from school, a chance to be active, and the opportunity to unplug from electronics. At camp, students can explore their interests, learn new skills, and gain leadership experience. A summer job as a camp counselor can be a great way to make money and build valuable job skills, especially for students interested in education, child psychology, speech pathology, social work, or camp director. Numerous camps are still offering the traditional experience this summer.

IMPORTANT ICC TIP: Start planning summer now, especially if your student would like to attend a summer program. Even though many of these programs will be offered online, some of these applications can be as complex as a college application, requiring essays, letters of recommendation, and even test scores, so get started soon.

Connect your student with an ideal summer experience. For any and all help with identifying productive summer plans for high school students and/or the college admissions process, contact the college admissions counselors at International College Counselors. Visit http://internationalcollegecounselors.com or call 1-954-414-9986.

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