I am often asked if a pre-college summer program abroad or an internship will improve an applicant’s chances of admission.
On the surface, the answer is obvious. Sure! Any opportunity to learn, to explore, and to meet new and different people is worth doing and sharing. However, if you love your summer sleep-away camp and you are going to have an opportunity to engage in a leadership position, you don’t have to go build houses in Costa Rica or take art classes in Florence. If you have already arranged for a summer job that will earn you money and give you experience in the world of work, there is no reason to borrow thousands of dollars to spend your summer traveling in Australia. On the other hand, if you are itching to experience college life on a short-term scale, learn a new language in an immersion program or study a completely different culture abroad, the summers after sophomore and junior years are the perfect times to do so.
Many colleges and universities sponsor excellent academic programs, like:
- the Medill-Northwestern Journalism Institute, an intensive, five-week program also known as the “cherub” program for rising high school seniors who are aspiring journalists
- The Pre-College Drama Program at Carnegie Mellon University, a six-week program aims to prepare students between the ages of 16 and 18 for college auditions
- The Young Women’s Institute, a two-week program is held at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University Bloomington for female high school juniors interested in a business career
- Engineering Innovation at Johns Hopkins University, a four-week program designed to help students develop skills to think like an engineer.
This is the time of year to look into your options! It’s never too soon to plan.