Summer is coming and you’re looking forward to a break from school, but how will you fill the time? Hanging out with old friends or playing video games in Mom and Dad’s basement may sound like fun, but spending your time like this isn’t going to help your academic career. If you’re looking for summer break ideas that will benefit you in the long run while still providing experiences worth remembering, here are a few great options.
Students from high school to graduate school can benefit from a semester of study abroad. For high school students, taking summer classes abroad can help them make an impression on college applications and other post-high school programs. If you’re a college student, international study can help build your résumé and show future employers that you’re curious, independent and culturally adaptive. Studying abroad is the perfect blend of travel and education, no matter where you are in life. By taking classes in another country, you can enjoy all the fun and personal benefits of a travel adventure while taking a giant leap forward in your academics. All students will need the same travel documents as any U.S. citizen, including a specialized health insurance policy, such as graduate student health insurance; so if studying abroad is in your future, start organizing those documents as soon as possible.
Get a Job
Granted, working over the summer may not sound like the most fun a person could ever have, but it beats hanging out alone while all your friends are off doing something fun and/or important. Spending the summer in the workforce will help you build a résumé and save money for the upcoming semester. Think of it this way: The more you earn during the summer, the less you’ll have to work while you’re in school. Working is also a great way to make new friends and solidify connections that may be important in the future, especially if you can get a job in your chosen career field.
Make Campus Visits
If you’re a high school student, summer is a great time to make college campus visits. Remember, college isn’t like high school; classes, research, internships and other activities are conducted year-round at the college level, and visiting during the summer will give you a chance to explore parts of the school that might be too busy once fall classes resume. Touring campuses will give you and your family a chance to bond and make memories together before you move off to college. You’ll all feel more secure about the move if you’ve actually spent time on the campus you choose to attend.
Whether it’s a mission trip overseas or filling shelves at the local food bank, spending your summer serving others is an opportunity for personal growth and awareness. And yes, volunteerism also looks great on your résumé or college application. If you have the desire to help others and want to spend your summer making a difference in the world, volunteerism may be for you.
Summer used to mean sleeping in late and watching all the cartoons you could possibly fit into a day, but you’re a bit more ambitious now than when you were eight years old. Doing something of value doesn’t mean you have to give up having fun. Whether you spend the summer traveling, working, volunteering or visiting campuses you’ll fill the weeks with new experiences and new people that will help you become a more mature, well-rounded adult. And that’s much more fun than mastering a video ninja move!