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There are many good alternatives to attending summer programs that your child ought to consider. (Recommended reading: How to Get Into Yale and How to Get Into Harvard and How to Get Into Stanford). teenage summer with opportunities that can challenge your child and add texture to their Common App Essay and other college essays. Participants also conference individually with their instructors, take genre-focused mini-workshops, and attend readings from visiting writers. Description: IVHQ—which has placed over 100,000 volunteers abroad since 2007—offers supervised Youth Adventure Packages in India and Romania for 15–17 year olds. Our recommendations are primarily chosen based on the following criteria: they are fairly to extremely selective (with selection being merit-based), often free, and academically or otherwise rigorous. Students take five courses as well as participate in admissions counseling sessions, lab tours, and social events. College credit is available. If you and your child are planning ahead for summer break, you may be looking into summer programs to expand your child’s horizons and hopefully give them a leg up in the college admissions process. Description: An academic enrichment program for outstanding high school students from around the world. Location: Arizona State University, Tempe Phoenix, AZ. However, students seeking an exciting summer experience outside their area, while improving their college applicant profile in the process, are advised to explore the above. Plus, if your child has the opportunity to take a course that’s in line with their existing interests and specializations, this will underscore their commitment to that subject and enhance the profile they are trying to build in their college applications. Participants also attend a one-week summit in Washington, D.C, where they meet with members of Congress and participate in projects and workshops focused on societal engagement. For the bright generalist, however, the number of academics-focused “pre-college programs” set on college campuses has swelled dramatically over the past few decades. Journalism summer programs for high school students. Volunteering can be another great way for your child to spend their summer if (and this should come as no surprise by now) their service reflects their genuine commitment and interest and doesn’t come across as a perfunctory attempt to seem like a good person. Description: Putney Student Travel has been operating for nearly 70 years and has a reputation for carefully planned programs that emphasize “community empowerment, cultural diversity, and environmental sustainability.” Putney Student Travel runs service-oriented trips for high school students to eleven different countries, as well as trips with other focuses, such as language immersion, mountain climbing, and zoology. A good volunteer abroad program should have clear objectives, be well-connected to and invested in the local community, and promote local self-sufficiency. They also frequently incorporate lectures, networking events, and opportunities to socialize with fellow attendees, and can range anywhere from one to eight weeks in length. Remember that many summer programs draw their instructors from their host college’s faculty and may still be academically challenging, even at less selective programs. International Volunteer Headquarters (IVHQ). (Recommended reading: How to Find Internships for High School Students). For example, if your child is active in environmental cleanup activities and hopes to major in marine biology, they might apply to join a trip devoted to coral reef conservation in Mexico. Internship students conduct individual research projects in a university lab under the guidance of a mentor, while practicum students collaborate on group neurobiology research in a structured environment overseen by an instructor. Another positive is that most of these programs accept applications through May … Your child may get the chance to study a subject and/or get hands-on experience beyond what their high school offers. However, if your child has the opportunity to go overseas to work on a cause that they are truly connected to, a service trip abroad may be worthwhile. Around 50 students are accepted each year. Description: NSLI-Y is a study abroad program sponsored by the United States Department of State that offers intensive language instruction in eight less frequently learned languages: Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, Persian, Russian, and Turkish. However, there are some programs that are considered prestigious and are extremely competitive to get into—we’ll go over those a little bit later. Open to all high school students, Ross typically admits fewer than one-third of applicants—around 75 students each year. Open to current sophomores and juniors, 30–40 students are accepted at each site. Description: LBW offers current sophomores and juniors an introduction to business through classes with Wharton professors and visiting business leaders, as well as visits to company offices and team-building exercises. Not only does this type of scenario have the benefit of being free (excluding travel costs, of course), your child might also have the opportunity to volunteer for a longer period of time, maybe even an entire summer, greatly increasing their potential impact. Location: national parks and public lands across the United States. Description: Ross students focus deeply on one subject, number theory, for the entire duration of the program and spend most of their days working on challenging problem sets. Description: GVI runs programs focused on sustainable development and experiential education which are guided by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as well as the goals of local partners. Description: PROMYS is a program for mathematically gifted students which focuses on “the creative side of mathematics.” Open to all high school students over 14 years old, students attend lectures, take advanced seminars, conduct research, and work on problem sets individually or in groups. It’s important to understand that, in many cases, colleges lend their names and campuses to programs run by outside, for-profit companies in order to make money off of otherwise vacant facilities over the summer. Location: Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, Cronkite Summer Journalism Institute (SJI). Sure, you want to give your child a chance to enjoy sunshine, the pool, and popsicles. Location: various college campuses across the United States, Cost: $1,800 (limited financial aid available). The Program at Texas Tech University offers an intensive seven-week summer research to help the high school juniors and seniors have a hands-on practical research experience with outstanding and experienced faculty. Generally speaking, if your child is looking to make community service one of their specialties, we usually recommend sticking close to home where they will have more opportunities to get involved in long-term projects. Description: SSP is an immersive, research-based program that has been running since 1959 and is governed and operated by its own alumni. Highly selective, TASP admits around 5 percent of applicants. Description: Founded in 1932, The Experiment focuses on learning from foreign countries rather than teaching, and emphasizes cultural sensitivity, sustainability, and social responsibility in its programs. Open to rising 8th graders up through graduated seniors, Academy students take classes as well as participate in cultural exploration activities. For many parents of high-achieving children, breaks are difficult beasts to manage. Nevertheless, attending a pre-college program may still be worth your child’s time. What summer programs should a gifted or talented teenager seek out? Your child will be able to meet and befriend like-minded peers. They also gain exposure to the tech industry by connecting with female tech professionals. On top of this, college admissions officers are well aware of the high acceptance rates and price tags of many pre-college programs and, with the exception of the most prestigious programs, won’t necessarily view acceptance into one as a significant achievement. Your child will be able to get a firsthand feel for what college life is like, which may make transitioning to college easier when the time comes. Description: TASP is for current high school juniors “from all kinds of educational backgrounds who demonstrate intellectual curiosity and motivation, rather than prior knowledge of the seminar’s subject matter.” Each session is focused around an academic seminar (sample topic: Feminist Philosophies of Space, Time, and Evolution: Untimely Politics) and prioritizes group discussion, writing, reading, and self-governance. The Iowa Young Writers’ Studio is open to all students who have completed their sophomore year. 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