Tag Archives: summer academic programs

5 Important Questions to Ask When You Plan Your Summer

Summer activities are a crucial part of the college evaluation process. Colleges want to see what high school students do with their long breaks and free time. Outside of the more-confined, structured school year, the activities you choose to pursue over the summer demonstrate what you value. In this Insight guide, our counselor will walk you through how to plan for your summer.

 

What Should High School Students Do Over the Summer?

The options and opportunities are limitless, and your summer plans may not be the same as your friends. In fact, it’s better if your plans are different – you are more likely to stand out! Whether taking a class online or working on a research project, you should focus on the skills that you need or want to build on. The five questions below will help to guide you through the process of narrowing down your potential summer activities so that you can create the best summer plan for yourself.

 

1. Do I need an academic boost?

The past two years have been challenging for many high school students. The summer can be a great opportunity to re-take a class that you didn’t pass. Unlike during the school year, you can focus on just one or two subjects over the summer. Not only do you have more time to study, but you will also have more energy to evaluate what study habits work for you (and what doesn’t). Before you take this route, be sure to talk to your guidance counselor to see if your school allows you to retake classes for a grade. Even if the answer is no, you could take a class without credit to demonstrate to colleges that you did whatever you could to understand the material and improve your knowledge in that subject.

 

Beyond a GPA bump, summer classes can also help you to explore a subject that you are interested in but know little about. Other local high schools or community colleges can be convenient places to start. However, many four-year universities now offer summer programs for high school students to experience life as a student on their campuses too. These classes are taught by real college professors, and you will sometimes get to live in actual dorms! Some of these programs are very competitive though, and may require an application, complete with letters of recommendation and essays to write. Thus, when in doubt, start researching and planning early!

 

2. Will SAT or ACT scores help me to stand out?

While many colleges are still test-optional, you should explore if your SAT or ACT scores can add positive value to your college applications. Over the summer break, you have time to assess whether you should take the ACT or the SAT, create a study plan with your counselor, sign up for one-on-one tutoring, or join a test preparation class to help you manage your time. Once decisions are made, you can sign up for an upcoming test and a backup test from there, only to be taken when you are fully ready. Studying for them over the summer keeps your brain active and gets you ready for school in the fall. It may also allow you to stay one step ahead of your peers. And remember, even if some colleges will not be reviewing your SAT or ACT scores, thousands of other schools will!

Read more: List of Test Optional Colleges 2022 and Beyond

 

3. What interests me?

Beyond the classroom, what do you do for fun? Give this real thought and then do something that’s meaningful to YOU. If research programs or internships sound interesting to you, figure out the requirements and start your applications early! The application process can be very similar to a mini college admissions process involving a personal statement, supplemental essays, activity lists, letters of recommendation, and interviews. You can also start your own project or your own business. You can volunteer at an organization whose goals match your own. You could even learn a new skill in your own backyard. Sky’s the limit!

 

Whatever your plans are, be sure to schedule some family time, as well as time to hang out with your friends. As you get older and prepare to head off to college, you will find that these opportunities begin to pass by quickly.

Need summer acitivity ideas: Top 6 Summer Activities for High School Students

 

4. What will it cost me?

One crucial consideration when you make your summer plans is the price. Some summer programs are free or low-cost, while others may not be. Some programs last for eight weeks, while others are two-week adventures. Their start and end dates also may not align with your high school’s. Your schedule and goals combine with cost to make committing to a summer program an important decision. If you are planning to save up for college, it may be a great idea to secure a job over the summer. Getting a job will be a valuable experience as you put together a resume and practice for interviews. Your work history can demonstrate your accountability and initiative. If you work for a company with multiple locations, you might even be able to continue that job elsewhere when you head off to college. Seriously, it happens!

 

Having said that, unpaid opportunities can be incredibly rewarding as well. If you are an aspiring medical student and you have the chance to shadow your doctor or work in a hospital setting as a volunteer, that valuable experience can go a long way.

 

5. How much time can I devote?

At Insight Education, our students typically engage in a mix of activities over the summer. Some may devote part of their summer to studying for the ACT or the SAT, and another part to volunteering and work. Others may join an intensive summer research program and spend time with friends and family on vacation. The key is BALANCE. Don’t pack your summer with six or seven different activities to impress college admissions officers. Prioritize what is important to you. Colleges value students who know how to juggle their schedules and focus on the things that matter most to them. It’s a sign of maturity.

Read more: Don’t Seek Summer Internships Just To Impress Admissions Officers

Ultimately, you want to build a summer experience that is both fun and meaningful. With so many options out there, it can be confusing. We are here to help! If you need guidance to figure out what will result in the most productive summer for you, schedule a 1-hour personalized planning session with an Insight counselor today.

 

We can’t wait to meet you!

Zach and Team Insight

 


Written by Zach Pava

This article is written by Insight Senior Counselor Zach Pava.

Zach has guided hundreds of students throughout the college admissions process. His extensive writing background includes essay contributions online and in print, a sports blog, screenplays, and film reviews. Contact Insight Education today to schedule an initial consultation with Zach. Read his full bio here.

Summer Opportunities Fair with Insight Education: Internships, Research Programs, Volunteering & more!

Calling all Students!

Are you deciding what to do with your Summer 2022? 

Do you have questions on how to apply to some of the top internships and programs? 

Looking to get hands-on experience in a field of interest? 

Want to explore program options outside of just summertime? 

 

Join Insight Education on Saturday, November 6th, 2021 for the Summer Opportunities Fair! 

Time – 12:00pm – 4:00pm (note – it is open house style. You can arrive at anytime between 12-4pm!)

Date – Saturday, November 6, 2021

Location – Outdoor in the Garden behind Insight Education HQ

1601 South De Anza Blvd, Suite 108 (First floor) Cupertino, CA 95014

 

Meet program admissions teams and learn what you need to know about their programs and how to apply.

Featuring:

ACME Entrepreneur

The ACME Entrepreneur program was founded by Stanford Entrepreneur Aditya Mittal, and hopes to make the world a more entrepreneurial place. ACME believes that a general understanding of entrepreneurship is the path to greater prosperity, high quality living, mankind’s future, solutions and exploration, new products in every sector from energy to healthcare, wealth generation, and greater economic stability.

Global Glimpse

Global Glimpse brings groups of students from a wide variety of high schools together through travel with highly-skilled teachers the summer after their junior year. While abroad, this group of learners explores history, culture, politics, poverty, education, development, and business in a developing country. We challenge students to think critically, collaborate with each other and bring their newfound perspective back to their high schools and communities.

Inspirit AI

Inspirit AI inspires curious high school students globally by exposing them to the defining technology of our times: Artificial Intelligence. AI is already present everywhere: in our voice-activated devices, smartphone face recognition systems, and autonomous vehicles. The potential to apply this technology for good is limitless. This program, developed and taught exclusively by a team of alumni and graduate students from Stanford and MIT, provides guidance on initiating AI projects, pursuing AI ventures, and preparing for college.

Lumiere Research Scholar Program

The Lumiere Research Scholar Program is a selective research program for top high school students. As a Lumiere scholar, students work 1-1 with top researchers from universities like Harvard, Stanford, and Oxford. Founded by a Rhodes Scholar and Harvard College classmates, the program guides students in the creation of an independent, 20-page research paper over the course of 10 weeks. 

Our City Forest

Our City Forest (OCF) is an urban forestry non-profit located in the heart of San Jose. OCF’s mission is to create a green and healthy Silicon Valley by engaging community members in the appreciation, protection, growth, and maintenance of our urban forest. Volunteer opportunities range from helping out at the Community Nursery and Training Center with various tree and shrub-care activities, to joining at the new Education Center at Martial Cottle Park to help expand the arboretum. OCF also hosts community tree planting events in which volunteers can help plant trees at various locations throughout Santa Clara County! These events are typically held on Saturdays. 

PilotCity

PilotCity runs programs where students “build projects to win internships” with our employers – serving as an engine for innovation in cities with the people from there. Students enrolled in the program explore employer projects, choose a project, and then are guided through a series of unlockable activities & deliverables to complete to then auto-apply, interview & win offers for internships. Upon hire, interns further advance their project, assigned tasks, and the objective of the employers.

Pioneer Academics 

The Pioneer Research Program is a virtual research institute for outstanding high school students worldwide. It offers STEM, social sciences, and humanities disciplines. Widely respected for its high standards in admissions selectivity and academic rigor, it is the only US online college credit-bearing research program for high school students. In Pioneer’s rigorous academic system, students work one-on-one with university professors in advanced study and research of a topic of their interest, culminating in a full-length research paper.

Polygence

Polygence is an online research academy connecting high achieving students with expert mentors to pursue personalized research projects and publish research papers. Polygence offers project-based research mentorship in academic disciplines across STEM, the humanities, social sciences, and fine arts. Polygence students submit their projects to high school science fairs, research journals, and conferences with guidance from expert mentors. Mentors hold PhDs, MDs, JDs, MAs, and MFAs in a variety of disciplines from neuroscience and computer science to fashion design and architecture.

Rosetta Institute of Biomedical Research

Rosetta Institute provides advanced classes for high achieving high school and middle school students interested in pursuing a career in medicine or related fields, such as biomedical research, drug development, pharmacy, or nursing. They offer a variety of workshops related to molecular medicine – Molecular Biology, Medicinal Chemistry, Medical Bioinformatics, Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Covid-19: Biology/Immunity/Medicine, Cancer Research, Immunology Research, and Biomedical Research – that are taught by PhD-level instructors with years of research and teaching experience. 

Summer Springboard

Summer Springboard offers pre-college programs at Yale, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Georgetown, Boston, and UC San Diego. Students explore academic courses in Medicine, Engineering, Computer Science, Business, and Law while experiencing life on a college campus. They also offer online programs in the following fields: Emergency Medicine, Business & Entrepreneurship, Engineering, Computer Science, Psychology & Neuroscience, and Trial Law.

 

Make sure you RSVP below for your free tickets for the whole family! Everyone is welcome to attend. The event will be capped once we hit capacity. 

 

Please note, Insight Education has no financial relationship with any of the organizations who are vendors at the Summer opportunities fair, nor were the vendors asked to compensate Insight for the space provided. Insight Education and all vendors are committed to equal opportunities for students applying to their programs.

 

See you at the Fair!

Team Insight

Beyond College Admissions: Why Extracurricular and Summer Activities Matter?

Community service, student internship, and summer research – these days, high school students are trying to pack too many extracurriculars in their resumes, hoping to impress the admissions office. It’s common knowledge that other than a strong GPA and standardized test scores, colleges are looking for students who have devoted time in the fields of their interests. In this article, we will explore what other benefits students gain through their extracurricular and summer activities experience.

 

Time-Management Skill

Ask your parents or any adult and they will share the importance of time management. The ability to prioritize, focus, and balance your time is key to a less stressful and more productive life. College admissions officers know this, too! That’s why they want to see how you use your free time through extracurricular and summer activities. Once you’re in college, you’d be expected to juggle classes, activities, and social commitments. It’s good to get a head start now and learn how to manage your time and balance your life.

 

Community Service

It is more than just a graduation requirement or a checkmark in your college applications. Community service gives you the opportunity to give back and help those in need. At Insight, we encourage our students to think about how their skillsets can better the world around them. Whether it is tutoring kids or planting trees, volunteer work can expand your worldview. You may even find a cause that you wish to study further during college. Plus, it feels good to help others and give back!

 

Read more: Don’t Seek Summer Internships Just to Impress Admissions Officers 

 

Leadership Experience

Many extracurricular and summer activities offer the chance for you to take ownership of a project (or a piece of a project). Keep in mind that you don’t need the title to be a leader. Even if you aren’t the team captain or the club president, you can still be a leader. Leadership can be seeing a project from start to finish or guiding your teammates through a rough time. Building up leadership skills is important, not only in your college admissions but also in your career path.

 

Networking

Extracurricular activities and summer programs are excellent for expanding your network beyond school and family. You can meet students who share the same interest or adults who can mentor you. The friendships you build through these activities can help you throughout your life. Other than letters of recommendation, you may know just who to call for an internship or career advice.

Read more: The Value of Networking

 

Career Exploration

By exploring different activities, you may discover a few fields or potential career paths. Knowing your likes and dislikes can help you narrow down your majors and your college list. Beyond college admissions, these opportunities offer you an early insight into what the potential job entails and what skillsets you will need to excel in those fields.

 

Concluding Thoughts

While extracurricular and summer activities take time and effort to plan and participate in, there are so many benefits to getting involved. If you are not sure what you should do, we’re here to help! Schedule a 1-hour college planning session with our counselors today!

Want to explore summer and extracurricular activities options? Join us on November 6, 2021 for Insight’s Summer Opportunities Fair! Grab your free tickets here.

Summer Internship, Research, Academic Programs – Which Suits YOU?

Summer Internship, Research, Academic Programs – Which Suits YOU?

Planning your summer activities? You might have heard of summer internships, research projects, or academic programs for high school students. In this webinar, Insight Senior College Admissions Counselors Zach Pava and Meilin Obinata will share their insights on the difference between these programs and how you can pick one that best suits you!

**Note: In light of the College Board’s recent announcement, our counselors have allocated time in this event to address any arising concerns regarding SAT subject tests and the essay.

Date: January 23, 2021

Time: 10:00am – 11:00am (Pacific)

Location: Online via Zoom

Please note: due to the high demand of this webinar, we recommend you reserve your spot early.

 

What we will cover

  • Do you need summer projects and programs?
  • How to use summer programs to build your high school resume?
  • What are the criteria for picking your summer programs?