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December 2004 Visits (& News)

on December 10, 2004 in College Visits

everestIt’s not too early to start thinking about the variety of summer opportunities available to you. Take some time to plan your summer to include work, study, family time, travel, and/or community service, but be sure to add that important ingredient…time to relax.

We have highlighted a few options here and continue to meet with program directors and speak with parents, and students who have participated in many exciting programs and internships. The cost of participating will vary widely. Many internships, but not all, are actual paying jobs, but you will also be spending money on workday incidentals like lunch, parking, and maybe a few new wardrobe items. Similarly, many study programs will require a participation fee, but many also offer scholarships. Out of state volunteer opportunities will involve travel and lodging expenses, and even local opportunities might involve spending for parking, lunch and wardrobe. But remember: the purpose of participating in the right program is not to earn summer spending money, it’s to help you prepare for your future, and there are few better ways to do this than getting hands-on experience. Tips on how to select a summer program can be found on the National Association for College Admission Counseling website.

For an opportunity that combines travel, learning, and service, consider the Pacific Village Institute. With offices in Seattle, Pacific Village is a nonprofit educational organization that provides innovative cultural immersion and community service programs in Asia for students age 16 to 20 during the summer and for fall and spring semesters. Many other travel learning programs offer exposure to everything from arts and architecture in the South of France to internships in business in England. Another exciting program is the Oxbridge Program which involves study with wonderful teachers and students in Cambridge, Paris or Oxford.

For those who want to stay in the Seattle area, start contacting companies locally regarding internship or job shadowing possibilities this summer. Many large and small companies offer these opportunities to students over the summer, but it pays to start early. Consider contacting large companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Boeing, Costco, Seattle NPR affiliate KUOW, the UW Medical Center, and large law firms, among many other places, about their opportunities for students over the summer and throughout the year. Many offer training which will help you determine if this is a field of study you might want to pursue in college. Many smaller companies offer less formal programs. It pays to do your homework first — take time to read about local companies in your field of interest on the web before contacting them.

If you want to volunteer locally, log onto VolunteerMatch and explore the variety of opportunities including food drives, tutoring, computer programming or animal care.

Landmark Volunteers gives you a chance to volunteer in many parts of the country based on your particular interests. Opportunities include working at Tanglewood in Massachusetts to ranches and National Parks. A tax-deductible contribution is the fee for the program. You can also apply for outdoor volunteer opportunities directly with the National Park Service. Worldwide opportunities abound with the leader in wilderness education, the National Outdoor Leadership School offering programs in EMT certification, kayaking, sailing, rock climbing and more.

For those who are interested in government internships, one particularly exciting opportunity is The Washington Workshops, where students can attend seminars or are placed in internships based on their particular interests. Opportunities include internships on committees, at think tanks as well as Capitol Hill alternatives. The sooner the better on this opportunity, as you will need to write an essay and get two teacher recommendations and the earlier you are accepted the more time they will have to find you a spot that matches your particular interests.

Are you interested in film or photography? The Maine Photographic Workshops in Rockport, Maine has provided serious photographers, filmmakers and visual artists with basic and advanced career training for 29 years and offers a special program for high school students in the summer.

If you are looking at more urban opportunities in the arts, consider The Tisch School of the Arts summer program in New York City. Summer is a wonderful time to explore creative writing programs, including the Fir Acres Program (photo to right) at Lewis and Clark in Portland.

Students interested in debate should consider the World Debate Institute at the University of Vermont, and those with an interest in international relations might consider the summer program for high school students at Georgetown University.

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