Summer Internships, Travel, or Classes?

In general on May 29, 2009 at 10:00 am


Summer is almost here, and you’re probably starting to make decisions (if you haven’t already) about how to spend the warmest months of the year. There are three major things you might do with your time: do an internship, travel, or take classes.

Summer Internships:

Internships allow you to work in the world (usually for free) and gain work experience while learning about an industry or job. They can be amazing opportunities to learn about a field, meet new people, and get a feel for the world of work in the US. When I was in college, I worked as an intern at a local magazine. Now, I often work with student interns. The trick to getting a good internship is finding an opportunity that connects with what you’d like to do with your career — and actively seeking out opportunities. Many interns keep journals during the internship to reflect on experiences. If you’d like to try an internship this summer, you might talk with teachers at your school about how you can get involved in an internship program. You can also set up internships yourself by approaching businesses or organizations and asking if they’re able to work with student interns.


Many international students travel during the summer. You might go home to visit family, or you might travel the world. My roommate in college was an international student. One summer, she traveled to Europe and throughout the US. If you have the resources and a friend to travel with, this can be a great time to see more of the world.

Taking Summer Classes:

Summer classes are popular. At some schools, classes are accelerated during the summer, meaning that you take one class at a time and focus on just one subject. If you have a class that’s going to take a lot of concentration, summer might be a good time to take it. This way, you’ll be able to focus on just that subject without worrying about other courses. If you’ve been working hard all year, though, be careful about working too much over the summer. You’ll want to be able to come back to class in the fall refreshed and ready to go at full steam again.

What are you planning to do over the summer? I’m curious! Share your plans in the comment thread.

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The timer is one of my favorite tools for writing, studying, and beating procrastination. When you’re trying to get started on a tough project or trying to remember to stop and head out the door, a timer works wonders. I have a timer on my cell phone, timers in my office, and timers on my computer. They really do help. Recently, I learned about a free program (Windows only) called TimeLeft. The program lets you set multiple timers and reminders for multiple activities. If you’re trying to write for 15 minutes without stopping but also want to remember to leave for class in an hour, you can set one timer and one alarm. This seems like it might come in handy.


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