With college entry becoming so competitive both high school and college students are looking for ways to beef up their academic resumes with the hope of impressing college admissions boards. Enter the college summer program, where you can study anything from law and government at Georgetown University to theatre arts at UCLA to music at Julliard—all without actually having to enroll in those schools!

College summer program websites like SummerStudy.com and SummerDiscovery.com offer a multitude of academic and artistic classes at name colleges and universities taught (in most cases) by the same faculty that teaches at those schools during the regular school year. And depending on the class, students can even get college credit for the summer classes they take. At the very least a summer college program is a big college resume booster AND students get a taste of college life if they’ve never been before. (Call it “college lite”.)

If you look hard enough there’s a college summer program for just about every subject. However, the most popular are those for classes that have been eliminated due to budget cuts. Students lacking in classes in the arts, for example, can pick up the slack on their college resume by enrolling in a music or an art college summer program if they think it will help them gain admission into a specific Fine Arts degree program.

To give you some idea of how this all it works here are four college summer programs that are designed to enrich students’ experiences of certain subjects.

  1. Foreign Language Immersion
  2. SummerStudy.com offers students both 5-week college credit programs and 3-week non-credit enrichment programs during the summer—at the Sorbonne in Paris. Without actually having to apply to the Sorbonne, participants experience college life in Paris just as if they were a student during the regular school year, all while speaking French the whole time! Similarly, SummerDiscovery.com offers language immersion programs in Spain, Italy, and China, as well as cultural experiences in Great Britain.

  3. Community Service
  4. For those needing to get their community service requirement out of the way (which is now a prerequisite for most colleges) Lifeworks International offers a variety of community service programs in The British Virgin Islands, Costa Rica, Thailand, India, Peru, and more. Emphasis is not only on helping a community in need (by providing the manpower and supplies) but also on learning about a country’s culture, history, the environment and indigenous people. Students spend entire weeks of their summer immersing themselves into a community so that they can do the most good with the least amount of negative impact.

  5. Music
  6. One of the best college summer programs for music are the Julliard workshops for jazz, string quartet, conducting, and percussion. The great thing about these programs is that Julliard staff teaches them yet many of the workshops are offered outside of New York (Julliard’s home). The jazz workshops, for example, take place in Florida, Georgia, Utah, and even Melbourne, Australia. In those cases, students from all over don’t have to travel to New York, thus keeping travel costs low.

  7. Theatre
  8. Los Angeles is synonymous with acting, movies, and filmmaking. For those students interested in either college credit or enrichment programs in those areas of the arts, SummerDiscovery.com has college summer workshops in screenwriting and intensive theatre studies at UCLA (which offers one of the best college degree programs in the entertainment business). Multi-week programs include classes with some of the most experienced professionals in film and TV. Plus, students live on-campus and have access to all the student union amenities, just as if they were enrolled during the school year.

Used to be that summer camps were where you put kids when you wanted them occupied so they didn’t get into trouble during the idle days of summer. But now college summer programs give students enrichment and college credit for experiences that go way beyond singing around a campfire. So if you plan in traveling this summer anyway, why not pick up some college credit along the way?

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One comment on “4 College Summer Programs That Emphasize Enrichment

  • About Abbey Road Programs
    Established in 2000 by Stanford University alumni, Abbey Road offers summer immersion programs for high school students in the United States, Italy, Spain, France, Greece and Canada. Abbey Road programs facilitate cross-cultural understanding and enrichment by providing a unique opportunity for cultural immersion, intensive language study, exposure to new academic subjects, travel excursions, recreational activities, personal growth, and building life-long friendships.

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