Ahhh, summer. It's a special time, when different rules apply than the rest of the year. You have a say in what you want to do and the options are plentiful. You can get a job, intern, travel, study, or do nothing at all. It's your choice, although we don't recommend the latter option. We encourage you to think of summer as the time to discover and explore your own interests.
Selecting a Program
As you start to explore different summer programs, remember that you are choosing how you will spend your summer. The more time you spend upfront on research, the happier you're likely to be in the long run.
Programs can vary widely in cost. Keep in mind that the quoted price is rarely all–inclusive. If cost is an issue, ask if any scholarships are available to students with financial need. Admissions requirements can also vary substantially amongst programs; some programs are quite competitive while others accept students on a first come–first served basis. And, don't forget to consider how a program fits into the rest of your summer; keep in mind other commitments such as family trips and college visits.
Make sure any program you're considering has a mission that matches your own. Ask the program staff and alumni what makes the program special. Also, check out each program's main activities. If you want an experiential program, find out how much time is spent outside of the classroom.