While few Summer Programs have already opened their applications for an early-round, the others will follow suit shortly! This blog comes in the form of a step-by-step guide towards planning your summer for the next year.
The first question to ask is “Are you keen on attending a summer program?” You may also wish to consider if you’re keen on exploring opportunities within your country or would want to travel abroad. This involves bearing the costs of tuition, accommodation, travel, and also planning your summer around this commitment, once made.
The second question to ask is – what kind of a summer program do you want to attend? The major types include those that are research-focused or ‘academic enrichment courses’ or a blend of the two. Shortlisting your options could be a matter of where you are in deciding a major or a career path. If you feel you are confident you wish to pursue the biomedical sciences, then opting for a research program during the summer could be a good idea. On the other hand, if you are unsure whether you like psychology better than neuroscience, you could opt for an academic enrichment course in either of these to confirm or reject this academic interest.
The third question upon shortlisting your options is to analyze whether you are able to demonstrate interest in the academic field through skills and experience gained. For example, if you’re keen on applying for a Math program, have you almost always received top grades? Have you participated in olympiads or math competitions? Are you part of a Math Circle? Are you part of a Math Club in school? Do you love to solve advanced math problems in your spare time?
The fourth is to check if the program asks for teacher or guidance counselor recommendations. If they do, it’s usually in a combination of
One teacher rec + one guidance counselor rec
One teacher recommendation
Two teacher recommendations
guidance counselor recommendation
So, how should you select whom to request for an LOR?
Ensure your grades in this subject are excellent
Your recommender really likes you as a student and will have many things to reflect on
Your recommender is able to communicate his/her/their thoughts effectively
This recommender teaches a subject that is in a way aligned with the subject you’ll be exploring through the program. (e.g. asking a math teacher for a Creative Writing program would not be ideal)
Upon identifying your recommender/s, ensure to send them a brag sheet. This document includes a list of your achievements inside and outside of the classroom. Add reflective statements against every activity to let them know what you learned and the skills you gained. Alternatively, the brag sheet could be in a QnA format.
The fifth thing to do is to reflect on these activities and accomplishments through your essays. The most common ones are –
Why are you applying to this program?
Why are you applying for this track/subject area?
Tell us something unique about yourself
Remember to talk about any projects you are involved in and how it has helped you develop skills that you could hone through the program.
The sixth and final thing is to submit your application. In case of a rolling application, you may want to submit it as soon as you can since these mostly act on a first come first serve basis. Be mindful of the deadlines if you’re applying to numerous programs and ensure that you have everything in place, including the school transcripts and rec letters.
Wish you luck with your summer school applications!
Working with study abroad consultants, overseas education consultants, or, as more commonly known, college counselors, can help you plan ahead and make those high school years count. Ivy Central offers exceptional focus to help you prepare for college admissions throughout the high-schooling years. Start today!