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The international student guide for the summer

When you study abroad, you usually think of school or work abroad, but now that final exams are done and the stress of school is gone, many students find themselves thinking about what to do with the long summer vacation. As the temperature rises, our motivation to do anything decreases and the long, boring summer months can be just as cruel as exam season. However, summer can be an energizing time used as an opportunity to get some good experience and find new areas of interest. Here are some tips on how to make summer exciting and productive.


Internships Abroad
If you are looking to add to your work experience and something major to your resume, you should consider an internship, especially one related to your field of study. Partaking in an internship has many benefits such as skill development and professional connections. You can add experience to your resume and develop connections to important people. If you do well enough at your internship and impress the people working there, they may even offer you a full time job when you get out of school. Also some internships in America are paid.

Volunteering Abroad
Another activity that will help you gain skills and add experience is volunteering. There are plenty of volunteering opportunities in America such as raising money for the people with special needs or helping save animals. You can also choose to volunteer in developing countries and develop leadership skills, cultural understanding and good work ethic, all of which will help you during your school year and future career. Many organizations like Projects Abroad, Volunteers around the World, or Build Abroad exist and can help you find the best program for you in South or Central America, or in Asia. You will build houses and help feed people in poverty. This also gives you the opportunity to create friendships with new and exciting people from around the world who will volunteer with you. While it is not something you would get paid for, it is something that you will learn a lot from and experience new skills in a really positive way, and more importantly - you will make a real difference in people’s lives.


Exploring
You’re in a new country! Take some time over the summer to explore your surroundings and view both the city life and nature. Go hiking or skiing or try out a new restaurant. Travel to different cities and see what each place has to offer. Studying abroad is a once in a lifetime experience so make the most out of it by taking in everything the country has to offer. Exploring can also help you get over culture shock, and make you feel closer to the locals. Remember to also take a lot of pictures so you can make your experience last forever.

Relax
Now is the best time to sit down and relax after a hard semester. Read a book, watch a TV show or eat your favorite meal, you deserve it! This is the best time to reenergize for the next semester. Take this time to call your friends and family back home. Stay relaxed but don’t get too comfortable, the next semester is right around the corner, and graduation is not too far away. Beyond relaxing, try to take advantage of at least part of the summer to do something productive that will position you towards success following graduation.

Need more help with planning your studies, internships and the steps following graduation?

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