What Should an International Student do Over Summer Break?
Each year, thousands of international students come to the United States to study abroad. International students study at many different universities across the United States. However, once the spring semester is over (typically in May), summer break arrives. Many international students are then faced with the tough question: what should I do over my summer break? While some international students may have plans already, this blog will offer up a few ideas on what international students can do in the United States while their university is on summer break.
The United States has plenty of diverse climates and attractions for international students to see. Each region of the country has something different to offer! Whether it is the bustling cities and history of the northeast, the warm weather and beaches of the south, the charm of the Midwest, or the diverse geographical features of the west, there is plenty to see. Also, with the exception of Hawaii and Alaska, you could theoretically drive anywhere in the United States. There are almost always affordable airplane tickets across the country. However, if you don’t like to fly, you can likely also take a train or rent a car with some friends and go on a road trip. Don’t be afraid to explore!
Take a Summer Class
I know what you’re thinking …. you just got done with school and want a break from classes! Even though that is more than likely true, taking summer classes does not have to be a bad thing. Many international students choose to take a summer class or two to keep themselves busy over break. One of the benefits of taking summer classes is that you only have one or two of them – it is not a full semester’s worth of course load. You will have class a couple days a week and then the rest of the week is yours! Many schools also may offer summer courses online, so that you can take them from the comfort of your home (or beach!). Taking a summer class can also put you ahead for your next semester, and also potentially make your course load easier as an international student.
Find an Internship or Job
Please remember that international students have certain restrictions when it comes to working in the United States while studying abroad. Please make sure to check these restrictions with your school before trying to find a job or internship. Most schools offer different jobs on campus, like working in the bookstore, over the course of the summer. This can be a great way to make some money to go towards repaying international student loans, and also meet people who are also sticking around campus for the summer. There also may be research jobs available with various professors in your area of study. Reach out to some professors towards the end of the school year or beginning of summer to see if they have any spots available.
Internships are also another option. Most internships may be unpaid, but if they are unpaid, you will probably receive course credit toward your respective program. Internships are an awesome way for international students to network in their prospective career field and gain real-world experience in that field. It is also a great way to add to your resume and make it more appealing for when you look for a job out of US university.
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Don’t forget to relax a bit over your break! You just finished up a year of studying abroad in the United States. As an international student, that can be pretty difficult and taxing, especially if it was your first year studying abroad. Make sure to have a productive summer, but also enjoy it – you deserve it!
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