How International Students in the U.S. Should Make the Most of Their Summer Break on Campus

How International Students in the U.S. Should Make the Most of Their Summer Break on Campus

Summer break in the United States is a lengthy affair, stretching from May until the end of August at most schools. After an entire semester of assignments, lectures. and group projects, you will feel that it is time for a well-deserved break. However, there’s more to summer than binging on your favorite shows and sleeping in. There are many things you can do to stay productive and entertained.


Explore the U.S countryside during summer. From the Grand Canyon to Niagara Falls, there are many exciting destinations inside the U.S. Make travel plans early to get a jumpstart on your vacation. Search for activities you might be interested in, like camping or hiking through national parks. Alternatively, you can explore your college town and visit nearby attractions.

Enroll a summer course

Summer courses are quite popular in the U.S., and most campuses will have options to include special subjects. They are a great way to earn extra credits and graduate faster. Some courses even give you the opportunity to travel outside the U.S. You will need to check with your college regarding available options. Registration for popular courses usually closes early, so make your decision on time to avoid disappointment.

Apply for an Internship

Summer internships are the perfect way to gain professional exposure while you are still earning your degree. Internship opportunities are in great demand in the U.S around summer, so you may need to apply for available positions long before your spring semester ends.

There are two types of off-campus internships: Curricular Practical Training (CPT), and Optional Practical Training (OPT). CPT is related to your coursework and can help you earn credit. OPT consists of optional internship programs, but they require prior approval from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Be sure to polish your resume before applying for any internships.

Take up a hobby

Summer is the perfect time to indulge in creative endeavors. You can take music lessons, dance lessons, or enroll in an art class. If money is a factor in your decision, you can take up hobbies that cost next to nothing. Hobbies like photography, water sports, restorations, or even coding are fun ways to pick up new skills while not breaking the bank.

Celebrate 4th of July

Independence Day is one of the most widely celebrated holidays in the United States. The day is filled with parades, fireworks, and parties. It is the best time to visit the big cities and participate in their patriotic celebrations. While New York celebrates the day with stupendous fireworks over the Brooklyn Bridge, smaller cities have created their own versions that are equally enchanting. No matter where you are located in the USA, the celebrations will be hard to miss in your neighborhood.

Catch up on studying

It may not seem like a fun activity, but catching up on future coursework is one of the best ways to stay productive during the summer. Review your notes from the previous semester and improve in the areas where you had challenges. Reach out to your course instructors for further reading materials, and ask your academic advisors to share advice on course majors and how to earn extra credits.

Plan your next semester

The coming semester is likely to be just as hectic as your last one. Pre-planning and scheduling activities and classes for the next semester will help improve your time-management skills. Certain tasks can be completed ahead of time, like applying for internship positions, or selecting majors. This will leave you with spare time for other activities.


Volunteering is a great way to learn new skills while interacting with new people. It is also a great option if you would like to give back to the community. Reach out to your campus administrators, or look online for volunteering options. You can choose to work in a local soup kitchen, help out kids in community schools, or participate in charity drives. Be sure to get involved in something that interests you.

Learn a new professional skill

You can take short-term training courses to help develop your professional skills. There are a lot of online courses that offer certifications in professional skill development. You can also ask your academic advisor if there are any such course options in your college. Alternatively, many cities hold summer conferences on professional development. Attending these seminars and conferences is a great way to learn what’s currently in demand in the corporate world.

Brush up your portfolio

Recruiters and hiring managers look at more than just academic records when screening prospective employees. They also consider the skillsets a candidate can bring to the table. Summer break is the perfect time to build a portfolio that reflects your skillset. You can start a blog, create a portfolio, or build your own website. Alternatively, you can do a creative project that showcases real-world challenges and plausible solutions.

Learn a new language

Taking up a new language is one of the best ways to stay productive during summer. It will help you interact with different communities in and outside the U.S.

Do some late spring cleaning

If you are feeling stuck and bored on campus, it is time to give your room a complete makeover. You won’t know how much you needed it until you have done it. Rearrange your room, sell your old textbooks and notes, and get rid of all the unwanted stuff. By the end of your cleaning, hopefully, you will have created a better space for yourself.

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