The university advising team at UWCSEA provides a short explanation of the many options that can make for a ‘worthwhile’ summer in a series of posts designed to help families make the most of a summer break.
Thankfully, it seems that academic summer programmes are not essential for university applications. Colleges and universities also value any kind of meaningful work experience (paid or unpaid), volunteer work, travel or cultural experiences, spending time with family and friends, or a combination of these things. What's important is what the child learns.
This post talks about the need for students to discover more about themselves and the world around them - and to rest and recharge.
Travel and/or cultural experiences
Universities who apply an holistic profile to their admissions process appreciate any kind of travel or cultural experiences and particularly respect those applicants who have taken the opportunity to take themselves out of their comfort zone.
Experiences acquired through your High School programme may fit under the definition of travel or cultural experiences (for example, Project Week is an oft-cited experience at UWCSEA), but self-initiated experiences outside of school are valuable. This could be a learning a language, taking a trek, enrolling in a cooking school or travelling in a new country. These activities also build confidence and a greater understanding of the world - valuable qualities in and of themselves,
Rest and recharge is important
This should go without saying, but sometimes in the ‘race’ that High School has become for some, the need to rest and recharge, to spend time reconnecting with family and friends, takes a back seat. For our children to understand who they want to be, and what they need to do in order to get there, they need to understand themselves. Part of this comes from taking time to relax, and spending time with the people who know and love them best. This will put students in the best possible frame of mind to handle academics, extracurricular activities and university applications in their final years of High School and build skills necessary for future success.