Holiday Study: Summer Programs at US Universities

Attending a summer program at a US university is a great way to explore subjects you are passionate about and also get a taste of what it might be like to be a student on a US campus.

The variety of summer programs speaks to the variety in the US higher education system. Whether you want to do a business leadership course, study international relations, engage in scientific research, or focus on creative writing, there is a summer program for you.

Though admission to these summer programs are not related to admission to the host university, time at these schools does introduce you to an American style education, the campus environment, and gives you a sense of what your peers may be like at your future university. For students who will be the first in their family to attend school in the US, these programs are especially valuable. Understanding the unique qualities of a US universities can help you decide if it is right for you.

Here is a sampling of some program that you may want to research!


Yale Young Global Scholars Program: This program is hosted on Yale’s gorgeous campus. Students from all of the world come here to study topics such as: Biological and Biomedical Science; Literature, Philosophy, and Culture; Politics, Law, and Economics; Solving Global Challenges.  Students attend one two-week session and three sessions are offered throughout the summer. Also, all attendees are offered an interview with Yale’s admissions department.

The University of Pennsylvania offers multiple summer programs for motivated secondary school students. For especially ambitious students, they offer the Penn Summer Prep Program in which students take two undergraduate courses for credit. Penn Summer Academies offers students specialized study opportunities in the fields of Biomedical Research, Chemistry, Experimental Physics, Mathematics, Neuroscience, and Social Justice.  Attending Penn’s Pre-College Program will enable you to have the full-residential US university experience. Along with the ability to take undergraduate courses with Penn students, the program also offers Academic advising, access to university learning resources, and college admission workshops.

For students interested in creative writing, Kenyon College hosts one of the best programs in the country.  The Young Writers Workshop sponsored by the Kenyon Review, one of the nation’s premiere literary magazines, allows young writers to work with professional on creative writing and personal essays. Two-week sessions on Keyon College’s campus offer students a chance to develop as writers and experience residential university life.

Brown University offers more than 200 non-credit courses for it’s pre-college summer program. Courses run from one to four weeks throughout the summer. Overall, Brown’s offerings give international families the most flexibility. Furthermore, Brown’s location in Providence, RI makes it an ideal starting point for an east coast university tour.

Columbia University offers an intensive three-week program for secondary school students who want to immerse themselves in subjects they love as well as experience university life in NYC. They offer over 70 subjects to choose from and the program also includes planned excursions throughout New York:

Enjoy excellent summer weather in the American mid-west at one of the most selective and elite liberal arts colleges in the US. Carleton College offers three week summer programs in Computer Science, Humanities, Quantitative Reasoning, Scientific Research and Creative Writing.


There are many more programs to choose from! Speaking with an advisor can help you choose the right program for you. They can assist with the application process. So Please feel free to reach out to an Almost Essential reccomended advisor at your convenience.

Originally published by A-List