Thursday, March 31, 2016

Summer at USU - What this means for International Students

Summer is probably one of the best times because it offers a variety of options for students. Firstly, Summer is basically a 'go have fun' time. You are not required to take classes in the summer so you  can use this time to travel home or travel around the US. If you decide to take classes, like what I did, courses are usually shorter but each class period is longer; for example, you can finish a regular semester course (about 4 months) in just one month in the summer, but you will be required to attend 2 hour lectures x 4 days a week instead of 50min lectures x 3 days a week. So basically, it's an expedited way to finish your classes however it's a lot more intense because you still have to cover most or all of the material. Summer tuition and housing costs are really really cheap - like dirt cheap compared to what you pay in the regular semester so it's a great opportunity for students to take advantage of. Tentative summer tuition rates can be found here.

As an international student, Summer is also a good time to pursue your internships. Last summer, I was an engineering intern at Autoliv - a car safety production company. As a junior mechanical engineering student I wanted to discover what real word engineers do, so I applied, got my interview, got accepted, and WOW, what an eye opening experience. I got to work with a team of engineers who are confident and experts at what they do. At my internship, the company put me through a series of training and taught me skills such as professionalism and team collaboration that I would never have learned in academia. I would definitely recommend international students to seek out internships because this will give you a competitive edge after you graduate and seeking for employment. (I have attached a picture of my intern work space)

Alternatively, Summer could be an opportunity to travel around Utah (renowned for it's outdoors) to discover the national parks, step out of your comfort zone and try the outdoor sports and experiences such as camping, hiking, biking, fishing, and so much more.... Travel to different cities and top destinations around the US or even go beyond the borders and explore the countries and islands nearby. (See pictures for my outdoor experience with some friends in summer)

There's a lot to do over the summer, but as international students, you will want to plan your time wisely between academics, personal, and pleasure. Find what fits you best and just give it your best but no matter what, Summer is always a good time!

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