Getting Ready for School: What to Do in the Summer Preceding Freshman Year?

What time is it? Summer time!

Time flies, and it’s time to think about summer plans again! What do you have planned for your last summer before college? Are you excited for an adventure, but are not quite sure how to make good use of three months of free time? Check out these ideas:


Did you know that you can work as an intern right after(or even during) high school? Check out career websites in your home country, and AISEC or The Intern Group for internships abroad.

Start building that resume you know you’ll need when you come stateside!


Why not take the summer to change the world? Whether you are interested in sustainable development, education, human rights, or economic empowerment, there are numerous NGOs out there looking for passionate students just like you to help make the world a better place. Check out your community’s programs, and opportunities at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, UNICEF, Projects Abroad, and beyond.


I know…I know this sounds a little less than awesome, but think about all the trips you are gonna take when you come to the U.S.- if you are like me, and want to buy a car for road trips, better start saving sooner than later. Here’s your motivation:

A car being drove by the beach


YAY! Finally. Travel your home country before you leave to educate yourself on how to talk about where you are from. I always have a hard time describing to people what China is like, because China itself is such a vast concept that it is hard to describe in a word…or in a month, for that matter. So I traveled in China whenever I got a chance, and the more I see of China, the better I am able to describe it.

Also, consider traveling abroad, or traveling in the U.S. Check out StudentUniverse, Kayak, and Priceline for cheap tickets. Don’t forget to book Airbnb and style up your trip!

Summer School

Worried that college might be too intense? Consider attending summer school! Most universities in the U.S. offer summer school programs, including IU. Check out Credit Transfer Services for criteria for transferring your summer credits to IU.

Researching IU Classes and Activities

Give yourself an edge by getting to know IU before you even get here. Go to your school and department’s website, and read up on faculty bios, and academic programs, as well as extracurricular activities.

Academics: Check out IU Bulletin to pick an academic program; use iGPS, and refer to Grade Distribution Database, as well as Schedule of Classes to plan your classes. And of course, don’t forget to check Rate My Professors for student review of faculty.

Extracurriculars: Get ideas from First Year Experiences to make your first year at IU unique. In addition, get on beINvolved, and find your favorite student organization to join in the fall.

Until I see you at IU in August, have a great summer!

Evelyn Bai
Evelyn Bai

International Student Ambassador

I'm a Junior studying Psychology and Economics at IU, and pursuing a certificate with the Liberal Arts and Management Program(LAMP). Born and raised in Shenyang, China, I am a proud International Student Ambassador(ISA), who works to connect prospective international students to IU. I chose IU because of its strong social sciences programs, and because of the myriad of opportunities it offers to all its students. Besides working as an ISA, I serve on LAMP's student Advisory Board, The Virtu Project (an investment club that benefits a charity), and work as a peer Financial Educator with IU MoneySmarts (an organization that works to enhance students' financial wellness by offering personal finance education). In my free time, I enjoy reading, baking, traveling, exploring Bloomington, and throwing frisbee.

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