Summer Internships

Summer Internships for High School Students

by | Dec 5, 2020

Summers are a great time for high school students to explore their interests and develop a greater sense of perspective about what they want to do in college and their careers. Free from the stresses of daily deadlines for quizzes, tests, and coursework, students can focus on work that engages them. Even though the summer of 2021 will be a potentially challenging time due to COVID-19, it is still an opportunity to explore something exciting.

There are many meaningful ways to use the summer: you can take courses at your local community college or attend a for-credit class at a university. You can travel or do a community service project. But many students are interested in summer internships or other kinds of immersive study opportunities. So we created a list of well-regarded programs to which you can apply. These programs generally have deadlines in the winter, so check and fill in your application on time.

We’ve categorized these programs based on whether they’re focused on STEM, Humanities, or other areas. We’ve also classified them based on whether they are paid internships (i.e., the student earns a stipend), free or low-cost, or whether they require significant expense.

Summer Internships for High School Students

Other Summer Opportunities

Besides this list, here are some other resources:

  • Check the summer programs offered at many top universities, both public and private, to see what courses you can take over the summer for credit.
  • Visit sites like to find free or paid internships in your local area. Be sure to filter your search to look for programs that require only a high school education.
  • Plan summer travel. Many summer programs involve travel or language immersion, and they can help students gain cultural exposure and language fluency.

Using Summer Internships Wisely

Summer is the best time to explore potential majors, deepen your interest in fields you care about, and build a portfolio for college applications. Using their time well, students can make a wiser, better-informed choice when they apply to college.


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Venkates Swaminathan

Venkates Swaminathan

Venkates Swaminathan (Swami) is the founder and CEO of LifeLaunchr, the world's first virtual college admissions coaching platform, and a member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling. Swami has been an executive in the education and technology industries for over 25 years. He has an M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois, and a B.Tech in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi. He is the father of a child in college, and in his spare time, he is a jazz and Indian classical singer and pianist.

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