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 with their careers. Free from the stresses of daily deadlines for quizzes, tests, and coursework, students can focus on work that engages them.

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 in terms of whether they’re focused on STEM, Humanities, or other areas, and also 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 Internships.com 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. By using their time well, students can make a wiser, better-informed choice when they apply to college.

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