Summer Programs In America

What are summer programs?

Summer programs are sessions meant to extend opportunities to the students to enhance their English language skills, learn about the cultural milieu of the USA, exchange ideas with the students across the world, and visit different parts of the country. These programs are available in various study areas ranging from liberal arts and sciences to Mathematics, Journalism, and even athletics. Most of the US summer programs come about between May to August for a total duration of about two to twelve weeks, depending upon the dynamics of the course. These cost-effective programs are great to whet one’s academic skills and subject knowledge, and fulfilling one’s aspirations. They are also known as Pre-college programs as they familiarize students with college-level courses before they enroll themselves in a full-fledged undergraduate program in a university.


Benefits of availing of summer programs

There are several expected benefits of joining a summer program, some of which are:

  1. Enhances your academic skills by allowing you to delve deeper into the subject matter of one or two subjects of your choice. This is particularly beneficial for the students who intend to show their dedication towards a subject and their academic profile for a positive impression on the admission officials.
  2. Not only does it allow you to highlight your academic vigor but also a chance to explore your interests. If you are interested in learning music or artistry, there are summer schools that offer lessons in Piano or drums. Similarly, if you are interested in gauging your competitive skills in sports such as tennis, you can enroll yourself in a sports camp.
  3. The most obvious benefit of availing of a summer program during high school is that it increases your chance to get into a college. Attending the right summer school program will expand your horizon, equip you with the essential skills and help you get ahead with a quick course. With admissions at the top colleges in the USA getting more competitive each year, they act as a feather on the cap and help build a nice resume and boost your college application.
  4. These provide a chance to earn academic credits that can be applied to your degree. Thus, it reduces the time and cost of your undergraduate degree. Along with this, it gives you a chance to take on new challenges and learn how to deal with them.


List of top summer schools in the USA: 


Whether it is to develop your artistic skills or academic understanding, the choice of the course and the university plays a significant role in generating the desired impact. The best summer schools in the USA are also the most competitive ones. These involve a preference for Brown University which provide five summer programs to choose from, for upper-level high school students.

Another major preferred choice is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology which provides four selective summer programs, namely- Research Science Institution, Women’s Technology Program, MIT Launch, and The Summer Science Program for the students to choose from. The University of Michigan also holds down a place for itself with an array of summer programs ranging from engineering, and computer programming to Great Lakes exploration, girls code camp to architecture, urban planning, etc.

Northwestern University has a growing popularity for a variety of its short intensive programs as well as the long summer term courses for college credits. The duration of these programs varies from three to eight weeks.

With approximately 1200 students applying for summer programs, Stanford University remains highly preferred for its scope to enroll oneself in up to five courses with subject areas ranging from arts and humanities, business, and legal studies, to writing mathematics, social science, physical and biological science, etc.

The prestigious Harvard University offers two options for the students. The first is a two-week non-credit experience meant for high schoolers to experience living in the dormitory, attending team-building activities, and attending classes three-hour per day. This is called Pre-college Program. While the other is a seven-week program for college credit that requires full immersion

John Hopkins offers The Discovery Hopkins Program meant to provide multiple perspectives on a topic to high-school students. It runs alongside the two-week Summer University program. The university also offers two specialized programs to choose from namely, ESL programs to enhance students’ English skills and test scores and the Engineering Innovation Program for the students who are interested in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics.

The University of Chicago is also considered a great study option as it allows the students to choose from five High School Programs, namely- UChicago Immersion, Research in the Biological Sciences, Stones and Bones, Travelling Academy, and UChicago Arts and Sciences Summer. These programs are mostly three to four-week-long and offer to learn through seminars and first-hand experiences.


While the most popular summer programs include courses on enhancing English as a second language or familiarizing oneself with different aspects of American culture, equally popular among the students are courses meant to supplement their knowledge in a particular discipline.


In a nutshell, attending a summer program in the US is an experience that will not only add to your academic profile but would also enhance your personality, thus aiming for holistic development.


Sociology – Study of Society, Patterns of Social Relationships & Social Interaction

It can be assessed that the study of the society, not only gives one, an insight into the social groups, organizations, and societies and how people interact within these but also how power is generated, distributed, and practiced across the world. Sociology as a discipline helps one observe and challenge the familiar world and associated everyday practices that are normalized like- objectification of women by media, contempt against a particular religion, the preference for fair complexion, over-arching patriarchy, and the like, through a new window. It not only defines the rationale behind an individual’s actions like- reasons for suicide along with how the world works but gives opportunities to change it. As a student of Sociology, one must be poised to engage in fieldwork related to social inequalities like- poverty and present alternatives to ameliorate them. The discipline thus assists the individuals with both tangible and intangible skills.

Which colleges can I apply to?

There are legions of great colleges to choose from when it comes to an undergrad course in Sociology. With a wide scope of career prospects in various sectors like- Education, the Public sector, community work, and the like, Sociology remains a popular choice among students. If you are looking for universities in the UK popular choices like- the University of Cambridge, Manchester University, University of Warwick, University of Glasgow, London School of Economics, Oxford University, and the University of Lancaster may capture your interest. However, there are other great universities too for liberal arts studies in the UK, like- the University of Birmingham, King’s College London, University of Bath, University of Surrey, and University College London (UCL) that offer a wide range of academic opportunities.

In Canada, the University of Ottawa, Queen’s University, University of Toronto, McGill University, and the University of British Columbia present themselves as great options.

Outside UK and Canada, many universities in the USA like the University of California, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Princeton University, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Harvard University, University of Chicago, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have well-rounded programs.

Alternatively, Trinity College Dublin- Ireland, the University of Canterbury and Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, Tilburg University and Leiden University College in the Netherlands, the National University of Singapore, the University of Antwerp the University of Stirling also attract many potential students. We can list at least a hundred other options for you but can’t, due to space constraints. Here’s your cue to Google it!

Which Subjects to take?

Sociology is an umbrella discipline and offers a wide array of programs to choose from. That is why it is pertinent to have clarity about what you are looking for. Sociology envelopes programs from various other disciplines like Economics, Law, Environment, politics, and the like, one of the many reasons it is popularly called the ‘crowning edifice’ of the sciences. Thereby, it is important to choose carefully from bountiful options like- Sociology, Media and Politics, Criminology and Sociology, Arts, Media, and Society, etc that it offers.

UCLA is deemed one of the prestigious universities in the world and offers interesting courses like- Sex from Biology to Gendered Society, Introduction to Mathematical Sociology, social data science, Environmental Sociology, Social Demography, Mind and Society, Sociology of Emotions, Sociology of Time, Death, suicide, and trauma, etc. The sociology department at the University of Sheffield provides single and dual honors courses. The single honors courses like- Digital media and society, Sociology with social policy, etc focus solely on developing expertise in a subject of interest. While the dual honors courses like- History and Sociology, Politics and Sociology help one discover how two disciplines fit together in the real world. The National University of Singapore is one of the most prestigious universities in the world and is famous for equipping students with core theoretical and methodological skills offers courses like- Making sense of Society, Social Thought and Social Theory, Practising Anthropology and Sociology, and is at a shorter distance with the home country.

 Thereby, with its interdisciplinary nature and wide academic potential, it allows one to understand all the dimensions of society while at the same time can confuse in choosing a definite path. It is, therefore, necessary for aspiring candidates to decide where they want to see themselves in the future, i.e to skim through the various courses and the associated career prospects before applying.

For someone interested in Policymaking, courses like Sociology with social policy(University of Sheffield), inequality, society and the self (The University of Queensland), etc can be good options. Similarly, a student with a penchant for gender studies may opt for Sex from Biology to Gendered Society (UCLA), Sex, Gender and Social Relationships (University of Queensland), etc. In a nutshell, it is important to set preferences according to the career prospects one finds interested in and then choose from the legions of courses that are offered.

Career Prospects  

With a major in Sociology, one learns about the intersectional aspects of society and the world like- caste, class, race, ethnicity, gender, disability, demography, morphology, inequality, and the relevance and the shortcomings of structures like- hierarchy and Power in everyday life. Thus, the subject has the scope to build up essential skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, statistical reasoning ability, and research skills, both qualitative and quantitative. Consequently, it doesn’t just shape one’s perspective of the world and give them a wider lens to look at things but also presents plentiful career prospects to choose from. A student with a major in sociology can work in sectors like- welfare, education, social research, and local and central government. With an undergraduate degree, you can work as a social research analyst, case manager, or research assistant in an NGO or non-profit organization. As a research assistant or analyst, you would be working along with the academic sociologists on social issues like labor rights, homelessness, juvenile crime, drugs, and suicide, and providing precise analysis to the appropriate government departments. You may get appointed as an Educator at National parks to assist the visitors, or at military schools, and prisons for counseling and education. However, many countries prefer their citizens or green-card holders, for government jobs.

It is important to assuage your skills and education qualification to broaden your career prospects like-with a graduation degree you can work as a college lecturer, or incorporate, non-profit, and government worlds as directors of research, policy analysts, and consultants.

As a sociologist with an undergraduate degree, you can also work with advertising, marketing, and consumer research sectors or with Environmental groups, or as a journalist. You can work as a Family Support worker wherein you would offer help and emotional support to the families experiencing short or long-term difficulties by collaborating with police and schools. There are other exciting careers too, crime scene investigation, policymaker, public relations and communication, urban planner, Human-rights officer, etc.

If you have an appetite for exploring the different dimensions of society and for revamping them, A major in Sociology is the check for you. So, go ahead and explore the suggested options and be the agent for the change you want to see in the world.












Dream big with education at a small liberal arts college


What is a liberal arts education?

 As an Indian student growing up in a typical Indian household, the children of the 80s and 90s grew up listening to a single refrain: ‘become a doctor’ or ‘become an engineer’. The more ambitious ones went for the bureaucratic services. With the change in millennia, the refrain remained the same, with one fresh entry: IT. Suddenly everyone wanted to be a software guy and head for the fabled goldmines in Palo Alto and the Bay Area.  Indians became the world’s IT intellectual repository, powering Microsoft, Google, Apple and now Facebook. In this race to meet some new technological landmark youngsters (and even parents) often forget the original purpose of education. The purpose of a college degree is not to find ‘a’ well-paid job. At least that is not, or should not, be the sole purpose of a college degree. Rather it is the widening of mental horizons, the procurement of knowledge and information, development of potential and personal talents, and the ability to prepare oneself for a career and fit into a wide variety of roles and positions. And this is where a liberal arts education makes its entry. A liberal arts education (which ironically has nothing to do with liberty or the arts alone) is the high priest of academia, opening minds and possibilities to a wide variety of subjects from the social sciences (economics, history, law, politics, sociology, psychology, etc) to the natural sciences (chemistry, physics, geology, computer science, biology, anthropology, etc.) and everything in between.

How is a liberal arts college different from a national university?

This would probably be your follow up question. While there is no right answer to the question: which of the two is better – a liberal arts college or a large national university – it is easy to outline the differences in the two systems.

  1. Liberal arts colleges are as a rule smaller colleges with a much smaller student population, small class sizes and a close-knit student community.
  2. Due to smaller student populations, the student-faculty ratios are also small ergo faculty know their students better, forms bonds, allow for more personal interaction and provide students a more intimate ambiance within which education is imparted.
  3. An interesting feature of liberal arts colleges is their lack of post-graduation and research options. Liberal arts colleges focus primarily on undergraduate education.
  4. As opposed to large universities where lectures are often given by teaching assistants, as professors are more invested in postgraduate education and research, you would learn directly from professors and leading experts in the field.
  5. Thanks to smaller sizes, there will be less competition for leadership positions and more opportunity for you to shine in your chosen fields of activity and share greater camaraderie with your peers.
  6. There will probably be fewer research opportunities available – these are usually the highlights of large universities where the focus is on research.
  7. Also, unlike large universities, some of which are well-known for their athletic and sports teams, liberal arts colleges are not known for their prowess in the field of sports.

Why would it be good for me?

If you are among that increasingly rare species who believe that college is for learning, not to ready yourself for a job in four years’ time, a liberal arts college is probably where you would fit best. Such an education as some academicians will point out readies you ‘for life’ as opposed to ‘a job’. Given the wide scope of learning it incorporates, liberal arts students come out of college well prepared for various jobs. A solid body of learning across disciplines and subjects is their strongest suit, consequently making them eligible for roles within a wide variety of fields. For instance, a student who took up English Literature and communications in college would during college intern at various organizations – a newspaper/magazine, a media production house or TV channel, a website, a music company, etc. She could finish college and then work at one or several of these places during her career and rise through the ranks to head a division in a managerial position. She did not necessarily have to have been a business management student to get there. In short, a liberal arts education is just another, often more fun, way of reaching the same goals, perhaps with a higher purpose and with a well-rounded personality. It can be the difference between an educated and knowledgeable person; the thin line separating the high skilled from the skilled and versatile; the professional from a global citizen.

So, if you are a person who is passionate about learning and interested in a wide-ranging field of subjects, keen to develop your knowledge and skills, haven’t yet decided your choice of profession and are looking to explore your options and suitability, a liberal arts education could well be the key that unlocks the mystery of what your future holds.

Which colleges could I apply to?


USA offers very good liberal arts colleges. Among the most well known of these are Pomona, Amherst, Wellesley, Williams, Claremont McKenna,  Bowdoin, Middlebury, Barnard, and Grinnell.


The list in Canada may not contain names with universal recall like in the US, but these are nevertheless great institutes of learning. Some of them are Humber, Trent, University of Ottawa, and York.


The UK also has a shorter but nonetheless impressive list of liberal arts colleges. These include King’s College, Richmond, University of Bristol, University of Edinburg and Winchester.

Studying Matters of the Mind

You will admit, psychological thrillers make for the most interesting genre whether to read or watch. There’s no doubt that the human mind while being among the most complex organs, is also the most intriguing. Unraveling its secrets, understanding its complexes, finding that fine line between sanity and insanity is a project that can consume a lifetime and then some. While the world around us modifies rapidly, the human mind too continues to evolve in response to stimuli. Studying it is both a satisfying and humbling experience. Whether you are someone who likes to reach out to other human beings or someone who wants to understand themselves better, studying psychology can be the answer to many of your quandaries. A major in psychology is not only gratifying in itself but can also open doors for several other lucrative careers for you. As a psychologist, you will study the human mind and behavior and learn to analyze how human beings behave, how they think, how they feel, how they communicate and express their emotions. Here’s looking at the essentials you need to be aware of before taking the plunge.

Which colleges can I apply to?

There are many, many great colleges you can choose from, not just in
USA, but also in the UK, Germany, Singapore, Australia, and Canada. Psychology is a popular major and many universities offer stellar courses in the subject. If you are looking at the US, there are several other great options. Apart from the popular choices – Stanford, Columbia, and Princeton, you should also consider University of California, LA (UCLA), University of Pennsylvania (UPenn), Duke, New York University (NYU), University of Chicago, Northwestern, University of Virginia (UVA), University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (UNC), and Carnegie Mellon (CMU). Liberal Arts Colleges like Carleton, Reed, Grinnel and F&M are also good options to explore among several others.

In Canada, University of British Columbia (UBC) is a stellar choice as are University of Toronto and McGill University – all very popular with foreign students.

Outside of the US and Canada, you can consider the London School of Economics, which has an excellent psychology major. If you don’t mind gloomy weather, are a Rowling fan and feel the tug of the Scottish Highlands, you can consider the University of Edinburgh too.

Among some non-conventional choices for Indian students in Europe are KU Leuven in Belgium and Humbolt University of Berlin if you are feeling particularly adventurous. The universities of Sydney and Melbourne in Australia also present themselves as great options.

The National University of Singapore should certainly be on your list of options. We can list at least a hundred other options for you but can’t, due to space constraints. Here’s your cue to Google it!

 What Courses can I take?

Psychology is as vast and varied as the human mind. Looking at the subject in its entirety can be a little overwhelming considering the various areas it covers and the academic depths it explores. It would probably be a better idea to get your bearings first before wading into this expansive field. Consider personal preferences and have at least some notion of what your future aspirations are before taking your pick. UChicago, well known for its research initiatives, offers some very interesting courses in psychology; consider these: Bright and Dark Side of Empathy, Multidisciplinary Perspectives in Morality, Social Neuroscience and Child Development in the Classroom. Each of these relates to a different branch of psychology and can put you on very different career paths. UNC-Chapel Hill has various opportunities for undergrad research and will give you an excellent taste of a future in academia. Besides, it has fascinating courses that bear immense social and practical relevance, such as Drug Addiction, Fact & Fiction, Health Psychology and Families and Children. If you are keen to explore options closer home, NUS beckons with some relevant courses. Apart from Abnormal Psychology (which is offered in nearly all colleges) you can look at studying upcoming areas such as Industrial and Organizational Psychology, or consider Trauma Psychology or Paediatric Psychology, or even the Psychology of Ageing. As you can well deduce there is a separate branch for every human developmental stage from infancy to old age, then there are individual, group, industrial or even social mindsets that you can study besides looking at abnormal psychology that explores the dark crevices of the mind where ailments such as neurosis, psychosis, schizophrenia and manic depression lurk. You can also look at providing therapy to school-going children through child development and adolescent psychology. With a wide range of options to choose from you will have to delve deep into your own mind to find what you really want!

 Where can I work? As what?

As a psychology graduate, you will have expertise in understanding the human mind and behavior. You can use this to not only understand and control your own emotions and responses better but also turn it into a lucrative career either as a psychologist, an academician who focuses on research or use it as a tool to advance your prospects in other fields. Be warned, however, nearly all careers, while rewarding entail further study – completing a master’s degree and often even a Ph.D. and in many cases enough internship experience before you can strike out on your own. Among the most apparent career choices, of course, are those of school/career counselors, clinical psychologist, and human resource personnel. You can be employed in schools, hospitals, clinics, and large corporates. Another career option is that of a marriage or family therapist. For those who are lured by crime and punishment, working as a forensic psychologist can be as exciting as it sounds. Your job would be to figure out whether or not an accused is sane or not, if there are behavioral abnormalities then what the possible treatments are, whether a witness in a legal case is credible or not, etc. Forensic psychologists usually work with the police or maybe employed by lawyers or investigators. Given the rising number of sporting opportunities in and beyond cricket in India and abroad, you could also make an exciting, glamorous and lucrative career for yourself as a sports psychologist. Sports psychologists focus on the mental health of athletes and are usually employed by sports teams and are a part of the team entourages much as a physical therapist is. They also provide counseling to sportspersons during stressful periods, career shifts, etc. Another upcoming opportunity is that of an industrial or organizational psychologist or an I-O psychologist. They are employed by corporates or large organizations to provide psychological support and counseling in the workplace. I-O psychologists not only work to keep a stable and productive work environment but are also trained to match employee suitability to roles and resolve employee-related issues in the workplace.

So if this sounds like something you would like to pursue, go ahead and explore the options suggested and live the life of the mind.


The Important Elements of Economic Study

What do Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, Oliver Hart, Paul Krugman, and Robert Engle have in common? They are all Nobel laureates who devoted their lives to the study of economics. Economics is what makes the world go round. Quite literally. From historical evidence of ancient civilizations using a barter system for trade to the current slump the world economy is headed towards owing to the Covid-19 epidemic in China, economics has a finger in every pie. Especially today, given the impact of globalization where a single event in a Far East country can lead to consequences that are global in nature, the relevance of the subject hardly needs pointing out. It is no surprise then that economics is one of the most popular major choices among international students today. An inter-disciplinary subject that provides students not just a historical perspective, but a lens through which to observe the present and predict the future, it is also one of the most exciting and stimulating subjects you can take up in college. In this blog, we will help to put you in the right direction with regard to the universities you can consider as an economics major, the courses you could potentially look at and what your future prospects are as an economics major.

Which colleges can I apply to?

Given the popularity of the major and the history, depth, and reach of the subject, its department is considered of great relevance in most colleges. In addition to the Ivy Leagues – Harvard, Princeton, and Yale, Stanford,  Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of Chicago, University of California, Berkeley also have world-class economics programs. Some of the liberal arts colleges also offer a strong major in economics, the popular options are Williams, Wellesley, Claremont McKenna, Barnard, Wesleyan and Pomona. The UK also boasts of colleges that have stellar economics departments with the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) leading the pack outside of the US. The University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge have excellent courses in the subject too, as do University of Warwick, University College London and London Business School.

Colleges in Canada too have strong economics majors so if you are considering a wider choice before you make your final pick, you can also consider the University of Toronto, University of British Columbia and McGill University.

What Courses can I take?

Like well-aged wine, the scope and reach of the subject have improved over time. Depending on where your true interests lie, there is a very exciting list of options waiting to be unearthed. Are you an economist who is also a closet techie, for instance? How about looking at the Microcosm of Silicon Valley and Wall Street, a course that is exclusive to Stanford. If psychology is the other subject that sets your brain cells abuzz, consider courses such as Networks and Human Behavior or Behavioral Economics. You are actually spoilt for choice – from taking up courses in Game Theory or Macro or Micro Economic Theory to carving a niche for yourself by directing your economic interests towards a particular area/field of study – you can explore gender, family or addictions (yes!), media or public from an economic perspective. There are courses that specialize in the economics of   China, and sectors such as health, private equity, international trade, and e-commerce; the list goes on ad infinitum.  It is therefore advisable that you research courses thoroughly before you decide on your applications – which college provides you the courses that are best aligned with your current interests and future plans? Analyze all aspects before making a final choice.

Where can I work? As what?

As an economics graduate, there is a wide array of options and opportunities that open up for you. Accountancy, banking, business, finance, data analysis, public sector jobs to academia and media – the world is your oyster. An Economics major opens up opportunities for lucrative careers in investment banking with large multi-national banks, as well as in financial and business consultancy. You could consider devoting a few more years to education to become a chartered accountant or complement your economics degree with an MBA that will open up various senior-level opportunities for you in banks, financial institutions, and corporates. You can consider jobs such as those of a market analyst, investment analyst, or credit analyst also employed in investment banks and financial institutions as well as private equity funds. You could even consider a degree in law to take up corporate law, which is both satisfying and monetarily rewarding. You could also consider a career as an accountant, auditor, stockbroker, actuary or data scientist. Economists are highly valued by governments for policymaking on a national and international scale. And if writing and glamour beckons, you can even consider working for a financial newspaper, magazine or TV channel.