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Where should my 16 yr old honor student travel this summer- need educators' opinions

Where should my 16 yr old honor student travel this summer- need educators' opinions

Old Mar 11th, 2006, 10:19 AM
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Where should my 16 yr old honor student travel this summer- need educators' opinions

See, I kept it travel related! My daughter's interested in medicine and also CIA, FBI, etc and has been looking at summer programs such as Duke ($$$)South Carolina, and the National Youth Leadership Conference in DC. She wants to further her education, have something that looks good on college application, etc. She's in an I.B. program at her school and has a 3.93, so she's smart and a hard worker. I'd like to pay less than 2000- some of these programs are really high. Any ideas?
LLindaC is offline  
Old Mar 11th, 2006, 10:30 AM
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Literally moments before reading your post, I got an update from the Harvard summer school program, where registration opens on Monday. It's expensive but exciting.

I don't know much about the programs you mentioned, but I bet that the summer weather in Cambridge is more comfortable!
Anonymous is offline  
Old Mar 11th, 2006, 10:54 AM
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Do a search for summer programs in the Parents Forum at
It's a website for families in the college selection process.

Also, look at your local or closest major university. Some have commuter programs, which help to keep costs down.

Also, check out
patg is offline  
Old Mar 11th, 2006, 11:15 AM
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Don't know much about the specific programs you mention, but I am a big fan of the DC Area when it comes to educational opportunities. There is just so much of a network out there, I bet your daughter would really broaden her horizons and meet some great contacts, not to mention get closer to "The Hill" if she wants to seriously do CIA or FBI work.
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Old Mar 11th, 2006, 12:16 PM
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An immersion Spanish language school in Colonial Mexico or Antigua, Guatemala.
mikemo is offline  
Old Mar 11th, 2006, 12:22 PM
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The idea of an immersion language school is ideal, IMO. But I wouldn't ever send her for Spanish. Perhaps it's just a silly preference, but I would suggest a course in France or Germany, studying the local language. It is remarkable how much benefit a person can obtain from learning another language.
Wayne is offline  
Old Mar 11th, 2006, 12:53 PM
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I went to Montpellier,France for a summer following my junior year and it was great. However, it was 900 dollars and I saved half of that. I can't find anything overseas for less than 2000 so far, but I appreciate all the help here. Thanks a lot!!
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Old Mar 11th, 2006, 12:59 PM
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I'm not an educator, but I'd say let your daughter hang out with her friends and enjoy the summer. That is what I always did, and it hasn't hurt me in my career or life enjoyment.

Just my two cents
Cargillman is offline  
Old Mar 11th, 2006, 01:03 PM
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This is only open to Michigan residents. I don't know where you live, but I'm assuming the odds are slim.

It is a two-week summer program at the hospital where the kids stay in the dorm. Maybe check other University hospitals for their programs. The deadline for applications for this program is next Friday, so I think you need to find something fast!
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Old Mar 11th, 2006, 01:23 PM
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I did NYLC in Washington when I was in high school. It was very, very memorable and gave me a new perspective on our federal government and the history of our nation.

I also agree to let her "hang out" and relax. Once she gets into college, that sort of enjoyment will become a thing of the past...
ChristieP is offline  
Old Mar 11th, 2006, 01:48 PM
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"have something that looks good on her college application" - volunteer someplace near home that could really use the help.

Sounds like she has the academics covered and will have plenty of time in college to "further her education". And nothing more edcuational (or to make one appreciate the value of education) than to volunteer to help those less blessed.
gail is offline  
Old Mar 11th, 2006, 01:49 PM
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I am not an educator, but my 23 year old
daughter wass recently recruited by the CIA and is in the application process now for an analyst position. When she was 16-17 she spent her summers taking G.E. classes at the local community college. Not many people even realize this is an option for high school students, but at least in CA it is. She continued taking classes at the college and went half-time in her senior year, and as a result had 3 semesters completed and had met most GE requirements by HS graduation and finished her masters at 22, with time off between undergrad and grad school.

When she wasn't taking classes she went to Mexico with Amigos de los Americas, and to Appalachia with Habitat for Humanity, which not only looked good her college apps, but I think it was an incredible charater builder for her and gave her new outlook on the way things are outside of her suburban world. These experiences taught her things she would never be able to learn in a classroom situation. Transitions Abroad is a good source for teen volunteer programs and your daughter may find one that would apply to her interest in medicine.

My daughter was also offered a chance to participate in the NYLC, but opted instead to for a Presidential Classroom program in her junior year. The programs are quite similiar, but the late Paul Wellstone was one of my daughter's heroes at the time (an odd choice for a California girl) and he was involved in PC, so she chose that program.

If your daughter is serious about the CIA, my daughter found their initial interview to be very similiar to a college interview. They asked about her extra-curricula activities while in school, her volunteer work, and travel experience, especially outside of the U.S.
here_today_gone2Maui is offline  
Old Mar 11th, 2006, 02:53 PM
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Wayne - just curious, why not Spanish?
wtm003 is online now  
Old Mar 11th, 2006, 03:13 PM
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A local newspaper published a list of college priorities when reviewing applications for admissions in the top 200 colleges in the US... they were:

#1 AP college courses and scores

#2 SAT and ACT scores (not essay)

#3 High School Average

#4 Class Rank

#5 Community Volunteer and Leadership

#6 College Application and Interview

#7 Additional Activities and Acomplishments

With two honor students of my own, I would agree with those who suggest volunteer work or taking the Summer off with the emphasis on a heavier AP schedule next Fall... good luck, Save the money for College, and try not to burn out your genius!!!
garyt22 is offline  
Old Mar 11th, 2006, 03:59 PM
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My kids both got that "youth leadership" in D.C. thing--as did almost every other person in their classes (they are all SO special!); I could take my whole family to DC (for longer), air and hotel, for the prices they charge.
sylvia3 is online now  
Old Mar 11th, 2006, 04:06 PM
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Wat is there on the West Coast for a 15 year old female?
bbqboy is offline  
Old Mar 11th, 2006, 04:39 PM
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She should spend the summer touring college campuses if she is already 16. Admissions make a note of students that visit and that goes into the points process/evaluation on the app. Some schools deduct points if the parent contacts them. They expect the student to be independent.

Most schools look for volunteer leadership that sets the student apart from their peers, not summer programs or extra-curriculars. MIT this year reduced the space on their app for extra-curriculars because they felt the students were spending too much time on too many activities. I think Harvard was going to do the same thing.

Can your daughter find a need in her community and create a program?
kybourbon is online now  
Old Mar 11th, 2006, 05:37 PM
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Not an educator, but I did IB in High School and know how intense a program it can be. My suggestions is a combination of volunteer work and travel, preferably combining the two. Volunteer work because it is good for you in so many ways (including college apps) and travel beacuse you can meet new people, gain independence, broaden horizons, surmount challenges. If I remember correctly she probably already has to do some volunteer work during the school year to meet her IB program requirements - so I would look seriously at a travel option.
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Old Mar 12th, 2006, 08:34 AM
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All my (N) European family and friends have their children and grandchildren studying English, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese.
They speak English and Spanish nearly as well as I.
French and German? In the last century perhaps, but I get by in restaurants and hotels in Alsace, Eifel Mountain vils and Bavaria.
M (SMdA, Gto.)
mikemo is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2006, 06:02 AM
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I am a college counselor at one of the most prestigious high schools in the US. I would definitely not let your daughter just hang out with her friends all summer. Colleges are going to want to see that she has been productive and is exploring her interests rather than hanging at the beach or pool and watching TV. I suggest if you cannot afford to send her to a summer program that she begin volunteering at a local hospital to gain experience in the medical field and to see if that is what she really wants to do. Also you could check out community colleges in your area to see if there are classes she would want to take that might apply to her interests. Maybe forensic science or an advanced science class? Just some thoughts...yes, she can enjoy her time with her friends AND gain some experience-a lot of students do it!
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