Summer Programs for High School Students

Thursday, December 08, 2022
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If you are a high school student searching for the most beneficial way to spend your summer, you are in luck. It is time to start checking out summer programs for teens. 

Summer programs for high school students can provide a one-of-a-kind learning experience. They offer a variety of benefits from earning college credit and gaining new perspectives to helping others. But, it can be difficult to find the right summer program to meet your needs. The National Society of High School Scholars has several handpicked partners that align with their mission of supporting young scholars to become tomorrow’s leaders. 

Here are some of the best summer programs for high school students. 

UC Berkeley Summer Sessions

The University of California, Berkeley is one of California's top colleges. It features more than 130 academic departments and 80 interdisciplinary research units. The school also offers a Summer Pre-College Scholars Program

Through this program, highly motivated rising juniors and seniors have the opportunity to take college-level courses alongside Berkeley students. Accepted students will experience college life at UC Berkeley, participate in activities, engage in exploration workshops, and have the opportunity to earn UC Berkeley credit. 

The UC Berkeley high school summer program is available via residential, commuter, or virtual. It is a one of the best options of summer programs for high school students. 

Yale Young Global Scholars 

Yale Young Global Scholars is a fantastic teen summer program. Over the course of two weeks, students will engage academically and socially with peers around the world. 

The residential summer program is one of the best summer programs for teens in the world. Students are put into academic interest groups such as humanities, social sciences, STEM topics, or a cross-disciplinary track for students with multiple interests. Students then engage in breakout discussions, lectures, seminars, symposiums, a capstone project, and family time to develop bonds with others around the world. The YYGS experience is unlike any other. 

YYGS serves more than 2,000 students from over 150 countries, all 50 U.S. states, and offers over $3 million in need-based financial aid. If you are looking for a residential teen summer program at an Ivy League university, YYGS is something to consider. 

United Planet

Students searching for a summer program hosted by a nonprofit organization, check out United Planet. United Planet offers Volunteer Abroad and Virtual Volunteer Programs with Impact. There are several types of programs offered including short-term (1-12 week), mid-term (4-16 weeks), long-term (6 months+), group volunteer abroad, and intern abroad. 

Each quest creates opportunities for students to serve a community, connect to a new culture, learn, teach, grow, and much more. Whether you are interested in volunteering in Costa Rica, Spain, Italy, Moldova, Ecuador, Peru, or beyond - there is a place for you with United Planet. 

This type of teen summer program helps students to learn outside the bounds of a traditional classroom and offers life and cultural lessons. 

Outward Bound Costa Rica 

One of the most adventurous summer programs for high school students is Outward Bound Costa Rica. This summer program offers students outdoor activities such as scuba diving, rainforest trekking, rafting, and surfing paired with volunteering in local communities in Costa Rica and Panama. 

Students will practice Spanish speaking skills, earn service hours, learn leadership skills, communicate with remote indigenous communities, discover new cultures, and earn academic credit. 

Outward Bound has programs that last 1 week to 85 days and is available for 14-18+ year old students. If your ideal summer program is jam packed with adventure, culture, and learning, Outward Bound Costa Rica is a great fit. 

Final Thoughts

Searching for the best summer programs for high school students can be overwhelming. With a wide variety of options and opportunities, it’s hard to know which programs will be the right fit. 

It’s a great idea for students to identify what they hope to gain from a teen summer program. Whether they are looking for an academic environment and college credit or adventure and helping others or a little bit of both, there is a great match. The NSHSS strives to help students and families achieve their goals and provide opportunities to make it happen. From millions of dollars in scholarships to helping find the best high school summer program, the NSHSS is there to help.