With the approach of Summer most students are facing changes ahead. The end of year exams usually take place and the light at the end of the tunnel approaches in the form of three months away from college books and deadlines. The summer holidays are a great opportunity to embrace a change in pace, this can mean a new job for the summer, taking a course or even travelling and experiencing new cultures.
The options are plentiful and below are a few ideas to help make the most of those Summer months.
- If you are passionate about working in a particular field in the future, the quieter summer months can be a great time to apply for work experience. Many companies will have reduced numbers due to staff holidays and be happy to have extra help. Work experience enhances a CV and is a good way to make contacts for the future. If going this route, find out what companies are operating in your chosen field of future study and give them a call or view their website for contacts & opportunities, bear in mind this is best done in advance of the Summer months and many calls or emails may have to be made to secure even a non-paid position. Look at it as valuable experience for the future.
- The summer holidays can also be an ideal time to get a paying job and save some money. There are always plenty of positions available seeking college students for the summer months and many of them can be found online. One online resource can be found at http://www.irishjobs.ie/Summer-Jobs – Jobs such as au-pairing, summer camp leaders and specific student summer roles are all on offer.
- The summer break can be a great time to learn a new language. The time away from the pressures of college is the opportunity to immerse yourself in studying something new. There are plenty of courses available around the country such as those run in Sandford Languages Institute which has a wide range of language courses starting in June.
- One of the best ways to savour having three months holidays is to travel. The J-1 Summer Work and Travel Programme allows full-time third level students to enter America on a J-1 exchange visitor visa. This means students can live and work in the USA for up to four months. Another travel option is to sign up for a volunteering programme in a country such as India, Peru or Cost Rica. Volunteering is a great way to see the world while doing something rewarding. More information can be found at www.volunteerabroad.com
- For those who want to stay closer to home and are looking for ways to fill their time, Summer courses can be a good option, An example is IADT in Dun Laoghaire which offers a wide selection of art based summer courses including portfolio preparation, watercolour classes and botanical art and illustration. For more information visit www.iadt.ie.
Other colleges offering Summer courses include UCD (ucdsummerschool.ie) and Letterkenny IT (offering a 4 day Computer Summer Camp). NUI Galway also offers a range of Summer schools, more info at https://www.nuigalway.ie/summer-schools/
Of course there’s always the option of taking a well earned break from exam stress and study and if you feel like you need some recuperation time then maybe the best plan is not to plan at all and enjoy a few months with your family and friends.
Author: Fiona McBennett