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COVID-19 Effects: How to Use Your Time Productively… Online! (Updating)

COVID-19 Effects: How to Use Your Time Productively… Online! (Updating)

Summer is just around the corner, and every year, students take advantage of this time to build their profile. Students do this by enrolling in summer programmes, travelling, engaging in passion projects, assisting in community projects and more. However, this year, we are faced with a pandemic, which requires us to rethink our plans. While disappointing, keep your spirits up! There is an extensive list of productive activities that you can continue to pursue… online! 

1) Summer Schools: 

Some of you may have applied to summer schools. Due to the uncertainty of the situation, some of these programmes might still run on the university campus, some might be cancelled and others might offer the programmes virtually. Keep checking the summer programme’s website and stay in touch with the programme representative to make sure that you have the most recent information available. Also, given the current situation in India, be realistic about travelling even if the campus reopens. If you do not have a visa, it is unlikely that you will get one in time as the consulates in India are shut.
Programmes such as Inspirit AI, focused on Artificial Intelligence by Stanford Alum, and  The School of The New York Times, that provides interesting opportunities in Journalism and writing, are moving online.

At the end of the article is a list of universities that are currently offering their summer schools online, as well as enrichment program opportunities available. This will be updated regularly.

2) Skill Set Development: 

Now is the best time to focus on developing useful skills. Whether you want to improve your reflective writing skills, delve into coding or test your hand in cooking, there are a wide variety of options from which you can choose. There are ample resources and courses online that you can enrol in to help. Artiste 360, which helps students to bring out their creative side by learning different painting styles, along with the art of etiquette and other interdisciplinary practises is taking a virtual approach. Talerang, which focuses on developing 21st-century skills such as design thinking, consumer listening, digital marketing skills and perfect communication is also conducting online classes this summer.

3) Community Service: 

While most of us are under the presumption that community service can only be done in-person, 2020 changes that for most. Site visits and in-person interactions will be a challenge given the current scenario, but you can promote social change and work towards various social causes online. Organisations such as TribesforGOOD help students brainstorm ideas and take on a leadership role to alleviate different problems that our society faces, such as women’s’ menstrual health issues, mental health crisis, lack of animal welfare and sustainability. Initial and long-lasting change can be achieved by video storytelling, creation of a website, a blog or an app, or even via creating content on financial literacy.  

4) Passion Projects: 

Students can work on projects in areas about which they are passionate. STEM students can use their knowledge on artificial intelligence to come up with entrepreneurial ideas or actually extend coding skills to create video game applications. Makerspaces such as CuriosityGym and Makers Asylum offer students mentors that help them execute their ideas. Students keen on theatre can work with institutions such as Jeff Goldberg’s Studio to extend their passion for drama, whereas students interested in photography can use their time to create unique albums of photographs on different themes.  

5) Test Preparation: 

Getting your testing done early is the best thing you can do for yourself. For those of you in grade 9 or 10, give a diagnostic test of both the SAT and the ACT. This will help you identify which testing style suits you better and begin preparing for it early on. If you’ve completed grade  10, you should spend considerable time over the next few months to prepare for your chosen test, so you can give it at the earliest test date. While some universities such as Tufts University, may have waived of their testing requirements for two admissions cycles, the test is not going away. A good score will only make your application more competitive. Nonetheless, not all universities will be waiving this requirement. SAT n paper has prepared students for this test online and continues to do so.

6) Academic Enhancement: 

For those of you that are studying in the Indian board, now is the perfect time to start preparing for the Advanced Placement (AP) exams. The good news is that these AP exams will take place twice this year, and the May ones aren’t cancelled as they are allowing students to test from home. All those math geniuses that intend to apply for pure math/STEM fields and plan to take the AMC examinations, spend your time preparing for those so when the next academic year begins, you are already set to give this. Organisations such as CourseLeap assist with this preparation.  

7) Supplementary Courses: 

If you are moving from an Indian board to an international board to study the IBDP or A-Levels course, you can use this time to enrol for IB Bridge Courses. CourseLeap provides extensive programmes to introduce you to IB specific programmes such as Theory of Knowledge and the Extended Essay. Moreover, you can use this time to get ahead with Math A&A that you’re so apprehensive about. Many universities are providing niche as well as in-depth courses on different topics and subjects areas. If you are keen to know more about philosophy but haven’t had the chance to study it yet, this is the best way to get a glimpse of it. Here, you can access these courses.

8) College Research: 

In case the college visits you planned for this summer gets cancelled, you can learn more about your dream schools by taking a deep-dive into their websites, connecting with their alumni and current student body, taking virtual tours online as well as attending webinars and information sessions that admissions officers will be conducting. This will help you get a better understanding of the location, courses offered, area, costs, and other critical factors about the university. For example, Pomona College is offering virtual tours that you can sign up for beforehand.

While the next few months can be daunting and the uncertainty can leave you perplexed, focus on the positive and use the excess time that you have in the most constructive way. Good luck and get in touch with us if you require further assistance on how to plan your time.

Summer Schools Online:

US Programmes:

Brandeis University: https://www.brandeis.edu/summer/registration/hs-students/index.html
Brown University:https://precollege.brown.edu/catalog/?p=10
Cornell University: https://sce.cornell.edu/precollege/program/online
Georgetown University: https://summer.georgetown.edu/
Johns Hopkins University: https://cty.jhu.edu/online/open-courses.html#7_8
New York University: https://www.nyu.edu/admissions/high-school-programs/high-school-programs-at-a-glance.html
Northwestern University: https://sps.northwestern.edu/college-preparation/e-focus-sessions.php
Purdue University: https://www.purdue.edu/summer-high-school/enrollment-options/fun.php      
The Ross Mathematics Program, in collaboration with Ohio State University: https://rossprogram.org/
Stanford University: https://summer.stanford.edu/courses
University of California, Berkeley: http://precollege.berkeley.edu/commuter
University of Massachusetts Amherst: https://www.umass.edu/summer/programs/academic-programs
University of California, Los Angeles: https://summer.ucla.edu/academiccourses/online/courses
University of Chicago: https://summer.uchicago.edu/programs/summer-college
University of Pennsylvania: https://www.sas.upenn.edu/summer/courses/subject-areas
University of Vermont: https://learn.uvm.edu/pre-college/summer-academy/courses/

UK Programmes:

Kings University: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/summer/summer-schools/pre-university/what-can-i-study
Oxford University (Oxford Royale Academy): https://www.oxford-royale.com/online-courses/#aId=8cde2f28-7ea7-43ae-bef5-217b2e8869f7
SOAS University of London: https://www.soas.ac.uk/summerschool/subjects/courses/

Other European Programmes: 

Sciences Po: https://www.sciencespo.fr/summer/content/academics-1.html

Indian Programmes:

Ashoka University: https://www.ashoka.edu.in/page/ysp-60  
Plaksha University: https://youngtechscholars.org/
Flame University: https://www.flame.edu.in/academics/summer-immersion-program

Online Enrichment Opportunities:

Genwise: https://www.genwise.in/
InvestIn: https://investin.org/
Speech and Debate India – https://www.speechdebateindia.com/plans
Unicorn Futuring Olympiad:
https://www.ufolympiad.com/ 
Zell Education: https://www.zelleducation.com/

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The fundamental role of independent educational consultants is to help students explore college opportunities and find the right place for them to succeed academically and socially. IECs don’t get students admitted—they help students demonstrate why they deserve to be admitted at appropriately chosen schools. They help students find colleges they might not have heard of—often out of their region—and they help students put their best foot forward.

Here are 5 things families should consider when looking to hire an IEC:

  1. Does the IEC belong to a professional association such as IECA with established and rigorous standards for membership?
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  3. Ensure that the IEC adheres to the ethical guidelines for private counseling established by IECA.
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  5. Do they attend professional conferences or training workshops on a regular basis to keep up with regional and national trends and changes in the law?