With final exams approaching quickly and midterms concluding, many students have one word circling their mind – summer!  

Where do you see yourself in two months? Perhaps you are working a summer job or hiding inside an air conditioned place. Perhaps you are taking a well-deserved summer trip. If you see yourself doing the latter, start planning this before finals begin. If it is feasible for you, I definitely recommend an academically inspired trip to bring your learning to a more practical place. Below are various programs and their accompanying perfect summer trip ideas (I apologize in advance for the corny puns, though they are a-maze-ing).

Education
  1. SOS Outreach Trips: Students Offering Support (SOS) encourages students to bring the gift of education abroad. Build classrooms for young students in Guatemala or Columbia, or learn and practice Spanish with a non-profit language school in Guatemala. Make a difference this summer and join SOS in changing the world.
  2. Projects Abroad: Bring the gift of education around the world to provide a brighter future for those in need. You can travel to Peru, North Africa, Fiji, and more.
  3. Teach Beyond: Expand your teaching knowledge by bringing it to those who need it the most all over the world, including right here at home in Canada and the USA.
  4. Empower a Child: Leave for Kenya or Uganda for one week, two years, or anything in between, and return home with a new perspective.
Engineering
  1. Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico: Do you think radio telescopes sound interesting? You’re right! The Observatory tour explains why these telescopes are useful, and the research being done with them.
  2. NASA Johnson Space Center in Texas: “Houston, we have a problem.” The problem is that you are a mechanical engineer or space enthusiast and you haven’t been here! Tour the center for an out-of-this-world experience.
  3. Computer History Museum in California: Including preservation of the Information Age exhibits, a demo lab of IBM technology, computer hacking and more – be sure to monitor when you can go see this museum!
Psychology
  1. Freud Museum in England: This is the last residence of the Father of Modern Psychology, including the couch on which he treated his patients.
  2. The Brain Museum in New York: This is just as it sounds. A museum about brains, including a wall of human brains. Don’t go here on a full stomach. This one is making me nerve-ous!
  3. Anne Frank House in the Netherlands: While not directly related to psychology, this museum provides an in-depth analysis of the human mind, and the capabilities of human beings.
History 
  1. Stonehenge in England: Whether you believe the alien conspiracies or you are just fascinated by the 25 ton stones that have been standing since 2500 BC, this is a sight that truly rocks!
  2. Parthenon in Greece: A former temple dedicated to the goddess Athena, the Parthenon is a symbol of Ancient Greece, Athenian democracy, and western civilization.
  3. Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Poland: Visit here to learn more about World War II and to get a glimpse into the horrors of our past and the atrocities of genocide.
Business and Economics
  1. Karl Marx House in Germany: The history of communism and Marx’s life and writings are all explained in the birthplace of the Father of Modern Socialism and Communism.
  2. Wall Street in New York: A visit to Wall Street and The New York Stock Exchange will provide insight into the development of a nation’s financial system and national banks. It’s sure to leave you floored.
  3. Apple Headquarters in California: The most profitable company in the world is a great place to compare your entrepreneurial model to! Take a bite of this learning opportunity! 
Music
  1. Broadway in New York: Whether you like the show tunes, sound of the orchestra, or incredible acting, musicals are best on Broadway.
  2. The Vienna Philharmonic in Austria: Known as one of the finest orchestras in the world, sitting in their audience, music students will appreciate the musicians’ talent and hard work.  
  3. Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in Ohio: For lovers of 1950’s music, like me, this is a must-see. Don’t worry, though, new musicians are added each year.

If you are considering taking a summer trip, look into these great options for your program or think of other great ideas to extend your learning outside of the classroom. But remember, even though it is good idea to start planning for your summer, studying for your last few tests and final exams is your priority right now. There’s only a few more weeks to go!

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