The grass is greener and the air is warmer. Students are getting out of the classroom and onto the patio. Textbooks are being placed back onto shelves. Treadmills lay abandoned as runners feel the pounding of their feet on the trails through the river valley. IT IS SUMMER…ish!
I spent a day going around asking students what their plans were for the coming four months of sweet freedom. I have to say that I am jealous. You all have such great experiences coming in the next few months. UAlberta, you have impressed me. Here are just a few of the highlights that people shared with me. And yes, it might be a little late to sign up for some of these experiences for yourself this summer; but pay attention and mark your calendars for next year!
CorinneMusic, III Year
While talking with Corinne, I learned something; the UofA offers a summer school in Germany. For six weeks, you are placed in a host family home in Kassel, Germany and you immerse yourself in German language and culture. AND YOU GET CREDIT!! Classes run from 8:30am until noon. Then the afternoons are spent sitting at Tor Café, visiting museums, shopping… What can be better than doing your homework in a little German café? Plus, Kassel has a lot of nearby castles and ruins, and is home to the Brothers Grimm Museum.
So as you sit there enjoying your drink on a patio on Whyte; Corinne will be doing the same thing, just with German people. Beside a castle. And getting language credits. If you want to swap Whyte for Kassel next summer, check out www.cssg.ca.
LandonEngineering, III Year
Landon told me that his plan is to keep things simple. After spending last summer in Ecuador, he’ll be staying home this year to get some work experience and give back to the local community. Notably, he is currently looking at supporting the Mustard Seed with his time, aiding those who live in poverty. And why? Because summer is a fantastic opportunity for students to volunteer. Many youth programs need extra hands to accommodate the influx of participants. City programs are up and running again. And it’s a good chance to buff up a resume for future job prospects.
So while Landon already has plans to go camping in the Alberta wild, and will enjoy the get-togethers with his fraternity brothers, he’ll also be giving back to the community. And if you think that you have some spare time to get yourself involved, you can too. You can check the SU’s Volunteer Registry through InfoLink or Volunteer Edmonton.
Arts, V Year
Anna is going to be enjoying the fact that she is finally graduating. And as a result, a long voyage through Chile lies in her immediate future. She’ll be putting the Spanish classes that she took to good use while hiking through some of the Chilean mountain ranges.
After her trip, she hopes to be working with the U of A Summer Camps. If you’re on campus during the summer, you’ll see hordes of grade-school kids and teenagers roaming through the halls as they learn about nature, art, sports, robotics… and yes, even math. While they are no longer accepting applications for paid summer positions, there are opportunities to volunteer with these camps, and some even offer paid positions during the school year! You can click here to learn about these opportunities.
Although he plans to cruise around on a houseboat for a while, Jordan’s main plan is to continue learning this summer. That’s right, he’ll actually be on campus continuing a research project that he started working on this past semester as part of the Faculty of Engineering Dean’s Research Award program.
Research at the U of A is a great opportunity to get some extra money to help cover costs for the following year, and you do it by furthering your knowledge in the material you want to know more about. Many research programs through the university offer grants and funding that actually pay you to learn. The Undergraduate Research Initiative helps to link you to faculty awards, and information on how to receive funding for your research. It pays to be curious.
This post barely even touches on the many individual and group achievements that will be attained over the next four months. Student groups will continue to function. People will aim for higher and better things. I obviously didn’t have enough time to find out what all of you have planned, but I really hope to hear your stories in September! (Or sooner if you hit the comments!)
About the Author
My name is Chris, and I have a problem; there is too much to do at the University of Alberta! How can you go to class when there are concerts, philanthropy initiatives, services days, food specials, and so many interesting people all over the place?
I am in the sixth year of my Bachelor of Music with a concentration in Trumpet Performance. When I am not practicing, you can find me planning the University of Alberta Dance Marathon, planning community service events for my fraternity, two-stepping all night long at Cook County, or discovering the best restaurants in Edmonton. I also love long walks through the River Valley and enjoy looking at pictures of cute puppies by candlelight while watching romantic comedies—that’s only partially a joke.
I am excited to be writing for YouAlberta this year. I’ll be bringing you insights into some of the hidden gems of the University of Alberta experience. Stay tuned for more about YOU!