Summer opportunities can give students invaluable exposure to life and practical experiences. Students should take advantage of them whenever possible because they can change lives.

Phil Lewis, junior, did conservation work in Namibia, including medical examinations on cheetahs.

Phil Lewis, junior, did conservation work in Namibia, including medical examinations on cheetahs.

Phil Lewis, a junior, went on a National Geographic Student Expeditions trip in Namibia where he helped with conservation work.

“Now I’m more conscious of what I do. I’m really into karma now, like I always pick up my trash, and I’m really into nature,” Lewis said.

Claire Eberhart, a freshman, went to “Great Books,” a program at Stanford, where she read literature, attended lectures and met people from all over the world.

“If you are interested in reading, you love discussing topics, and you feel like you need to say some things that you can’t necessarily say in school, then it’s a great program to take,” Eberhart said.

Emma Scott, freshman, went to Peru to build a greenhouse for a town, enabling them to grow food year round.

Emma Scott, freshman, went to Peru to build a greenhouse for a town, enabling them to grow food year round.

Jensen Hsiao, a senior, went to an environmental leadership conference in Quingdao, China, where he taught a class on confidence and effective body language.

“Use your parents, and get them to ask their friends to ask their friends to ask about opportunities for you … There will be a connection for you, and you just have to reach out,” Hsiao said.

Emma Scott, a sophomore, volunteered with the Global Leadership Association in Cuzco, Peru, building a greenhouse to give the town the opportunity to grow plants year round.

Vivian Laurence, senior, went to Fiji for a fashion internship and modeling jobs.

Vivian Laurence, senior, went to Fiji for a fashion internship and modeling jobs.

“When you go to a place where they have to board up their windows with bricks in the winter, and there are 10 stray dogs on every street, you realize that everything is just so insignificant here,” Scott said.

Vivian Laurence, a senior, interned with fashion designer Alexandra Poenaru-Philp in Nadi, Fiji, in addition to modelling for local companies and designers.

“You have to take the risk. If you do the summer programs where you really have the chance to pursue your passions, then the only thing that can hold you back is fear,” Laurence said.