Updated August 1, 2012

Summer Opportunities for Students

5 ways for students to spend summer to get ahead
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With summer fast approaching, large numbers of high school and college students are searching for summer jobs, beginning an internship or enrolling in summer school. Other students choose to use summer as an opportunity to sleep in, hit the beach and take advantage of a carefree lifestyle.

Infographic: Summer Opportunities for Students
Infographic: Summer Opportunities for Students © CreditDonkey

"While vacations are fun, we wanted to highlight several alternatives for college students," says Charles Tran, founder of CreditDonkey.

  1. Study Abroad - Use your summer to study art in Rome or chemistry in Tokyo. Study abroad programs are available in more than 130 countries around the world in a variety of study, subject and travel options.

    "Consider using credit cards with no foreign transaction fee when you study abroad," says Tran. "While a 3% foreign transaction fee might not sound like a lot, the fees quickly add up, whether you spend a few weeks or the entire summer overseas."

  2. Summer Jobs - Jobs are a great way to build your resume so you are better prepared to enter the work force when you graduate. Most employers prefer to hire someone with real-world work experience, not just academic skills.

    "With the Credit CARD Act of 2009, applicants under the age of 21 must have a cosigner or show that they are able to make payments to get a student credit card. What better proof than a paying job?" says Tran.

  3. Summer School - Attending a few summer classes at a four-year university or saving money during the summer by attending a community college is a great low-cost way to get ahead and graduate early.

    "As student debt now exceeds credit card debt, students are well advised to graduate on time or ahead of schedule," suggests Tran. "A college degree has long been shown to boost the amount of money one can expect to earn over their lifetime."

  4. Internships - Internships are a great way to get work experience, earn college credit, and build your network before you graduate.

    "Companies continue to hire from their intern pool rather than hire an outside applicant," continued Tran. "While half of internships in the U.S. are unpaid, the experience gained is invaluable."

  5. Volunteering - Volunteering is another great way to gain a once-in-a-lifetime experience during your student years.

    "Volunteering helps students gain a wider perspective through service," says Tran. "At CreditDonkey, we think it's important for individuals to help others in need. The experience will help you on your road to success, from college to entrepreneurship."

Emma A is a contributing writer at CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison and reviews website. Write to Emma A at emma@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

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