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Editorial: It's time to make summer plans

By The Maroon
On January 23, 2014

For some, hitting the end of the third week of the 2014 spring semester means a week closer to Mardi Gras parades. For others, it means midterms are around the corner and you haven't even bought your books yet. Be that as it may, most of us simply aren't thinking enough about our summer plans.
Loyola is among the top universities in the nation for its study abroad participation, according to a report released by the Institute of International Education. Despite our small campus in New Orleans, we have connections with universities around the world and ample opportunities to travel.
While deadlines for a summer abroad program may seem a ways away and much less demanding then your every day work, by the time your March deadline comes around you suddenly realize there are two essays, a letter of recommendation and copy of a valid passport for each program application. Save yourself from the smack on the head when you realize that scholarship deadlines end, some before the program deadline.
Traveling this summer doesn't have to mean study abroad- an internship in New York or Paris would be nice too. If you haven't started your search for the perfect opportunity yet, you could be out of luck. For example, the Central Intelligence Agency's internship programs stopped accepting summer applications on Oct. 15 and the State Department's deadline was Nov. 1. Some of the more prominent journalism internships such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Dallas Morning News have fall application deadlines as well.
The best thing to do with this time in the semester is to make those summer plans and save yourself, your parents and professors from the headache of applying for programs in a rush to make the deadline. Save yourself money by looking at scholarship opportunities in your college or program of choice. Start letting professors know now if you need a recommendation letter. Bring your resume to workshops and advisors at Employola. Make an appointment with the Study Abroad office or just sit down and Google it.
When you want a great summer in a different country or an internship that merits bragging rights, the most effective way of getting there is by starting now.
If you don't begin to look at your options now, the process can be overwhelming and near impossible without careful planning. The last thing any of us want is to return in the fall, and realize that everyone and their mother has gone abroad or had a cool internship- everyone but you.

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