San Francisco is one of the most beautiful, liberal, and diverse cities in the USA. Making the decision to spend your next summer in the City by the Bay is one you’ll never regret!
Why San Francisco?
What’s not to love about San Francisco? It’s stunning, culturally rich, and home to a wide variety of people. As a student, you are likely travelling on a budget, which isn’t easy because life in San Francisco isn’t cheap. There are, however, plenty of things to do for free or at minimal cost. Your first stop should be the cable cars – the oldest public transportation in the USA. $6 gets you a ride and it’s a great way to see the city. You can experience some of the most spectacular views of San Francisco at the Presidio. The former military outpost has almost 1,500 acres of land including great picnic spots, bike paths, and hiking trails. For the culturally-inclined amongst you, one of the best reasons to spend your summer in San Francisco is its free festivals. People in Plazas, located in the various downtown plazas and on Market Street, offers 130 concerts featuring local performers over the summer and fall months. There’s also the Stern Grove Festival, which has concerts every Sunday, and Free Shakespeare in The Park throughout September at the Presidio.
Summer Schools and Internships
Developing your skills and making yourself more employable whilst enjoying the San Franciscan summer; sounds appealing doesn’t it?
Science and technology are the fields of choice in San Francisco and there are many organisations looking for summer interns every year. The majority of these internships involve research at the numerous universities and private firms. The University of California in San Francisco is renowned for its comprehensive summer programs in health and physical sciences, and generous compensation of participants with packages up to the value of $8,000. However, it’s not all science in San Fran. Students of marketing, online media, and communications have a veritable buffet of internships open to them as well. Many private firms in the Bay area offer high-tech products and services which require an online presence. If you’re a student of engineering or physics, you might even be lucky enough to get a position with NASA at the nearby Moffat Federal Airfield.
Another huge field in San Francisco is that of NGOs (non-governmental organizations). If you’ve ever wanted to work towards bettering the lives of others, there are many opportunities to do so in SF – both paid and unpaid (More on volunteering abroad and NGOs here). Universal Giving, for example, works with individuals on charitable projects and large companies on their Corporate Social Responsibility programs. UG’s internships range from videography to marketing, administration to web development, social media to executive assistants, and more. The University of California in Berkeley offers undergraduates $4,500 and graduates $5,500 to take a summer program in the field of Labor Management. It predominantly focuses on labor issues in California, such as underpaid and exploited workers, and how to rectify their situations through research, organization, policy.
All of the above-mentioned examples are just a few of many. As well as considering summer schools and internships, you might think about working at a summer camp.
If you like the idea of giving something back to the community, want to have fun while doing it, and like working with children, then working at a summer camp in San Francisco might just be the perfect opportunity for you! Galileo innovation camps for kids, for example, has forty locations around the Bay area including in San Francisco. Every summer they need interns, team leaders, instructors, operations coordinators, extended care coordinators, and more. Even better, these are no ordinary summer camps. Galileo Camps boast art projects, science challenges, and outdoor activities that make children laugh, think, and express themselves – so, it’s not just dodgeball and early bedtimes!
Whatever your choice for the summer, whether it be a summer school, internship, or work at a camp, San Francisco is a great place to do it. It’s best to keep in mind, though, that the earlier you send off your applications, the better! You’re not the only person who wants to spend their summer in this beautiful, lively city.