The Red&Black has compiled a list of five productive ways students can fill their time this summer. (Glenn Carstens-Peters via Unsplash)

Between canceled study abroad programs and summer internships, many students have been left with an empty calendar in June and July. While the idea of not having set summer plans can feel paralyzing for students, this may be the perfect opportunity to gain experiences they never would have considered beforehand. Here are five productive programs to consider this summer:

Smithsonian Museum Digital Volunteer

While you might not be able to physically visit the Smithsonian this summer, digitally volunteering there will at least allow you some form of a historical venture. Volunteers can help by transcribing some of the Smithsonian’s historical documents, which will help make them more accessible to researchers and the general public. Additionally, volunteers can contribute to the Smithsonian’s WikiProject by improving the quality of Wikipedia pages related to the Smithsonian’s museums, notable artifacts, personnel and more.

United Nations Online Volunteer

The United Nations offers a wide range of ways for people to engage in their online volunteer program, whether it be through writing and editing, translation, art and design or outreach and advocacy. This is an especially great opportunity for those who have lost their summer internship to still gain relevant career experience and put their skills to work this summer.

Parker Dewey Micro-Internships

If your summer internship program was canceled, but you’re still interested in gaining relevant work experience—and getting paid for it—Parker Dewey Micro-Internships might be a worthwhile option. Parker Dewey is an online platform that allows college students and recent graduates to apply for short-term, paid internships, also known as Micro-Internships. These might include opportunities such as copywriting, market research, sales projects and more options to jump-start your career.

UPchieve Online Academic Coach

This organization specifically seeks to provide low-income high school students with free tutoring services at their convenience. Currently, the organization specializes in math tutoring, along with basic college advice — something every University of Georgia student can provide. UPchieve’s academic coaches are given a relatively flexible schedule, so coaches are only required to help students when it’s convenient for them.


MasterClass is an online platform where users can access a large variety of courses taught by top professionals in their fields. Business students can hone in on their leadership skills through the business strategy and leadership class taught by Bob Iger, former CEO of Disney. Theater students can gain insight into character development by participating in Natalie Portman’s acting class. Those of us who still haven’t figured out how to cook anything better than ramen noodles can develop our culinary prowess through a cooking class taught by Gordon Ramsay. A MasterClass subscription costs $180 annually.

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