Sophomore Summer at Dartmouth!
Here at Dartmouth we have a unique term system called the D-Plan. This basically means not only are our years divided into quarters, but students are able to build a completely customised term plan of 'on' or 'off' terms, and decide the seasons that they want to be on-campus! This has many benefits regarding taking classes, and keeping up with friends, of course, but also allows for students to take advantage of off-cycle internships, which are often less competitive, and to structure their studies around their lives beyond college.
One of the most exciting things that has arisen out of this system, though, is a tradition we call Sophomore Summer. Every student at Dartmouth (minus international students due to visa implications) is required to take at least one summer term of classes. Students generally do this at the end of their sophomore year, meaning that each class is together for the entire summer, with very few other Dartmouth students present. This is an incredible opportunity to bond with your classmates and explore the Upper Valley while the population is a quarter of its normal size.
People who are affiliated with Greek Life, or other student organizations, tend to have their first leadership experiences this summer, and all round, it is an awesome chance to have a fun term in the sun at Dartmouth. I am currently in week 2 of my summer term, and I can say that it has been the most exciting for me for sure!
As an international student we may not be required to take classes in the summer, but there are certainly plenty of ways to still get that quintessential summer experience! I, for example, got involved in Economics research through the Dartmouth Economic Research Scholars Program, allowing me to get the funding I need to remain on campus for the Summer. In many ways, this is the best possible experience for me, as I don't have set times for my work, and can structure it around enjoying the Summer in Hanover NH