Adrian Lara: Planning your summer

By Adrian Lara. Posted May 12, 2014.

It’s finally summer time! After a colder-than-normal winter, it’s time to enjoy the warm weather. Here are some ideas about different summer plans, including going home, staying in Lincoln, or getting a summer internship.

Going home

I’m always impressed by how personal the decision of going home is. I know people who can be away from home for years without thinking much about it and others who want to spend their Spring Break and weekends there!

For international students, summer is a great time to go home because you have more days available to spend with your family. If you feel like going home, talk to your advisor and try to negotiate for how long you can go.

Because going home is such a personal choice, I’ll move on to more local options to spend your time in Lincoln if you decide to stay here.

Staying in Lincoln

I spent an entire summer in Lincoln and had a lot of fun! Here’s a list of 100 things to do that could be useful. Here I’ll give you some options that are specific to Summer 2014.


Cornhusker State Games: Are you looking for sports more competitive than the UNL Intramurals but still amateur? Here’s a quote from their website: “The Cornhusker State Games is a statewide amateur sports festival for all Nebraskans. The purpose of the Games is to provide top-quality amateur competition in a wide range of activities. The 2014 Games are scheduled for July 18-27 at more than 70 sites in Lincoln, Omaha and surrounding communities.”  The variety of sports to compete in is huge- just take a look at the list! If there is a sport you are interested in, you’ll most likely find it here.

College World Series: I know you aren’t supposed to use Wikipedia as a reference, but hey… this is a blog! Wikipedia explaines the College World Series as: “… an annual baseball tournament held in Omaha, NE that is the culmination of the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship, which determines the NCAA Division I college baseball champion. The eight teams are split into two, four-team, double-elimination brackets, with the winner of each bracket playing in the best-of-three championship series. The tournament takes place in June of each year.”  This is good, quality baseball! If you’re in Lincoln and you like baseball, this is an absolute must since Omaha is only an hour away.


Always keep an eye on what’s coming to the Pinnacle Bank Arena. So far this summer, there is Zac Brown Band and Cher in May; Rod Stewart, Carlos Santana, James Taylor, Circle de Soleil (Michael Jackson World Tour) in June; and Paul McCartney in July. Take your pick!

Getting an Internship

I’ll start by admitting that when I first got to grad school, I was not into the idea of doing an internship because three entire months of holiday seemed so much better than three months working! But after having an internship last year, I have to say: do it!

Internships will:

  1. Provide practical, industry experience which looks good on your CV.
  2. Give you a chance to visit new places.
  3. Provide the opportunity to experience a work environment in the US (for international students).
  4. Teach you a lot about your chosen field and yourself!

My internship was at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, in Berkeley, California. I stayed in the International House with hundreds of other visiting students, and we explored California from top to bottom. Plus I learned a lot… and got paid for it! Summer 2013 was among the best times I’ve had in my life!  I made friends that I will never forget and I have memories that will stay with me forever.  The industry experience didn’t hurt too bad either.

These are just a few of the options for your summer.  I hope you get to experience as many of these opportunities as possible!