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Summer Sisters Exchange Program

Empowering young Pakistani women to pursue higher education while breaking down social and cultural barriers

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Mahveen Azam
Program Manager

4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20016 United States

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Women are the key to a prosperous future

The US Summer Sisters Summer Exchange Program encourages gifted, low- to middle-income female high school students from Pakistan to explore education and career options through pre-college programs at US universities. The program brings students to top US universities to study science, leadership, international affairs, and others topics. Interested students from all over Pakistan go through a rigorous application and interview process with our local partner, iEARN Pakistan, and are selected based on merit.

More than a dozen university partners provide Pakistani high school girls scholarships to pre-college programs on their campuses.

American University

Community of Scholars

The Community of Scholars program is a rigorous college-credit summer program designed for students entering their junior and senior years of high school. The Community of Scholars offers academically outstanding students the chance to broaden their understanding of international relations by enrolling in a 3-credit college class with a hybrid format (1 week online and 2 weeks in traditional on-campus classes) taught by highly regarded AU faculty in small, seminar-style classes. Course subject areas include international conflict resolution/cross-cultural communication, U.S. foreign policy, and global environmental politics. In addition to class time, students attend briefings at government agencies such as the U.S. State Department and World Bank as well as college skills-building workshops. Students enjoy full access to American University facilities and organized evening and weekend social activities. 

Babson College

Summer Study Program

The Summer Study Program provides a living and learning laboratory for students to focus on applying and advancing their knowledge of business and entrepreneurship. In this collaborative community, students experience first-hand how to impact and reshape organizations, industries, and the world. Each program introduces students to Babson's way of Entrepreneurial Thought and Action and provides resources and strategies for students to think about company and world issues.

Brown University

Leadership Institute and/or Summer@Brown

Brown University’s Leadership Institute offers an innovative and unique leadership program designed for highly motivated, intellectually curious students who are interested in social issues and creating positive change. The Leadership Institute consists of three foundational elements: academic content, leadership development, and the Action Plan. Students will work with outstanding faculty, undergraduates, and peers in a highly immersive and interactive program. In each course, students will focus on an academic topic such as science, international issues, development, global health, or social entrepreneurship. It is in the context of exploring and understanding these areas that students will also develop leadership skills.

Summer@Brown features courses that are carefully chosen to represent the wide range of Brown University’s open liberal arts curriculum – a core principle of a Brown education. Enrolled students live and learn on Brown’s campus and choose from over 200 non-credit courses – half of which are offered during one of the four two week terms. In class, attention is shifted away from grades and credits so students can fully immerse themselves in subjects they love, and discover the satisfying challenge of college-level academics. Outside of class, students participate in a full program of events and activities, and experience the independence of college life with fellow students and new friends from around the world.

Duke University

Summer Academy for High School Students

Duke University’s Summer Academy for High School Students offers a three-week, non-credit-bearing program aimed at attracting the next generation of global citizens from around the world. This elite program provides an academic and residential environment through which students gain a global perspective on multiple areas of interest to young leaders. Courses are offered in the areas of leadership, entrepreneurship, philanthropy, and lab research work in science and technology.

Georgetown University

Immersion Program

The Georgetown University Immersion Program is a three-week residential program that provides an intensive exploration of a single subject area. Students live on campus, learn from prominent faculty, and gain valuable hands-on experience through case studies, worksheets, and off-site trips in Washington, DC. The program focuses on economic policy immersion and medical immersion.

George Washington University

Summer Immersion Program

Summer Immersion is a pre-college, non-credit program for rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Summer Immersion students enroll in two-week, full-day, non-graded courses that integrate lecture-based instruction with experiential and applied activities. Students expand and deepen their knowledge of a topic through collaborative learning and exploration of diverse intellectual and cultural resources of Washington, DC. Program areas include arts, business, communications, international affairs, technology, science, writing, politics, media, and international law. 

Harvard University

Secondary School Program

The Secondary School Program is designed to let high school students experience college life alongside college and adult students. Secondary Summer Program students can earn college credit in Harvard courses and explore subjects not available at high schools. They study with distinguished faculty, use state-of-the-art labs, and have access to the largest university library system in the world. By living on campus and participating in intramural sports, trivia bowl, dances, or other school activities, students can make friends from all over the globe. They can also attend college prep workshops, college fairs, and talks by Harvard students and Harvard admissions staff. Arts, humanities, social sciences, business, technology, math, science, foreign language, literature, writing, and journalism are some of the focus areas in the program.

National Student Leadership Conference (NSLC) 

Since 1989, the National Student Leadership Conference (NSLC) has invited a select group of outstanding high school students to participate in its fast-paced, high-level, interactive summer sessions. Summer Sisters’ participants attend either the NSLC on Engineering or the NSLC on Medicine and Health Care programs, both of which are held at American University. At the NSLC on Engineering, students explore a variety of engineering fields including mechanical, civil, electrical, and biomedical engineering. At the NSLC on Medicine and Health Care, students visit medical facilities, interact with physicians and researchers, diagnose and treat patients through a simulation, and learn and practice medical and surgical techniques. In both NSLC programs, students practice core leadership skills in public speaking, team building, ethical decision-making, conflict resolution, and negotiation.

Smith University

Smith Summer Science and Engineering Program

The Smith Summer Science and Engineering Program (SSEP) is a four-week residential program for exceptional young women with strong interests in science, engineering, and medicine. Each July, select high school students from across the country and abroad come to Smith College to do hands-on research with Smith faculty in the life and physical sciences and in engineering. After the program, participants return to high school better prepared to tackle tough science courses and better informed about what to expect in college.

Syracuse University

Summer College for High School Students

Syracuse University Summer College provides high school students the opportunity to explore their artistic, intellectual, and professional passions while experiencing college life. More than forty programs from ten of Syracuse University’s schools and colleges reflect the richness and diversity of the majors and minors at Syracuse University. All programs and courses are college-level and led by Syracuse University faculty and instructors. Credit and noncredit programs are offered and run at different lengths (2, 3, 4, and 6 weeks) from June 29 through August 9. Residential students are provided accommodation in a traditional undergraduate residence hall and a full meal plan in a university dining hall. Students also have access to all of Syracuse University’s facilities, which include the libraries, recreation facilities, student centers, and more. Residential and campus-based programming, and field trips in the central New York region, give students the opportunity to socialize, have fun, and make new friends from across the country and world.

University of Chicago

Arts and Sciences Pre-College Summer Program and/or College Pathways Program

University of Chicago’s intensive pre-college summer program for high school students cultivates critical thinking, innovative problem-solving, and effective communication skills through interdisciplinary work drawing upon material from the sciences, humanities, and the social sciences. Students educated in the liberal arts tradition are distinguished by their ability to successfully navigate a fast-paced world that is increasingly characterized by complexity, diversity, and change. In a program inspired by the University of Chicago’s fabled core curriculum, academically ambitious high school students will have the opportunity to experience intellectual engagement in an on-campus program taught by teams of faculty and graduate student instructors from different disciplines.

Washington University

High School Summer Pre-Medical and Pre-Engineering Institutes

High School Summer Institutes combine traditional undergraduate class and lab curriculum with organized field trips, guest lectures, and hands-on activities for students to gain valuable academic and career experience. Institutes are divided into morning and afternoon sessions. Students will have assigned readings and assignments through the program. Every student completes a student reflection essay and a final project. In the evenings, students attend academic seminars, workshops, and social events. 

Why Women in Pakistan?

  • With the sixth largest and fifth youngest population in the world, Pakistan's future depends on mobilizing its human resources. In 2019, Pakistan ranked 152nd on the Gender Development Index according to the UNDP.

  • Only 1 in 4 Pakistani women participate in the labor force, and represent less than 1/10th of the formal workforce. 

  • Less than 1 in 10 women complete tertiary education. 

2017 Summer Sister Gets Full Ride to Stanford

Zoha Fatima, 2017 Summer Sister

Summer Sisters opened my eyes, I had never really seen things this way before.

I secured a 120% scholarship at Stanford University after attending American University’s Community of Scholars program, “Worlds Together, Worlds Apart: Conflict, Culture and Co-operation.” In 2018 I became one of Yale’s Young Global Scholars. I was blown away by the fact that I can fit so easily into a world that I thought I would never be able to adjust in. It's like I had wings but I never knew they were there. Summer Sisters was the reason I found out.