Cool Summer Opportunities for International High School Students

Author: Shannon Rooney

Chicago tripStudents pose in front of the famous "Bean" in Chicago.

Notre Dame offers two fantastic summer programs for international high school students who want to experience U.S. college life.  

The International Leadership, Enrichment, and Development Program (iLED) program and the International Summer Physics Institute (iSPI) take place over two weeks on the Notre Dame campus. 

In addition to intensive coursework, both programs include fun community-building activities, like the "iLED Olympics," a Latin dance class, and trips to Chicago and Lake Michigan. Most importantly, both programs give students an opportunity to try out U.S. college life. 

"iLED and iSPI are programs designed to give international students an enriching pre-college experience. They are, before all, an immersion experience into the U.S. culture, and specifically into the American university life," says Amber Li, academic programs director. 

Living on the Notre Dame campus for two weeks, students take part in various aspects of campus life, including staying in residence halls, eating in campus dining halls, and taking courses taught by college professors. 

"Beyond experiencing the U.S. and college, the programs also give to the participants the opportunity to meet and develop relationships with other young students from around the world," says Li. One of the programs' objectives is to promote cross-cultural exchange. Last year, the combined programs hosted 50 students from 18 different countries, including Brazil, China, Ecuador, India, and Kenya. 

"Every year, the participants grow so close together that leaving each other at the end of the programs becomes hard for them," says Li.

Take it from Lion, a past participant from Germany. "At ND, I made unforgettable memories—I took over 1000 pictures!!—and made very close friends...That was one of the most interesting things [during this experience], to talk with people from all over the world, to hear opinions on different things and to see how things are in any other country all over the globe!"

If you're an international student looking for a taste of U.S. college life, check out the iLED and iSPI program details below. 

International Leadership, Enrichment, and Development Program (iLED)


Program Dates: July 14 - July 28, 2018

This summer program is taught by Notre Dame faculty and focuses on international leadership. Programming includes lectures by professors, hands-on learning, collaborative projects, business and community engagement, and many extracurricular activities. Students take courses in all five colleges. Participants experience life at Notre Dame and broadens their understanding and knowledge in the disciplines of science, engineering, the humanities, business, the social sciences, architecture, and the arts. 

Learn more.

International Summer Physics Institute (iSPI)


Program Dates: July 14 - July 28, 2018

This intensive science program focuses on an exciting and growing area of science: particle physics. The program strengthens students’ existing knowledge of physics and supplements it with advanced knowledge to investigate questions in physics using particle physics data.  

For the experiments, students use real data from the Large Hadron Collider at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) laboratory in Switzerland. They assemble and test detectors in the laboratory to study cosmic rays and draw raw data from their particle physics experiments. Students also visit the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) outside of Chicago.

Learn more. 

More Programs Open to International Students

International students are welcome to participate in our Pre-College programs, which are also open to U.S. students.

We offer four summer programs:

Summer Scholars and Leadership Seminars take place on the Notre Dame campus and the two study abroad options are 12-day adventures in Ireland and Rome. 

Learn more about Pre-College programs.