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Summer in the city

Students enrolled in UIC’s 2016 summer programs experienced what life on an urban campus has to offer while catching up, moving forward and growing — academically, professionally and personally.

Every year, UIC Summer Session offers undergraduate, graduate, professional and visiting students opportunities to register for four-week and eight-week sessions taught by top-tier faculty.

The 2016 schedule made 300 courses available, including 100-level to 400-level courses.

“Summer gives students a lot of flexibility and access that’s different from the normal semester and academic year,” said Natalie Kokorudz, assistant director for Summer Session.

More than 7,200 students enrolled in this year’s summer programs.

“It’s a very fast pace,” said Jessica Pawelski, a graduate student in accounting. “But it’s definitely worth it.”

Pawelski enrolled in three classes during the eight-week session so she could work as a tax associate at a Chicago firm in the fall.

“It takes a special professor to teach a course in eight weeks. A lot of our professors have done a lot of different learning techniques, so not just lectures — group projects, in-class assignments, they have us go up and teach a part of the curriculum,” she said.

“It’s kind of helping me get ahead in my career.”

And new online sessions let students take classes anywhere. A total of 10 classes were available online.

Karin Machalova, an undergraduate majoring in political science, enrolled in PSYCH 100: Introduction to Psychology; it was the first time the class was offered as a virtual summer experience.

“The online class was extremely helpful for me and my busy schedule,” said Machalova, who completed two internships over the summer. “I could do the work whenever I see fit. If it’s two in the morning, three in the morning, whatever is convenient for me.”

Students completed classwork remotely and chose between participating in a research study on campus or turning papers in online.

Machalova also received credit for her internships by taking LAS 289, a seminar that gathers twice during the summer. Taking those classes will allow her to graduate in December.

International student Ya-Han Hsu made friends, improved her fluency in English and explored Chicago while completing classes for the Liautaud Graduate School of Business.

“I think I make a balance between my academic performance and social activities,” said Hsu, who completed a full course load — 16 credit hours —over the summer. “I think it’s very great. It’s a healthy lifestyle.”

Summer Session also hosted fun community events with the Center for Student Involvement, such as a kick-off picnic, ice cream socials, movie nights and the UIC Summer Dance series. Similar events will be planned for next year.

“We want summer to be a fun place to be on campus,” Kokorudz said.

Schedules for the 2017 session will be available in January.

Undergraduate classes and online programs are charged by credit hour; graduate and professional students are assessed under the range tuition structure.