Summer Institute for international students Seminar: The SI seminar prepares your for Lawrence University’s Freshman Studies course, which is a multi-disciplinary course in liberal learning taken by all first-year Lawrentians. As a multi-disciplinary course, your and your professor in Freshman Studies will engage in the exploration of works from the social sciences, humanities, fine arts, and sciences during fall and winter terms. The SI seminar prepares your for this fall term class by emphasizing close reading of works in various disciplines, learning from active participation in classroom discussions, and developing the ability to write analytical thesis-driven essays.

Topics in Psychology: Topics in Psychology is an exploration of the multifaceted world of the psychological sciences. In this course, you will discuss theories and research findings from many different areas of psychology that will likely change the way you think about yourself and the world around you. To promote further personal growth, you are encouraged to ask questions and to offer input and opinion in class discussions. This course allows you to experience psychology from a personal perspective. To that end, you will engage in topical demonstrations, explore video and other media, and examine personal experiences that illustrate the research findings and psychological theories covered in the course. Topics in Psychology emphasizes the close reading, critical thinking, note taking, and examination skills necessary for success in larger lecture courses offered at Lawrence.

Additional Activities

Co-Curriculum: Students further develop their academic skills through writing and discussion workshops, peer-tutoring sessions, and interaction with campus resources and services.

Extra-Curriculum: Lawrence upperclassmen serving as Program Assistants lead recreational and social activities such as bowling, picnics, hiking, and movies. At the conclusion of the SI, students, staff, and faculty spend a weekend at Björklunden, Lawrence's northern campus on the shore of Lake Michigan in Door County.

Sample Daily Schedule

Summer Institute (SI) will officially begin on Sunday, August 16 and run through Friday, September 4. Your American peers will join you after this time for Welcome Week, at which time you will fully join in for freshmen orientation.

Monday - Wednesday - Friday  
9:00 - 11:45 am  SI Seminar
12:00 - 1:00 pm Lunch
1:15 - 3:00 pm Topics in Psychology Lecture
Tuesday - Thursday  
9:00 am - 12:00 pm Co-curricular Classes
12:00 - 1:00 pm Lunch
1:30 - 3:00 pm Co-curricular Classes
3:15 - 4:15 pm Study Tables
6:30 - 8:00 pm Dinner
7:00 - 10:00 pm Tutoring Available
Weekends Extra-curricular activities                            

Your Investment

The Summer Institute for international students is an invaluable program, giving you a head start in forming your community at Lawrence, exploring the city of Appleton, and getting comfortable in your home for the next four years.

You will also benefit from three weeks of practicing in seminar-style classes, giving you an advantage in understanding what will be expected of you before your official classes begin. Full-time faculty will guide you as you learn from active participation in classroom discussions and develop your writing skills to master analytical thesis-driven essays.

Tuition and fees $1000
Double room $260
Board (food) $540


Text Book


Total $1932

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some common questions we hear as students are considering or preparing for Summer Institute for international students (SI). For additional questions, please email

Where will students live during SI?

Students will live in the same residence hall and room that they will for the academic year, so there is no need to move again at the start of the school year.

What if I can’t understand the lectures or complete the writing assignments?

This program is the perfect chance for you to adjust to the rigors of academic life before the regular school year begins. You will have the chance to listen to academic lectures, read challenging texts, participate in academic discussions, write essays, and get feedback from your instructors on your performance. In addition, peer tutors are available to help you with any aspect of the SI courses and your instructors hold regular office hours for you to get help or ask questions.

What is life like on campus in the summer?

The Summer Institute for international students shares programming with the Summer Institute, a partner program for American freshman.  In addition, peer tutors and program assistants for both programs will be on campus and will quickly get to know all the participants. Most upper-class students are not on campus for the summer, but a small proportion will be here for summer work or to practice for fall term athletics. In short, it’s quieter on campus in the summer, but still pretty lively.

What is the transportation like in Appleton?

There is a local airport 15 minutes from campus and Appleton has public bus services. Lawrence University also provides shopping shuttles to take students to the local mall and grocery store. There are also taxi services, as well as ride sharing apps like Uber and Lyft.

What do students do on weekends?

The Summer Institute program assistants work together to provide optional weekend activities for all participants.  For some examples of previous activities, please look at the extra-curricular activity page. Students can also take the shopping shuttle to buy supplies and groceries or walk to the downtown farmer’s market, shops or restaurants.   Previous students also suggest that “It is also a good idea to go downtown to write your essay in a café, and have some coffee with friends."