Some students take Summer Term courses to satisfy a requirement in a quick three-, four-, or eight-week timeframe. Some prefer to focus on a difficult subject with no other classes to distract them. And some just want to pursue a passion in the loveliest setting imaginable: the UW-Madison campus in summertime.

Here’s what six students are taking this summer and why.

Zoe AquilinoA NOTORIOUSLY CHALLENGING SUBJECT

I’m taking an online class, Neural Basis of Communication, which is a requirement for my major in Communication Sciences and Disorders. The class is offered in spring, but I chose to take it during the summer because it’s a neuroscience course—a notoriously challenging subject—and I wanted to focus on the material without worrying about three or four additional classes. I’m also taking Sign Language I, an elective in my major. I’m passionate about deaf culture and I’m a member of American Sign Language Club on campus; I thought this class would be a great way to practice ASL during the summer months when the club doesn’t meet.

Zoe Aquilino

Katrina KitzmannSNAPCHAT STUDIES

I’m taking Journalism 175: Media Fluency in the Digital Age because it counts toward the digital studies certificate I’m pursuing. It’s an immediately applicable course where we explore different digital platforms and topics from search algorithms to Snapchat, which will help me as a marketing/public relations professional post-graduation.

Katrina Kitzmann

Meredith BrazaWOMEN’S BODIES AND SOCIETY

This summer I am engaging in Women and Their Bodies in Health and Disease, a course that appeals to me because it offers a firm foundation for women’s mental and physical health issues in relation to their roles in society. I hope to one day research the relationship between maternal and infant health, so it was critical for me to explore this domain.

Meredith Braza

ECON EXCLUSIVELY

I am taking two courses this summer: Intermediate Microeconomic Theory (Econ 301) and Statistics: Measurements in Economics (Econ 310). I’ve been told that they are some of the more difficult requirements for the economics major, so taking them over the summer will allow me to focus exclusively on these complicated subjects. It will also lighten my credit load for the following semesters, which is always helpful in terms of mitigating future stress. By the end of the summer I’m hoping to come away with a thorough understanding of these complex topics while being on track for a timely graduation.

Kaitlyn Wolfinger

Joao FoltranSIGNALS AND SYSTEMS WITH A SIDE OF FRENCH

I’m taking Signals and Systems and Circuits Laboratory II in the College of Engineering this summer, along with French 203. I hope to deepen my understanding of telecommunication systems and networks and apply some of this knowledge in the research I’m involved in with the math department. I also hope to continue expanding my knowledge of French to possibly use in my professional career.

Joao Foltran

CHEMISTRY INTENSITY

I signed up for English as Second Language 118 because it will help me improve my English writing skills. As an international student, being comfortable in English writing as early as possible would help me a lot in my other classes and my life in the U.S. I also signed up for introductory organic chemistry because I transferred from business school to biochemistry, and I need summer classes to make sure I don’t fall behind in my major classes. I’m hoping that taking these two classes over the summer will help me learn how to handle the intensity.

Xiaoxuan Lin