March to the beat of your own drum? Then these very specific, sometimes unexpected courses may tickle your fancy! Read on for our top picks for unusual, specific, one-of-a-kind courses offered at campuses across the US and internationally through Summer Springboard.

#1: Expressive Lettering & Design @ Cal Poly SLO

The art of lettering is as old as written language: from ornamental initial letters in medieval texts to ancient Chinese calligraphy to modern graphics, expressive lettering has been making a statement for centuries. In this course taught by Cal Poly professor Charmaine Martinez, MFA, students will learn how to transform a rough idea into a refined concept sketch and digital drawing that can be used in a wide range of applications. Whether this becomes a career, your life’s passion or just a fulfilling and unique hobby, you can bet that you’ll be the only one among your friends with this unique skill under your belt.

#2: Interior Design I & II @ New York School of Interior Design

Get a rush from redecorating your bedroom? Appreciate a compelling, well-appointed display window? Fancy yourself an interior design guru? In the first course, you’ll design a small apartment from soup to nuts; in the second, tackle a commercial space such as a hotel lobby or coffee shop. Get into the nitty gritty of floor plans, where we’ll explore the basics do’s and don’ts of layouts before dipping a toe into drafting–it’s a crucial skill in the field–as well as diving deep into concepts of color scheme, furniture style and materials. 

Interior Design I & II Pre-College courses are led by the same instructors that teach undergraduate programs at NYSID: designers, architects and business owners with tons of experience working in the competitive and sometimes cutthroat arena of NYC. 

#3: Fashion Merchandising @ Barnard College, Columbia University

Calling all fashionistas! Not only do you know a fire fit when you see one–you want to get into the industry. Fashion Merch may just be the ideal way to make your passion a career. Living in one of the most trendy cities in the world doesn’t hurt, either! With visits to the Fashion Institute of Technology (or, oh-so-fittingly, FIT)  and meetings with up-and-coming designers, fashion buyers, and product developers, you’ll learn the ropes in no time. We’ll also round out the experience with art exhibitions and a leisurely day at the Museum of Arts and Design to truly soak in the vibe of this fashion forward, artful city. 

#4: Sports Management @ UCLA or University of Michigan

Has this last season of Ted Lasso inspired you to explore roles in the sports management realm? Look no further! This course, held at both UCLA and University of Michigan, dives deep into the myriad possibilities of sports management, focusing on the business side of the field. Explore the different aspects of sports management, including personnel management, business, program development, marketing, recruiting and more. Tour a local stadium (in the past, we’ve gone behind the scenes at Dodger or SoFi stadiums in Los Angeles) and get the inside scoop from knowledgeable instructors.

#5: International Relations: The Singapore Model @ National University of Singapore

It really doesn’t get more niche than this! Interested in international relations and politics? Curious about how Singapore functions as a global pillar in the finance and IR world? Eager to understand the intricate mechanisms of international politics and Singapore’s place in it? This course will leave no stone unturned when it comes to sussing out the details on this micro-topic and exploring the ways in which specific principles can be applied to other areas. From conflict resolution & diplomacy to cross-cultural collaboration, delve into the socio-historical impacts of global developments, examining human rights, environmental concerns, and more, all through the lens of Singapore’s unique geopolitical stance.