ACTIVATE: Summer Internship Program

Lake Forest College’s ACTIVATE: Summer Internship Program helps you make the most of right now. Students reside in downtown Chicago at the College’s Chicago residential building, receive cutting-edge career preparation and mentorship, and benefit from an internship at a Chicago internship location.


To be eligible to participate in this program, students must have and/or be:

  • A strong interest in experiencing the many resources offered by an immersive Chicago experience.
  • Good academic and judicial standing during time of application and time of participation in program.
  • A priority minimum GPA of 2.8 for the academic program. Students with less than a 2.8 GPA are encouraged to apply; however, an overall improvement in academic performance must be reflected on their transcript.
  • Completed at least two semesters of study and hold junior status or above at Lake Forest College by participation. Transfers students must have completed at least one semester on the Lake Forest campus and hold junior status or above by participation.
  • At least 18 years of age by the program’s start date.
  • Able to stay at the host program for the duration of the program.

The ACTIVATE: Summer Internship Program is an 8-week selective enrollment program, where admitted students participate in professional development opportunities before and during the program, receive personalized guidance to secure an internship, and earn up to two academic credits.

ACTIVATE is open to students from all majors who are interested in clarifying personal and professional goals, gaining career-building experiences, and getting to know fellow interns, as well as gaining access to alumni and friends of the College who are leaders in their chosen fields. Unlike doing an internship on your own, you will be surrounded by people with similar experiences, as well as program staff who are able to help you maximize the value of your summer.


All students are required to complete an Academic Internship as part of the ACTIVATE: Summer Internship Program. While participating in the ACTIVATE: Summer Internship Program, you will complete an internship of up to two credits, totaling 300 hours over the course of the summer.

Admitted students will receive hands-on guidance from the Career Advancement Center to secure a Chicago internship. Both the Career Advancement Center and ACTIVATE staff will assist you in honing your career goals, while collaborating closely with you on the internship search and selection process to ensure you have the training and skills to make a great impression on your summer employer.

Once you have your internship in hand, you will continue to receive mentoring and professional development throughout the summer.

You may also elect to complete 1, 1.25, 1.5, or 1.75 credits upon approval of the Career Advancement Center and ACTIVATE staff.

Housing, Meals, and Transportation

Students reside at The Flats, a residential building located in the South Loop in the heart of the Wabash Arts Corridor.

Up to 16 students live in double-occupancy bedrooms, two to three bedrooms in each apartment. Each bedroom is equipped with desks, beds, wardrobes, and dressers. Each apartment contains a common area, bathroom, and kitchen. Apartments are provided with cable TV in the common room and internet/wifi throughout the apartment. All apartments feature floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the city skyline.

All students are provided with a Meal Stipend and U-Pass for CTA travel.

Program Cost

The fee for the ACTIVATE: Summer Internship Program includes tuition, housing, professional development activities, a U-Pass for unlimited CTA travel, and a meal stipend. ACTIVATE includes up to two credits of internship for 300 hours over the course of the summer.

Financial aid may be available for those who currently receive need-based aid. However, Financial Aid will not cover the full cost of the program. Students may consult with the Financial Aid Office to discuss payment plans, loans, or alternate sources of aid.

Students may complete up to two internship credits as part of the ACTIVATE program. If and whenever possible, students are encouraged to complete a two-credit internship a part of ACTIVATE. Students may be eligible for Financial Aid on both internship credits:

Room & Board $4,000
Internship Credit(s) $2,300 - $4,600
Need-based financial aid $0 - $3,400
Non-Refundable Deposit $500
Total Program Cost Range $5,100 - $9,100

Keep in mind that you may spend more or less in certain areas like personal expenses, travel, meals, or airfare, depending on exchange rates and your own spending habits. Students will be made aware of their total program cost upon acceptance into the ACTIVATE program and before making their non-refundable deposit.

Program Type
Lake Forest College Sponsored Program

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Languages of Instruction
English (multiple other languages may be offered for study)

Academic Disciplines

Notes from Chicago

Lubasi with friends on a riverboat tour

Lubasi Sikwibele '24

Hi, I’m Lubasi Sikwibele, and I participated in the ACTIVATE: Summer Internship Program in the South Loop of Chicago. This has been an incredible opportunity and a huge learning experience for me. Alongside being able to really explore the city, a highlight has been taking walks along Chicago’s lake front and riding a bicycle through the streets in the warm summer sun.

Trang with friends near Navy Pier

Trang Do '24

Xin chào! My name is Trang Do, and I participated in the ACTIVATE: Summer Internship Program in the South Loop of Chicago. I loved participating in ACTIVATE so much. It was an amazing experience and one of the best summer memories I've ever had.