Looking Towards the Summer

It seems too early to be thinking ahead to the summer session since it's still early March, but alas it's definitely that time.  All of the decisions about how long we'll be here in Saudi Arabia depend on what I'll be doing this summer.  Part way through the fall semester the university announced that students could reduce their course load to three classes instead of four and then graduate in three semesters plus one summer session, instead of two semesters and a summer session.  At the time I strongly considered dropping one of my classes, which was giving more trouble than I thought it was worth.  In the end I decided to stick it out since the semester was over halfway complete by that point and giving up on that much work seemed lame.  Since the program is equivalent to ten classes, by taking four classes in the fall and spring, I will only need six more credits to graduate.  I have two ways to go about doing this:

Taking two classes this summer on campus gets me the credits I need.  The summer session is only eight weeks long so either the classes would be condensed to fit in the shorter period, or the lectures would be increased to compensate for fewer weeks.  I haven't heard anything about the length of classes at this point, so I'm assuming it will be as similarly manageable as the regular semesters have been.  They finally put out a list of the summer courses for my division and it's not a surprise that only one of them is actually chemical engineering and not biological engineering.  I'm hoping there will be a decent environmental engineering class offered to fill the second class requirement, otherwise I might end up taking something purely for credit despite a total lack of interest or indication of usefulness in my future career.

My other option would be to find some "internship" either on or off campus.  I'm pretty sure that despite the appealing terminology this would end up being more research than engineering based, so I'm not that inclined to go this route.  It also requires a non-trivial amount of paperwork along with my academic advisor's approval and finding someone on campus to judge the work and give the internship a grade.  For an internship lasting 8-10 weeks, it doesn't seem worth this much effort because I'd also have to go out and hunt down and get accepted into whatever internship I would participate in.  The benefit would be ability to do the internship either back in the US or elsewhere abroad, however finding the right program would be challenging.

There is also the potential to find an internship on campus, and I have a lead on one from a very eager visiting professor which I might follow up on to give me another option when the decision time comes.  This would allow me to split the credits between class and internship and given the weak course offerings announced thus far, this might be a really strong option to consider.  I've got a feeling based on the professor's description of the project that it is more along the lines of mechanical engineering (which is what the professor teaches) so it might not offer what I'm looking for, however I'll follow up with other professors to see if something more along my degree is available.

In the end, whichever option I choose, I should still be on track to graduate at the end of the summer.  That being said, if anyone knows of some jobs for one dashingly smart and motivated chemical engineer as well as a mechanical engineer, you should hook us up.