Mojza Blog

25 Free Virtual Extracurricular Opportunities

Spend your Summer Productively!

by Hussain Moghal | 20 June 2023

Free Virtual Extracurricular Opportunities

The summers are a crucial time for students, especially if you’re an A level student. The race is on for curating meaningful extracurriculars to put on your college applications and CV’s. Opportunities can be very limited if you live in a country like Pakistan; even if you are able to find a great opportunity, chances are that you’re not eligible due to your location or age. Such an experience was one of the main factors that led me to compile this very list. Hundreds of opportunities are inaccessible due to constraints of cost or location. So, to save you the trouble, I’ve put together this list of 25 free virtual extracurricular opportunities for you to spend this summer productively.

This list includes various types of opportunities such as competitions, volunteer programs and internships for high school students. I’ve done my best to find as many as possible and cover several categories. Over the span of several days, I’ve researched deeply for this list of activities so that you don’t have to.

Choosing the Right Extracurriculars

“The best extracurricular activities will be pursuits that already match your interests and passions.” – Collegeboard

Many students make the mistake of taking part in extracurriculars just for the sake of improving their university applications. When you decide to take part in a competition, apply to a program or any other activity, you should be motivated by your interests. Don’t burden yourself to just build a list of activities. Choose activities that truly fascinate you and are worth your time. Remember, you only have ten slots for extracurriculars on the Common App.

Free Virtual Extracurricular Opportunities

The Ultimate List of Free Virtual Extracurricular Opportunities

1. Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition

Under the main theme of ‘youth-led action’, entrants up to the age of 18 can write on one of four topics in their relevant age category. All entrants receive a certificate of participation; a number of participants will receive Gold, Silver and Bronze awards while the winners and runner-ups of each category win a week-long trip to London.

Deadline: 30 June 2023

2. Eco State Poster Competition

A graphic design competition for students across the globe. The task is to design a poster about what an “Ecological Country” means to you; How can a country be greener and more careful about its natural environment and how to force those in power to fulfil the green agenda?” The top 3 contestants will be awarded €1000, €600, and €300 in cash prizes.

Deadline: 15 July 2023

3. Art for Well-Being Competition

This competition reminds us that art is not just limited to painting. “What does well-being mean to you?” Participants can express themselves in three categories to answer the questions: design, film and music. This includes drawing, illustrations, spoken word and even poetry. 10-24 year olds can compete for prizes up to 1000 USD and a chance to be featured on major forums. 

Deadline: 29 July 2023

4. UN Photography 4 Humanity

This is an amazing opportunity for all the photographers out there. You have to take a picture showing people impacted by the climate crisis. The competition has a first prize of $5000 along with the prestige to the top photographs of being published on the official UN website.  However, the requirements include that you must be 18 years or older and the photo must be taken after September 2022.

Eligibility: 18 years of age or older

Deadline: 31 August 2023

5. Biogenesis Olympiad

Biology students, this is for you! The Biogenesis Olympiad is a free online competition with three areas from which you can choose as many as you like. The areas are: “Anatomy & Physiology”, “Molecular & Cellular Biology”, and “Pharmacology & Toxicology.” All participants will receive a certificate and contestants in the top percentile will receive Gold, Silver and Bronze medals.

Registration Deadline: 30 September 2023

6. New York Times Summer Reading Contest

 At first glance, this may seem like an extensive reading competition; however, it’s really simple. Students can choose any New York Times article that caught their interest and write a short response of up to 1500 words about why. This is a weekly competition; you can enter every week till August 18th. Winners will be published on NYT’s “The Learning Network”.

Deadline: Every Friday till 18 August 2023.

Harvard's Free Online Computer Science Course CS50x

7. Harvard’s Free Online Courses

Harvard is one the best universities in the world – a dream for even the best students. It offers completely free of cost courses for students all around the world at their convenience. Courses are available on different subjects of various durations. One of the most popular courses is “CS50x: Introduction to Computer Science” and it really is great.

8. The Forage Internships

The Forage is a platform that offers free of cost virtual internship programs for students at top companies. These include J.P Morgan, RedBull, WallMart and more. The programs are bite-sized for 5-6 hours. This offers great opportunities to gain real work experience, free and online.

9. EnergyMag Internship

EnergyMag offers a virtual internship of 2-8 weeks. It promises great benefits for high school students such as research experience for science or business issues. This is a free but selective program. You can see the requirements from their website. 

10. MedicineEncompassed

MedicineEncompassed is a student-led nonprofit that provides resources for those aiming for a future career in the medical field. They have several positions available in their team such as writing, graphic design and marketing & social media. This is a good opportunity for those who have an interest in STEM, biology or the branches of medicine.

11. AIESEC Internships and Volunteer Programs

AIESEC is another platform where companies and organisations list their opportunities looking for interns and volunteers. It may require you to do some digging to find opportunities relevant to your needs, but you can find paid internships to spend your summer gaining work experience.

12. Chegg Internships

Chegg is a more popular platform. You can find a lot of options for remote internships through their listings. There are so many options to explore and find the right fit for you.

Zooniverse's featured projects, free virtual extracurricular opportunity for high school students to do research

13. Zooniverse

Out of all the great opportunities in this list, this particular one caught my personal interest the most. Zooniverse is a platform where volunteers come together to work on various projects. The uniqueness of the projects is what caught my attention. Transcribing letters of mothers, watching videos of African animals to study their behaviour and spotting clouds on Mars, you can do it all on Zooniverse and more!

14. The Kids Circle Foundation

This nonprofit’s mission is to improve the lives of children by providing them guidance, support and companionship. Their programs include writing words of encouragement for children getting treatment in hospitals, providing resources on their website and 1-on-1 virtual tutoring. You can volunteer to contribute to their cause and be a part of one of their several teams!

15. Distributed Proofreaders for The Gutenberg Project

Project Gutenberg is a library of thousands of free eBooks. By volunteering for Distributed Proofreaders, you can help out in digitising and proofreading books to add to their library. The work process is simple and you can even do just one page at a time.

16. Be My Eyes Volunteering

Be My Eyes is a free mobile app where sighted volunteers assist blind or visually impaired people in daily tasks. These can be reading instructions or checking an expiry date. Anyone 17 or older can volunteer, you’ll receive calls from blind users during your daytime hours. You’ll be able to see through their camera and assist the blind user in their task.

17. GENuine Connections

GENuine Connections is a community connecting generations. Teenage volunteers attend zoom workshops with elderly volunteers of ages above 65 to talk and participate in activities. This is an opportunity to build ‘genuine connections’. 

18. Free Online Courses

I felt like listing all these options would be lying to you about the opportunities in this list. However, they’re each extremely valuable opportunities offering different types of courses. Coursera, Udemy and EdX and many more platforms offer many free courses along with their paid options from top universities. These can help you learn valuable skills and even get certificates!

19. International Youth Math Challenge

IYMC is an online international maths competition with three rounds of solving mathematical problems. The first round is free to participate in, the second round has an entry fee of 8 Euros. Although, you can choose to participate in just the first round and receive a certificate. The problems are challenging yet interesting. There is a prize pool of 700 USD for the winners.

Deadline: 16 September 2023

International Youth Math Competition, Free Virtual Extracurricular Opportunity

20. Bennington College Young Writers Award

A competition for writers in grades 9-12 that offers great versatility. You may write three poems, a fiction or nonfiction essay up to 1500 words or even a one act play. The winners can receive prizes up to 1000 USD and are also eligible for scholarships at Bennington College. 

Deadline: 1 November 2023

21. Ayn Rand Essay Contests

Ayn Rand was a Russian-born American writer and philosopher. The Ayn Rand Institute hosts essay competitions for students based on her books. Students are required to read a book by Rand and write an essay on a prompt relating to the book. The winners can win large cash prizes.

22. e-Buddies

e-Buddies creates social inclusion and friendships for people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities in a virtual space. This is an opportunity for volunteers to build friendships and take part in activities virtually while contributing to the cause.

Art Competitions, Free Virtual Extracurricular Opportunities

23. InfoDesigner Student Competitions

If you’re looking for free virtual extracurricular opportunities for anything related to art or design, this is the platform for you! You can find a lot of competitions here that give you a chance to showcase your skills and win great prizes for it. Categories also include writing, film, photography, architecture and more!

24. The Uraan Initiative

Uraan is an Instagram page that lists numerous volunteer opportunities for students, including volunteer programs of student-led organisations. You can browse their posts to join teams that interest you or even find available leadership positions in organisations. Other than that, the page also posts useful educational content. Uraan is a great source of free virtual extracurricular opportunities.

25. Research Projects

One of the best academic extracurriculars you can do is research. If you have an interest that you’d like to pursue or there’s something you want to learn more about, conducting research on it is something to consider. There’s the option of taking part in a research program; however, these can be expensive or highly selective. The more convenient choice is to conduct independent research. Pick a topic of interest, devise a question and begin your research. Then, you can compile your research to write a paper which you can also publish in a journal!

Hold on! There’s more.

In this list I’ve compiled the best free virtual opportunities I’ve come across by looking through hundreds. The ones listed in this blog are ones that are accessible for everyone. They should be able to interest most people, especially through the platforms that offer internships and volunteer programs that can cater to great diversity. However, if you weren’t able to find something you like in this list or want to look for yourself, you can browse more opportunities from some of these sources

Other Extracurriculars

Extracurricular activities are not just limited to competitions, internships and volunteer programs; anything outside normal school activities counts. Chase your interests; be it sports, gaming, art, writing or anything else. Polish your skills and participate in activities that align with your interests. These activities can lead to remarkable achievements which make for strong extracurriculars.

One Last Opportunity

Although Mojza’s team applications closed very recently, we are regularly expanding and you can be a part of our team that makes everything at Mojza from notes to our blog possible. Follow our instagram page for updates! 


These 25 free virtual extracurricular opportunities for high school students should be enough to spend the summer productively and even continue building your profile later on. Always try your best to maintain a healthy balance of extracurriculars, academics and personal life to achieve your goals. And remember, take part in things that really really interest you.


About Mojza

Mojza is a student-led organisation aiming to provide quality resources for Cambridge students.

Other than such weekly blogs, Mojza offers resources for your O levels, IGCSE, and A levels journey, We have notes from reputable teachers, our own original notes and a library of other websites and resources!

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Published 20 June 2023
Written by Hussain Ahmed Moghal
Proofread by Shaheer Ali