What is a summer school?

By Edvoy• Last updated: Aug 18, 2023
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A summer school is a form of education that offers courses, both academic and non-academic, during the summer period.

Usually, there are no classes at universities or other higher education establishments during the June-September period which is when summer school courses take place. 

Summer schools are completely optional and no student is under any obligation to attend. They are not compulsory.

In this article, we will delve into the purpose and benefits of summer school, shedding light on why it has become an integral part of the education system.

How does summer school work?

Summer school works as an educational program offered during the summer break when regular academic sessions are not in session. It provides students with opportunities to catch up on coursework, explore new subjects, improve academic performance, or advance their learning.

Also read: Sandwich programs in the UK

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So why attend a summer school?

There are a range of benefits of attending a summer school, especially for international students.

1. Learning English

One of the main obstacles or worries that international students have when studying abroad is the language. Every year, the best and brightest international students choose to study in the UK. To do so successfully, they must have a good grasp of the English language. Speaking, writing, reading and understanding English to a high degree is vital when studying a course in the UK or any other English speaking country. 

Many international students choose to attend a summer school prior to starting their university course to ensure their English is the best it can be. Studying an English language course at a summer school is an excellent idea for any international student. Even if you already have a good grasp of the English language, it gives you a chance to practise in a classroom setting that is similar to what you’ll experience when you start your university course.

2. Settle into a new country

Summer schools are also a great way for international students to settle into a new country that will be their new home for an extended period of time. Moving to another country can be difficult. 

There are different customs, cultures, people and even weather to adapt to.By attending a summer school, you can acclimatise to your new country without the added pressure of your university workload. Getting settled before your course begins can do wonders for your mindset.

3. Increase confidence

Depending on your previous education experience, attending a summer school can also get you back in the mindset of learning again. Some international students have a break in their education and it can take some time for them to get used to a classroom/lecture environment again. 

By taking a summer course you can prepare for your September course. You can find out the dos and don’ts of learning in your new country with no repercussions on your degree or course. Many students find attending a summer school increases their confidence and are more willing to participate in classroom discussions.

4. Learn something new

Summer schools do not have to be attended before you start your degree either. You can find summer schools for international students and local students that are available to attend in between your course terms. 

Many students choose to attend a summer school to learn a completely new skill or subject that is either related to their course or completely unrelated! 

As we said at the start of the article, some summer schools have non-academic courses which enable you to broaden your experience and skill set.

Summer schools provide significant advantages, particularly for international students: improving English proficiency, aiding in cultural adjustment, boosting learning confidence, and offering opportunities to explore new subjects and skills.

Also read: What is transferring schools, and how do you do it?

How to find and decide on summer school?

Finding and deciding on a summer school requires careful consideration and research. Here are some tips to help you find and decide on summer school:

1. Research and compare programs

Utilise online resources and directories to find summer school programs that match your academic interests and budget.

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2. Check accreditation

Ensure that the institution offering the program is reputable and accredited.

3. Read reviews

Look for reviews or testimonials from past participants to get a sense of their experiences.

4. Consult with advisors

Seek advice from academic advisors or study abroad offices at your current educational institution.

5. Consider location

Choose a destination that aligns with your interests, language preferences, and desired cultural experiences.

6. Scholarships and financial aid

Explore scholarship opportunities and financial aid to offset program costs.

7. Course structure and content

Review the curriculum to ensure it aligns with your academic goals and interests.

What is summer school abroad?

Summer school abroad refers to academic programs or courses offered by educational institutions in foreign countries during the summer months. These programs are designed for students who wish to enhance their knowledge, skills, and cultural experiences in a different country while taking advantage of their summer break. 

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Benefits of summer school abroad

Some of the benefits of summer school abroad are:

1. Cultural immersion

One of the most significant advantages of studying abroad is the chance to immerse yourself in a different culture. Interacting with locals, trying new cuisines, and exploring historical landmarks can provide a rich and unforgettable experience.

2. Language proficiency

Studying abroad in a country that speaks a different language can greatly enhance language skills. By practising in real-life situations, students can become more fluent and confident in their language abilities.

3. Academic excellence

Many summer school programs are hosted by prestigious universities, offering students access to top-notch faculty and cutting-edge research facilities.

4. Networking opportunities

Meeting fellow students from around the world creates a diverse network of peers and potential future collaborators.

5. Personal growth

Stepping out of one's comfort zone and adapting to a new environment fosters personal growth, independence, and resilience.

6. Resume enhancement

Participating in a summer school abroad demonstrates adaptability and a global perspective, which can make a candidate stand out in the job market.

Affordable summer study abroad programs

Finding an affordable summer study abroad program requires careful consideration and research.

Here are some affordable summer study abroad programs that offer a good balance of quality education and reasonable costs:

1. Aarhus University - Denmark

Aarhus University offers a diverse range of summer courses in fields like business, humanities, and science at reasonable tuition rates. The university is known for its high-quality education and welcoming environment.

2. University of Vienna - Austria

The University of Vienna's summer school is well-regarded for its language courses and offers an array of programs in various disciplines at affordable prices. Students can immerse themselves in the city's rich history and culture while studying.

3. University of Lisbon - Portugal

The university's summer school provides a mix of cultural and academic experiences. Students can choose from a wide range of courses while enjoying the vibrant atmosphere of Lisbon.

4. Seoul National University - South Korea

SNU's summer programs provide a unique opportunity to experience South Korean culture and attend courses in various academic fields. The university offers a mix of traditional and modern aspects in one of Asia's most dynamic cities.

5. Lund University - Sweden

Lund University offers a diverse array of summer courses at a lower cost compared to other Scandinavian countries. The university's summer school is an excellent option for students seeking high-quality education and a taste of Swedish culture.

6. University of Cape Town - South Africa

Experience the vibrant culture of South Africa while taking courses in various disciplines at the University of Cape Town. The program provides a mix of academic excellence and cultural immersion.

7. University of Pisa - Italy

Enjoy the beautiful city of Pisa while attending courses in art, history, and language. The university's summer program allows students to explore the rich history of Italy while learning from experts in their respective fields.

8. University of Malta - Malta

Study in the heart of the Mediterranean and choose from various summer courses offered by the University of Malta. The program provides a unique opportunity to experience the rich history and culture of the Maltese Islands.

9. National University of Singapore - Singapore

National University of Singapore offers a wide range of summer courses in diverse disciplines. The program provides an excellent opportunity to experience Singapore's multicultural environment and cutting-edge academic facilities.

10. University of Helsinki - Finland

The University of Helsinki's summer school offers an array of courses in various fields, providing students with a chance to experience Finland's renowned education system and vibrant culture.

“These programs span diverse countries and cultures, from Denmark and Austria to South Korea and South Africa, providing students with enriching academic experiences.”

How do I apply for summer school?

There are many summer schools in the UK that are perfect for international students. Here at Edvoy, we can discuss your options and recommend a summer school that would be most beneficial to you. 

Frequently asked questions

What is summer school for?

Summer school is an educational program offered during the summer break when regular academic sessions are not in session.

Is summer school optional?

In many cases, summer school is optional. It is typically offered as an opportunity for students to enhance their learning or address specific academic needs.

What is a summer course?

A summer course is a shortened academic program offered during the summer months, usually lasting several weeks.

Is summer school real?

Yes, summer school is a real and commonly offered educational program in many countries.

What is summer school in the USA?

In the USA, summer school refers to educational programs held during the summer break. It can include a wide range of courses and activities, from academic classes to enrichment programs or sports camps.

What is summer school in the UK?

In the UK, summer school often refers to academic programs and short courses held during the summer months. These programs may be offered by schools, colleges, or universities and can cover subjects ranging from language learning to academic preparation or skill development.

How long does summer school last?

The duration of summer school can range from a few weeks to a couple of months, with some courses lasting the entire summer break.

When does summer school start?

Summer school start typically begins shortly after the regular academic year ends, which could be in late May, June, or early July, depending on the school's schedule.

Who invented summer school?

Summer school's origins can be traced back to the early 20th century in the United States. The concept was introduced as a way to provide students with additional learning opportunities and address academic needs during the extended summer break.

How many hours is summer school?

Typically, summer school sessions may range from a few hours per day to full-day programs, depending on the intensity and duration of the courses.

To find out more information contact us at Edvoy to see what’s available!

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