You’ve made the amazing decision that you want to embark on an unforgettable summer school experience, but now you have to choose where to do it! There are many options all over the globe, each offering a unique experience immersed in local culture, but there are many reasons why undertaking a course in the UK could be more rewarding than anywhere else in the world.
1. Explore renowned UK Cities
Most summer schools in the UK are situated in iconic cities full of dazzling shops, buzzing with entertainment and steeped in a turbulent history. London, the capital, is always a popular choice for those wanting to snap photos of red buses and telephone boxes, whilst Scottish cities like Edinburgh are great places for students looking for a bit more mystery to explore. Lesser known locations like Bristol and Brighton offer a characterful experience bursting full of creativity and expression, making them hugely popular with students seeking an artistically charged experience. Elsewhere, Exeter and St Andrews are well-suited to those seeking a more rural escape, with tranquil river and coast landscapes, perfect for relaxing with friends after class. Whatever your preference, the diverse UK landscape is sure to offer something for everyone.
2. Experience life at top UK Universities
Two of the world’s best universities, Oxford and Cambridge, are located in the heart of England, with many other high-ranking institutions scattered throughout the UK. Students from all over the world flock to these impressive institutions, inspired by the academic prowess that lies within their historic walls and eager to exceed their own potential. Learning, eating, sleeping and exploring these universities gives students a unique opportunity to immerse themselves into life in a British university and benefit from the incredible inspiration that can be found within them. Some are sure to find themselves enamoured by their surroundings and captivated by student life, so much so that they may find it difficult to say goodbye at the end of their course…
3. Improve your English skills
Spending a few weeks in the UK is bound to help improve your English language skills. Most UK summer schools teach in English, giving you an incredible opportunity to expand your academic knowledge alongside your language abilities. Away from the classroom, you can also utilise your language skills when making lifelong friendships with people on your course, buying from vendors on the riverside, or ordering from waiters in restaurants. As one of the most popular spoken languages in the world, having the opportunity to improve your skills in the birthplace of the English language is a truly invaluable learning experience.
4. Participate in British Traditions
The UK is a place full of unique and unusual traditions, some dating back centuries. Scottish cities are shrouded in legend and folklore, emphasised by the cobbled streets, gothic architecture and stunning scenery, as well as some slightly unnerving local delicacies (haggis, anyone?). English cities have just as much tradition, from observing the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace in London to punting down the rivers in Oxford and Cambridge. You might even find yourself observing traditions within your own summer school, such as summer parties and leaving balls. Each UK city has its own quirks just waiting to be explored, making a summer school in the UK truly unique and exciting for every student.
5. Learn from passionate and inspirational British Tutors
Many of the tutors who teach at UK summer schools have impressive qualifications, specialisms and experience, making these courses particularly educationally valuable. Learning from passionate individuals whilst you immerse yourself into British culture is a truly special opportunity, and one that is often shaped by the interests of the students. Some providers fashion their teaching in a university style, involving small group tutorials or seminars that are predominantly run and directed by the students themselves. This technique enables students to gain a proper insight into the British education system and decide whether this type of learning is something that will suit them in the future.
6. Gain independence and confidence in a friendly environment
Travelling across the world to participate in a summer school is a daunting thought, but one that is certain to provide you with an increased sense of independence and confidence. A UK summer school provides an organised and safe opportunity to make international friends, marvel at amazing sights and, for many, presents the first opportunity to travel away from family for the first time. Though naturally scary, this experience is an incredible chance to gain some independence and speak in a universal language to make new friends and learn something new. If you’re concerned about homesickness whilst on your summer school in the UK, have a look at this post for some top tips on how to prepare.
7. Tick some world-famous sites off your bucket list
UK cities play host to some of the most impressive attractions in the world and being surrounded by the beautiful architecture is bound to inspire even the most reluctant academic. Whilst on your summer course, you also have the opportunity to visit all of the eye-opening and marvellous sights and truly experience the city as one of its residents. The colleges of Oxford and Cambridge University are some of the most jaw-dropping attractions for students, whilst the Tower of London and Edinburgh Castle provide a snapshot into a bygone era of treachery and monarchy. In the more rural summer school locations like Exeter, the Dartmoor National Park is a must, with expansive open space and enough natural beauty to last a lifetime.