Summer is synonymous with time away from school and fun, making lots of students weary about attending a summer school during their holidays. However, there is so much more than meets the eye when it comes to a summer school experience and there are plenty of exciting benefits that can come out of participating in one. From making an international friendship group and exploring new cities to trying something new and broadening your knowledge, a summer school experience may be much more fun and excitement than you’d imagined.
Get out of your comfort zone
Trying something new and pushing your boundaries can be such a rewarding experience, and something you’re certain to do when studying in the summer. For some students, it’s the idea of travelling away from home to another country that pushes them outside their comfort zone, whilst others might see studying a subject that they find difficult as challenging. Stepping outside your comfort zone could even be something as simple as trying a new cuisine with your new friends on the weekend!
Whilst these experiences can undoubtedly be challenging, they usually present the perfect opportunity for personal growth as they force you to adapt and learn how to cope with the situation. The ability to be adaptable is a fundamental life skill that will be incredibly useful at university and beyond, so getting out of your comfort zone will give you a great chance to learn how to make the most out of situations that may not come naturally to you. It usually also means that you’re trying something different, which is exciting in itself as you may well find yourself enamoured with a brand new interest!
Make international friends
One of the best outcomes of studying in the summer is all the new friends you’ll make. Most summer schools are full of an incredible mix of international students from all over the world, all in the same situation and looking to make some friends to enjoy the fun experience alongside. Even students who attend shorter courses often find themselves bound for life with a group of friends they’ve made, bursting with hilarious memories and plenty of plans to visit each other in the future.
Summer school courses often provide students with the chance to reside in university/school housing, surrounded by other individuals on their course and with lots of scheduled time for socialising and fun activities. This environment is the perfect place to make lots of friends as you’ll be spending time together both on the academic side of the course and back at your rooms afterwards. Many strong friendships are forged around lessons, whilst sipping on coffee, playing games or exploring new places, so studying in the summer makes great use of your time by learning in a social setting with the capacity to make lifelong international friends.
Broaden your knowledge
Summer schools don’t tend to follow a specific curriculum and instead provide a deeper level of teaching, giving students an unparalleled opportunity to really broaden their knowledge. Some courses even offer small study groups which are directed by the interests of the students and enable them to shape their learning in a direction that really absorbs them.
Unlike institutions in regular term time, summer schools also offer extracurricular activities with an academic focus, intended to allow the development of useful life skills like public speaking, confidence and independence. From debates and quizzes to team-work events and field trips, summer school timetables are packed full of activities that are great fun and teach important skills which aren’t greatly covered in normal term time school.
Get a headstart on your future
The beauty of a summer school is that many students can gain some really great skills and experience to put on their CV. For those taking a vocational course that they would like to pursue professionally (like law, medicine or engineering), studying throughout the summer provides additional practical experience and learning that can be valuable in applications and interviews. Similarly, students who choose a subject that they intend to study at university can further expand their knowledge, giving them a great head start before teaching officially begins and making the transition from school much easier.
Whatever course you decide to study during the summer, studying in the summer provides some fundamental life skills that can be extracted and utilised in every aspect of life. Studying abroad, for instance, demonstrates independence and confidence which are both great transferable skills to be able to show on applications, as well as useful for your own personal growth. Using your summer holidays to study also shows a commitment to learning and passion for your discipline, both of which can be very desirable for universities and employers to see. A summer spent studying can therefore be incredibly helpful and provide some great examples of skills that will be attractive to future employers or university applications.
Explore somewhere new
Most students who embark on a summer school tend to opt for one abroad, guaranteeing a great academic opportunity coupled with a culturally enriching experience. From exploring iconic attractions to trying local delicacies, studying in a new city ensures that you won’t be short of things to see and do outside classes. Museums are great places to visit for those wanting to understand more about a city, whilst some students might enjoy admiring the architecture as they wander around on foot. Whatever your interests, cities all over the world have so much to discover and explore that you’ll never be bored in your free time.
Studying in the summer can be a hugely rewarding experience, both in terms of broadening academic knowledge and skills as well as making new friends and exploring new places. The fun and excitement of jumping outside your comfort zone and trying something different can give you a whole new set of skills and close friends that are certain to give you a head start in many areas of life.