There is a long tradition of overseas students coming to the UK during July and August to attend a summer school. Boarding schools close for their academic students for around 9 weeks during the summer holidays and at this time, they either run their own summer school or they rent out the school to a language school operator or operators who move in temporarily during that time.
Students from as young as 6 in some schools, can enrol from one week to up to 8 weeks. Students attend English classes and follow a programme of activities and excursions. Sometimes they have classes on specific academic subjects and participate in different professional and cultural activities.
The very young people can attend with their parents who learn English at the same time.
There are countless benefits of attending a summer school. Below are our top 10:
Boarding school summer camps offer a perfect chance for young people to be exposed to the tremendous atmosphere that exists uniquely in a British boarding school. By attending a course during their summer holiday, they can get a true taste of what it is like to live in a boarding school. This will really help them to decide whether or not a full-time boarding experience and a British education is something they would like to pursue in the future.
Many school students have not been away from home before and attending a summer school programme allows them to do so in a supervised and supportive environment that has been specifically designed for them.
Because the time they are away from home is relatively short, homesickness is usually less of an issue and they soon settle in and start to learn how to cope on their own.
The result of this is a new found confidence which is notable when you meet a teenager before and after their course. The difference can be quite significant.
Being immersed for two to four weeks in an international environment where you are speaking and learning the English language every day, will mean students are going to improve their language skills very quickly.
Whether they plan to return to their home country to finish their schooling or intend to apply for a school or make a university application in the UK or elsewhere, the fluency they achieve in the language will really make a difference to their future success.
It goes without saying that fluency in English will stand anyone in good stead for employment in the future.
For anyone who has travelled on their own, they will understand that this can mean you are put in unusual situations. This could be as simple as sitting next to a very interesting person on the plane, to losing your wallet and having to sort it out on your own.
Attendance at an international summer school also offers challenges and life-changing experiences. Being away from Mum and Dad can be daunting and students can feel homesick but with adults on hand to support if they are worried or lonely, the experience is character and confidence-building for sure.
The UK is full of interesting things to do and see. Summer schools offer great excursions to famous cities and landmarks. This means that as well as learning in the classroom environment, students can relax, learn about a different country and, most importantly, have lots of fun.
Students who are interested in attending a top university in the future, can actually get to study on the campus of Oxford or Cambridge.
The classic formula for a summer school programme has always been English plus activities and excursions. Recently, however, we have noticed summer schools becoming very innovative with the programme options that are on offer. Etherton Education, one of Bright World's partner schools, has just launched a Young Entrepreneur's programme to complement their academic and boarding school preparation courses. Bucksmore Education have an Animal Care programme, an Oxbridge Preparation and Young Leaders programme, as well as a huge range of other options.
More and more young people spend long periods of time inside, choosing to play on electronics rather than taking part in sport or spending time outdoors. Summer schools have the added benefit of encouraging students to get outside and take part in physical activity.
With so much to see and do, being at summer school can help students become less dependent on their smart phones. Busy and occupied by activities, time spent on devices and social networking can be replaced by true-life socialising with classmates and teachers.
UK Summer schools bring together children of a similar age, from all over the world with different backgrounds and life experiences. Students have the opportunity to learn about each others' cultures, traditions and customs, and gain a broader view of the diverse world we live in.
Many students develop close friendships during their summer school stay and keep their friendship alive long after their course finishes. It is incredible watching theses bonds strengthen year on year as they stay in contact, visit each other in their home countries and meet up at school or university.
Investing in a summer school for young people is a great gift. It may be hard to wave them goodbye at the airport as they embark on their new adventure. Parents can rest assured, however, that their child will have a fantastic and rewarding time while they are away and will return home full of stories from a summer they wont forget.