If you are wondering how to keep your children occupied during the summer, consider sending them to a summer school. Many colleges and schools across the world organise summer schools during the holidays. These are short courses that usually last from one to eight weeks. These programmes allow your child to engage in full-time intensive classes related to different subjects taught by experienced faculty. By enrolling in summer school, your child can enhance their knowledge of a favourite subject, practice their language skills or simply try out a completely new interest.
Here are the answers to some popular questions that parents have when considering sending their child to a summer school:
Where and what can my child study?
Some of the most popular courses are offered by Harvard University, the University of Oxford and Stanford University, among others. Your child can study a whole host of subjects during their time at summer school, including economics, fine arts, mathematics and even specialisation courses such as legal studies or computer science. Students also attend summer school programmes focused on sports and other extracurricular activities, encouraging socialisation and intercultural awareness. Some colleges such as Oxford University, Brown University and Yale University also offer leadership-focused summer programmes. Alternately, there are a few programmes that are subject-specific or research-oriented such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Summer Science Program or Women’s Technology Program, the University of Chicago’s Research in the Biological Sciences, the University of St. Andrews’ Summer School in Psychology and Neuroscience and the University of Cambridge’s Summer Science School.
For those who prefer their child to attend summer school closer to home, there are multiple options within India as well. Ashoka University in Haryana, The Doon School in Dehradun and Woodstock School in Mussoorie offer some competitive summer programmes that last for one to two weeks.
What are some of the benefits of sending my child to summer school?
Summer schools have so much to offer your child in terms of self-improvement, academic preparation and even career planning. Besides contributing to improving their grades, interactive study sessions will compel your child to increase their communication skills and confidence. If your child is currently in high school, it can give them a peek into college life and the independence of living in a new city. This international exposure also enhances their resume, while giving them more experiences to substantiate their choices for the future. Apart from this, they will learn how to communicate and form bonds with people from different parts of the world, an invaluable experience.
How much does summer school cost?
Summer school costs vary depending on the duration of the programme, the location, which professors will be conducting the classes and whether there are other exclusive and expensive activities involved. For example, Cornell University’s marine biology programmes are slightly more expensive as activities are aboard Shoals Marine Laboratory research vessels. Broadly, a typical summer programme in the US can cost between INR 3 to 5 lakhs for a two to a four-week programme, while in the UK it can cost from INR 3.15 to 4.15 lakhs for a two to a four-week programme (in the UK, two-week programmes are more popular). India is comparatively cheaper, costing between INR 30,000 to 1.5 lakhs for a one to a two-week programme. Apart from this, there may be additional fees such as accommodation (if not included), travel expenses, course materials, food expenses and others. However, some programmes may offer discounts for early applications.
How does my child apply for summer school?
While each summer school has its own process, there are a few similarities that they all share. Once you and your child have narrowed down the choices, ensure that they meet the admission criteria and note the application deadlines. Next, check whether any supporting documents are required and the visa requirements. You should also research if the programme provides accommodation or if you need to book this separately. Some schools also offer additional activities such as art programmes in which your child can participate. After considering these details, fill out the application form and submit it online. Once submitted, you need to wait for an acceptance email, following which you can continue to pay for the course and apply for a visa. Other application requirements may be proof of English language skills, school transcripts, teacher recommendation letters and personal essays. Competitive programmes may require entrance tests or SAT/ACT scores as well.
How does my child apply for a visa?
Each country and summer school have different visa requirements. Some programmes may only require a tourist visa, while others may require a specific student visa.
To apply for a summer school visa, your child will have to follow one or more of the following steps:
- Check the visa requirement of the programme/country
- Contact the closest embassy or consulate of the destination country for an appointment
- Provide the documents required by the embassy, including the study invitation from the university
- Pay the visa fee
- Prove that your child has sufficient funds to sustain themselves during their stay
Summer programmes are an enriching experience that will broaden your child’s horizons. Some of our clients have said that it has helped them a lot by teaching them new things, while others have expressed that they have loved the experience. For more information about summer programmes, get in touch with us.