5 Minutes with Andy Brownlee – SBC Academic Director

Meet Andy Brownlee; the Summer Boarding Courses Academic Director. Andy talks to us about his thoughts on studying in the UK. Andy has 17 years experience in both year round and Summer education. He demonstrates his passion for education through the development of the programme, the training of his academic team and the impact these things have on SBC students every year!

1. What would you say are the key things to help students prepare for coming to study in the UK?

Be confident, be open-minded and be excited. It’s going to be an unforgettable experience, and you should be prepared to be involved with everything that summer school can offer you. You can find out more about preparing for Summer School here.

2. How would you recommend students make the most of their time in the UK?

Take every opportunity to talk to your classmates, teachers, and summer school staff. Be involved with everything: the activities, excursions, and social evenings.

3. What makes summer school a unique educational environment?

Summer schools are so great because we learn all the time; both inside and outside the classroom. In the classroom we learn from our teachers. Outside the classroom we learn from our fellow students.

4. What are the benefits of summer study abroad compared with studying at home?

It might seem a little daunting to travel abroad to study, because you are putting yourself outside of your comfort zone. However, this is precisely the reason to study abroad! If we can experience something new, something which challenges us to think and act differently, then we ultimately learn a lot about ourselves, and become more confident for doing it.

5. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

I wasn’t given this advice exactly but I read it in a book. And it’s more of an aphorism than a straightforward piece of advice, but anyway: “What is written without effort is read without pleasure”. The lexicographer Samuel Johnson is reported to have said it. We live in a time where, one way or another, we all interact with the written word all the time. Whether it’s an email, a text message or a posting on social media. Taking care to write well is more important than ever – the effort in writing corresponds exactly to the pleasures of reading.

6. If you could pick 3 dinner companions, who would they be and why?

Tolstoy, Nabokov and Joyce. My three favourite writers. Nabokov counted both English and Russian as his native languages, so he could translate for us.