Defining Emotional Intelligence

Summer school offers students more than just language skills improvement. It provides a significant benefit in the form of emotional intelligence, resilience, and empathy development.

The term ‘emotional intelligence‘ was first coined in 1990 and has since become a crucial part of our vocabulary, helping us understand our emotions and social behaviour. Unlike the past, where intelligence was primarily discussed in terms of IQ, we now recognize the importance of emotional intelligence in our relationships, communication, decision-making, and well-being.

Emotional intelligence refers to our ability to recognize, understand, manage, and use our own emotions and the emotions of others in positive and productive ways. It involves skills such as emotional awareness, empathy, self-regulation, social skills, and motivation. Examples of emotional intelligence include listening attentively when someone is speaking, recognizing when someone is struggling and expressing concern, and being aware of the greater good when communicating clearly and effectively.

Importance of Emotional Intelligence (EI)

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The benefits of being emotionally intelligent are evident. Understanding emotions and how to control them allows individuals to express their feelings and understand others’, leading to more effective communication and stronger relationships.

Research also shows that EI can enable us to make more effective decisions. For instance, Cornell University researchers found that individuals with higher EI were better at identifying body language, which they used to avoid risky decisions.

It’s clear that a higher level of EI can contribute to academic and career success. For example, those with higher EI tend to have higher learning motivation and self-efficacy, enabling students to become more effective autonomous learners.

Understanding human behaviour and its impact on others equips students and professionals to be more analytical, a crucial factor in problem-solving. Whether in a seminar or a boardroom meeting, being able to interact effectively with others can help tackle issues and resolve conflicts smoothly, demonstrating the importance of emotional intelligence in achieving academic success or earning a promotion.

Building Resilience

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Resilience, another crucial aspect of emotional intelligence and personal growth, is the process and result of overcoming difficult or demanding life situations, mainly through mental, emotional, and behavioural flexibility.

Being resilient can protect you against the negative impact of stress, burnout, and lack of sleep. For example, during a stressful situation at work or in the build-up to an exam, a higher level of resilience can help you mitigate the effects of depression and anxiety.

Thankfully, resilience is not just a trait to call upon in difficult times; it can be nurtured and developed. This can be achieved by building stronger, more positive relationships, making every day meaningful, learning from experience, remaining hopeful, maintaining self-care, being proactive, and practicing mindfulness and heightened awareness exercises.

Summer school provides a global learning community where many of these resilience-building methods are encouraged and developed. Students can build new friendships, participate in an academic programme that teaches goal-setting and study skills, and engage in activities such as meditation and yoga. Most importantly, students are challenged to step out of their comfort zones by participating in challenging research projects and presentations, which they can look back on with pride in the future.

Developing Empathy

Developing Empathy

Like resilience, empathy is a vital part of personal growth. It goes beyond the ability to sympathise, involving understanding and sharing others’ emotions and seeing the world from their perspective. Empathy enables us to build meaningful connections, communicate more effectively, and respond to others’ needs and feelings in a more helpful way.

Can empathy be taught? Yes, through techniques such as active listening and perspective-taking.

Active listening involves focusing on the speaker and trying tounderstand their perspective without passing judgement or interjecting. It requires paying attention to both verbal and nonverbal signals such as tone of voice and body language.

Perspective-taking involves putting yourself in another person’s situation and visualising their feelings or experiences. This can help you understand their viewpoint and provide a more supportive response.

Other methods for increasing empathy include engaging in self-reflection and mindfulness practices, seeking out diverse viewpoints and experiences, and proactively asking for feedback from others. By developing our empathy skills, we can enhance our interpersonal interactions and become more compassionate and understanding individuals.

An SBC film night classic is the hit 1980s John Hughes movie The Breakfast Club, where a group of teenagers learn to connect with one another. By attending a summer school, students can create their own international Breakfast Club, building their empathy skills through friendships with young people from around the world.

In such an international environment, cultural clashes and differences may arise. However, the power of belonging to a closely knit open community is that any issues can be discussed and explored together in a healthy and non-judgemental way. Our staff are quick to intervene and identify any issues that need open discussion. Everything about SBC is focused on achieving personal growth and developing empathy, ensuring that everyone feels an integral part of our learning community.

Summer School Courses for Building Emotional Intelligence

Broadly speaking, whether you are studying General English or Law there isn’t one course that does not focus in some way on developing emotional intelligence. However, there are some courses such as International Relations, Introduction to Leadership, Psychology, Future Global Leaders and Future Business Leaders, which naturally draw upon it more.

By enrolling in any of these courses, students have the chance to develop their emotional intelligence because group work is an integral part of each programme. Through our courses, students can improve their communication and problem-solving skills, such as reaching a compromise or handling differences of opinion in a more measured way.

Regardless of the course a student chooses at SBC, they can develop their emotional intelligence because empathy, resilience, and personal growth are ingrained values in the culture at each of our summer schools.


Emotional intelligence, combined with high subject knowledge, can be a powerful catalyst in helping students network, problem-solve, and analyse situations closely.

We have also identified that for most people, vital personality traits such as resilience and empathy can be developed. A summer school experience can allow students to learn about new cultures, develop teamwork skills, and understand the importance of playing an active role in a community.

Attending a summer school can play an exciting part in a young person’s personal growth. To provide an influential stepping stone for your child’s path towards a brighter future, why not learn more about our exciting summer school programmes?

With courses ranging from General English, Medicine, to Psychologyyou’ll be sure to add an unforgettable chapter to your child’s personal development by securing your child’s place at SBC this summer.

Begin that journey now by clicking on the link below.

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