8 Summer Tips for Students for the Best Summer School Experience!

Are you joining Summer Boarding Courses this Summer? It’s time to start thinking about getting ready with our top Summer tips for students! Whether you are a first-time English summer school student or returning for another study abroad experience, we’ve put together our advice for how you can prepare for your best Summer ever! Read on to find out more.

With not long to go until Summer School begins, you might be wondering what is the best way to prepare! Whether you are still deciding what to study, need help with travel plans and visa applications or want to know how to prepare for a different learning experience, we’ve put together some tips on how to get ready for your best summer yet!


Summer Boarding Courses is across seven campuses in the UK in Oxford, Cambridge, Eton, Bournemouth, Kent, and Rochester. There are lots of different academic options, so it can be difficult to know what to choose!

Click here to discover our schools

We recommend going to our Summer School which a) fits your age and b) has the subject you want to study.


SBC Canford, based at the world-renowned Canford School near Bournemouth, is for international students aged 11 to 15. At SBC Canford, students of all levels can study Junior General English, Junior Academic Discovery, Academic Discovery, Future Business Leaders, STEM Explorers, Intro to International Relations and General English.

Find out more about SBC Canford here


At one of the top boarding schools in the UK, students at Headington Oxford can enjoy our specially designed English and activity programmes. Headington Oxford Summer School offers a variety of English and combined English Through Academic Subjects for 13-16 years old.

Students receive 15 hours of tuition per week and can choose between our General English, Academic Discovery or Global Young Leaders. Each course culminates with students delivering a small group presentation at their Time to Shine ceremony. All classes are multi-national, with a maximum of 15 students per class.

Discover more about Headington Oxford here


The Oxford College Summer School gives students the unique opportunity to live and study at an Oxford University college. Follow in the footsteps of some of the world’s greatest minds as you explore your chosen subject through a series of lectures, tutorials, and industry workshops.

At Oxford College our study options include Business, Mathematics, Medicine, Law, International Relations ,Politics & Economics.

Find out more about Oxford College here


Summer Boarding Courses at Eton College provides our students with the opportunity to study at one of the world’s most famous schools. Founded in 1440 by King Henry VI, Eton College has educated 20 British Prime Ministers as well as numerous authors, scientists, actors, Olympians and explorers. The historic and prestigious venue offers a truly inspiring learning environment for our students to study a variety of exciting courses.  Close to London, Eton College provides the perfect location for a summer school experience.

At Summer Boarding Courses at Eton College you can study General English, Business, STEM, and Maths.

Find out more about Eton here


Join us at Cambridge College Summer School where students live and study in the renowned university city of Cambridge. Explore the city that shaped some of the world’s famous minds we know today; including Sir Isaac Newton, Alan Turing and Sylvia Plath. Follow in their footsteps as you experience your chosen subject through a series of immersive lectures, tutorials, and industry-led workshops.

At Cambridge you can study a range of subjects including:

Business, Medicine, Natural Sciences and Engineering

Find out more about Cambridge here

Earlscliffe Summer School

Earlscliffe Summer School takes place in the coastal town of Folkestone at Earlscliffe.  Located a short train journey from London, the College is renowned for its A-Level results and status as a UNESCO School. The recently refurbished campus provides students with excellent accommodation and classroom facilities.

Earlscliffe and SBC International are both part of the Dukes Education family of schools.  Earlscliffe Summer School is delivered by Earlscliffe in collaboration with SBC International.

Find out more about Earlscliffe here  

Rochester Independent College

Rochester Independent College (RIC), one of the UK’s most well-established independent colleges, are proud to offer a range of refreshingly distinctive summer courses. Building on the College’s reputation for both academic excellence and mind-blowing creativity, we are offering 4 different courses in very small classes where international visitors will study and socialise alongside local students.

At RIC the focus is on individuality, diversity and flexibility, values we’ve woven into our courses. We are looking forward to welcoming young people from all over the world to Rochester from July to mid-August to improve their English, develop their passions and have a taste of life at a British boarding school.

Find out more about Rochester here


If, like a lot of our students, you are travelling a long way to join us at Summer Boarding Courses, then it’s important to organise your travel plans!

Your Student Support Manager will be able to give you the best advice on which flights to book, assistance with transfers from the airport and information about arrival and departure procedures during the summer. If you are travelling to and from Summer School, you need to make sure that your flights are booked on the arrival and departure dates. You can ask your Student Support manager for help with this or you can check the dates on our website.


At SBC the most important thing before the start of a course is that you are fresh and full of enthusiasm for the start of your classes, however if you would like to do some additional prep to feel more ready for your courses we would recommend the following:

General English courses:

Practise your English by talking frequently with other English speakers. Watch English films and read a little in English. Listen to music and read short articles that you enjoy, and if you have no one else to talk to its often fun to even read aloud to practise speaking and pronunciation. Or if you like videogames, why not play against other English speakers online and practise your conversational skills that way? Or if you enjoy writing, then why not start keeping a diary in English?

Practising English never has to be boring. Enjoy it.

For every other course:

Read more about your subject area, find articles and watch Ted Talks or YouTube videos to feel more informed about some of the key areas connected to your chosen subject. Keep adding to any vocab list you may have so that you have new words and phrases to use when classes start.     

Overall, a lot of a little that you find interesting will always keep your enthusiasm and motivation high.


If you are arriving at Heathrow airport, Summer Boarding Courses also offers a Welcome Club service. This is a great chance for you to relax after your flight and meet other SBC students, before getting a coach to your school. It’s a great opportunity to start making new friends!


One of the best things about English Summer School is that you get to make friends from all over the world; in 2017 Summer Boarding Courses welcomed students from over 100 nationalities! With so many students coming from different countries to England, many might need to have a Visa to enter the UK. Don’t know if you need a visa? You can find out this information here.

If you do need a visa, then the type you will need is a Short Term Study (child) visa. To help you with your application, your Student Support Manager can write you a Visa Support letter once we have received the deposit for your stay with us. Don’t forget, that depending on where you live, it can take up to four weeks to receive your visa, so make sure you don’t leave it too late to apply. You don’t want to miss out on an amazing summer!


We suggest that you should pack clothing suitable for both warm and cool weather as, even in summer, the weather in England can soon change from sunshine to rain! Your student Support Manager will send out a full list of recommended items to bring to all students before the summer, but here’s a list of essential items to remember:


For activities you will need clothes such as trousers, shorts or skirts, jumpers, sportswear and t-shirts and comfortable shoes such as trainers. You might also want bring different clothes for school social events, such as discos or the Oxford College graduation.


Students are expected to bring their own toiletries such as shampoo, shower gel, a toothbrush, toothpaste, as well as their own towels.


Bring one for afternoon trips and excursions.


A typical English summer demands both an umbrella, and sun protection, so make sure to pack sun cream, a sun hat and sunglasses.


Students should remember to bring a travel adaptor for a UK 3 pin plug socket, as well as pocket money and any travel documents.


On excursions you will have the opportunity for shopping time, so if you would like to buy gifts or souvenirs, don’t forget your spending money!

If you have any other questions about what to bring, just get in touch with your Student Support Manager.


student raising his hands looking happy in class lowres
students laughing and having fun at SBC lowres


Summer school isn’t just about learning English to help you in the classroom; it’s also about learning English that you can use in the real world! With students from over 100 different countries staying with us, we limit the number of students that speak the same language so that they are able to communicate with each other in English throughout their stay. This gives you lots of opportunities to learn real-world English that you can use with your friends which you might not learn from a textbook.

Our unique curriculum is also designed to get you using your English in different ways. Our Time to Shine programme helps students to develop academic skills that will help them in their future academic studies and professional lives. Your research and presentation projects will help you develop skills such as independent study, teamwork, time management by collaborating with other students, as well as giving you more confidence in your fluency of English.

English summer school is a great way to get excited about learning again!


Another great way to have a amazing experience at English summer school is to think about what you would like to achieve when learning English. Are you a beginner who would like to work on your vocabulary and grammar? Or are you a more advanced student who would like to improve your confidence and fluency when speaking English? Do you need support for applying to university?

Thinking about your learning objectives before you arrive at summer school will help you to prioritise your learning and develop good study habits while you are there.


English summer school isn’t all about learning; it’s also about having fun! Summer school is a great time to make new friends, create some amazing memories and experience a whole new culture! Our social programme is designed to make your summer fun and unforgettable and ensure that you get the most from your study abroad experience.