The Role of UK Summer Schools in Preparing Students for University Life
SUMMER BOARDING COURSES
During those fast precious years approaching university, soon-to-be undergrads can have a remarkable journey, and enjoy a time which helps prepare them for the fascinating challenges ahead.
With its outstanding academic programmes and dynamic social activities, summer school can be part of that journey, and serve more than one purpose in helping students begin their new chapter with confidence. Wherever in the world the next stage in their studies should take them.
Just as moving from primary school to high school comes with so much change, so does moving on to university. From being part of highly structured timetables, at university students are more responsible for their own learning and have more freedom. From perhaps belonging to circles of friends back home, young adults at university have to become accustomed to meeting new people, and learn to cope without the familiar surroundings and familiar faces of home.
Academically, a student may go from being the strongest in class to being one of many with a similar level of knowledge, whilst also having to use new academic writing skills with a deeper level of enquiry whilst drawing upon wider research.
So much is completely new once the whirlwind of university begins. And as such, it’s very common to feel overwhelmed and unprepared, but with the right positive experiences behind you, those feelings can feel significantly less. And this is why the role of summer schools in preparing students for university life can be so important.
When faced with a whirlwind of change, what better way to feel ready than off the back of a summer full of friendship, discovery and adventure?
When looking back on any significant life choices, it’s all the more rewarding when the stepping stones that led you there are as special as what we create at SBC.
For many students, there is a substantial gap between the skills needed for success at A Level and those needed to succeed as an undergraduate.
At university, learning is much more student-led. Students make the transition from absorbing information from teachers in smaller classes to taking notes in packed lecture halls. In university seminars, students conduct their own research and do the required reading in order to engage in group discussion, whereas before students were used to being instructed much more on how and what to think.
To help prepare students for university, at SBC our academic approach is designed to match the same learning style that they will encounter as undergraduates.
Whether students decide to enrol with us on a range of courses such as Medicine, Law, or Psychology, students will have the opportunity to enhance academic skills such as research, critical thinking, and presenting, by taking part in seminar style group discussion during class and by being part of research projects in their group assignments.
In addition to the many subject areas that students can choose from, at SBC students can also enrol on a course that focuses exclusively on study skills for university in our University Preparation course at Earlscliffe.
Overall, everything in our academic programmes, especially in our college courses at Oxford and Cambridge, is specifically designed to mirror what students can expect as part of university academic life.
For many students, arguably the biggest immediate benefit of attending summer school is the impact it has on social skills, such as communication and teamwork. Before classes even start, students are immersed in a friendly multicultural environment which provides non-stop interaction through sharing mealtimes together, as well as taking part in games and activities.
Academically, in each course at SBC students are immersed in subject-specific language, which they can acquire as part of their preparation for undergraduate learning. In addition to this, students have the chance to develop notetaking and essay skills, whilst acclimatising to the university learning style of seminar discussion and learning from lectures.
For more introverted students the thought of this may seem initially overwhelming, but the beauty of summer school is that all of our students are in the same situation, and students receive all of the help they need in meeting new people and making new friends, through the watchful and compassionate support of our activities staff.
By being part of a community built on consideration for others and an openness to cultural differences, by the time students are in class with one another, they are in the perfect place to develop essential teamwork skills.
Regardless of which academic subject students have chosen, the focus on developing communication skills remains the same. Classes frequently work together in small groups, where they agree on the best courses of action in their projects, share ideas, as well as research.
All in all, the communicative skills that students get to practise in an SBC class are not different to the skills that they will need once being part of the world of work, and help lay the foundation for future success.
At present, SBC has welcomed more than 14,000 students from over 152 countries from all around the world, with many of our summer programmes frequently having students of more than 40 nationalities. With smaller classes, there is a strong likelihood that students will be part of classes with 6 nationalities or even more.
With representation from so many different countries, our students really get to discover just what it is like to study in such a culturally rich environment, that mirrors the very same multiculturalist values that shape all prestigious universities around the globe.
As well as feeling part of a global learning community they will also get to enjoy the cosmopolitan excitement of the city of London, as well as potential visits to other major UK cities such as Bristol, Oxford, Cambridge or Bath.
What better way to get excited about living and studying away from home!
Summer school can truly serve as an exciting transitional experience between high school and university, where students can enjoy the feeling of being outside of their comfort zones, as they become more prepared socially and academically for the exciting challenges ahead.
By having the chance to be fully involved in a dynamic social programme full of activities and fun, and by learning vital skills alongside classmates from all around the globe, at SBC, students can begin the exciting chapter of university with the confidence that they have what it takes to adapt to living and studying abroad.
So why not make the precious years between high school and university among your most inspiring and adventurous, by choosing one of our academic programmes and having the summer of a lifetime.