Summer school is a school, or a program generally sponsored by a school or a school district, or provided by a private company, that provides lessons and activities during the summer vacation. Participation in summer schools has been shown to have substantial beneficial effects on educational progress. Summer study abroad programs provide students with several advantages: scholastically, professionally, and even personally.
For example, the University of Maryland surveyed alumni from the summer program at the Institute for the International Education of Students. Results showed that 97 percent of the participants believed that they were more mature after their summertime study abroad experience, and 96 percent claimed that it increased their self-confidence. Several studies have also shown that studying abroad increases a student’s likelihood of landing jobs after graduation, improves their GPA, and increases their chances of getting into the universities of their choice.
These benefits may be applicable for:
- High School Students, who are exploring their options for the future
- College Students, who are interested in improving their outlook after graduation
- Degree-Holders, who are interested in trying an overseas college experience before potentially pursuing a graduate degree in another country
Below are four more examples of how summer programs benefit international students:
1. You will be exposed to international cultures and practices.
Summer study abroad programs thrust students directly into new environments and cultures—often for the first time in their lives.
For many people, this total immersion is the fastest way to begin learning the local customs and adapting to the landscape. You will have the added benefit of exchanging ideas with classmates from around the world right away, in addition to everything you will be learning in the college program itself.
2. You will learn to overcome challenges and become independent.
Being away from home is a daunting experience. You have to share a room with a stranger, learn how to manage time between your classes, and—scariest of all—do your own laundry!
These responsibilities can be challenging and overwhelming. However, learning how to manage your own schedule will help you develop the mental and emotional skills to handle higher education and professional advancement.
3. You will gain support from an international network.
The beauty of study abroad programs is that you are not alone. Just like you, quite a few of your fellow classmates will be in an unfamiliar situation, far away from home. When family and close friends aren’t around, these strangers, who share your similar interests, will become your support system.
4. You will have the opportunity to collaborate with diverse teams.
Most summer study abroad programs focus on a specific field of study. You will be among people who share your interests. But the class settings might be much more intimate than you are used to at your high school or college back home. This might mean that you will take part in a lot more group work.