ARE SUMMER SCHOOLS USEFUL?
Q My daughter is keen to go to summer school. Is it really useful? And which one should she go to?
A Summer is already here and for students it comes with images of relaxing and having fun. However, for high school students, it might be useful to look at an effective summer programme that will help you spend time constructively, teach you new things and bolster your CV for your college applications.
Behind every magical summer programme lies the fundamentals of building up experiential learning, social development, character, civic engagement and soft skills, which will be extremely beneficial in your profile.
While the traditional idea of a summer camp would be fun activities, camping, backpacking and the pool, today’s summer programmes are constructed to meet the immediate needs of collegebound students.
There are a variety of summer programmes to enhance young adults’ cognitive skills and bolster their critical thinking, communication, problemsolving abilities and selfconfidence. All such summer programmes are intertwined with fun activities, sports and team-building sessions to help you make new friends.
Taster programmes offer students an insight into the course they want to pursue in college. The programmes are specific to those subjects (for instance, physics or economics) and help students make informed decisions about the field of study they want to take up. Since they are focused on academics, many of these programmes can help students gain credits for university, giving them an early head start.
STEM programmes – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – provide both practical and theoretical experience in this domain.
For language proficiency courses, focused on improving a student’s second or third language, it’s advised to travel to the country where the language is spoken. Most often these programmes are blended with extracurricular activities such as sightseeing trips.
Then there are the Oxbridge summer programmes (or Ivy Leagues), for high-achieving students who wish to study at Cambridge, Oxford or any of the Ivy Leagues. This programme would include leadership, personality development, and other traits that top universities look for in applicants. These programmes also teach students strong essay writing skills that dramatically help their applications. Many of these programmes include test prep courses (such as for SAT) to truly hone a student’s chances of getting in.
SANJEEV VERMA is an international education counsellor