What is International Summer School?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 11 October 2018
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International summer school is a form of summer school which takes place in an international setting, with students coming from all over the world to attend the summer school. Such schools provide an opportunity for students to practice foreign languages, steep in foreign cultures, meet people from all over the world, and bolster their academic transcripts. Many types of international summer school are available to students, offering classes which range from the high school to the university level.

Because international summer schools attract students from all over the world, they usually provide housing, and they are often held on the campuses of colleges and universities, utilizing the dormitories which have emptied for the summer. The length of the program can vary, with some schools lasting several weeks, while others may go on all summer. Coursework is usually intensive because students don't spend as much time in the classroom, and classes may be conducted in the language of the nation where the school is being held, or in other languages.


For high school students, attending an international summer school can make a transcript stronger, and provide an opportunity to explore the world under the supervision of adults. Students in foreign language classes can test out their language skills, network with other students, and get a little preview of what college might be like. Coursework at an international summer school tends to be elective in nature, rather than remedial, as is the case with domestic summer schools which offer students a chance to catch up in school or to skip required classes by satisfying requirements over the summer.

College and university students can also attend international summer school, in a sort of mini-exchange program. Some of these programs offer a homestay option, in which students stay with local families. Homestays are often encouraged with language programs so that students are forced to converse in the language they are studying, and they also provide numerous cultural opportunities by allowing students to interact with natives.

Usually, an international summer school is held in a cultural center so that students have plenty of opportunities for enrichment outside the classroom. The school may also organize outings to sites of cultural interest such as museums and art galleries.

Some international summer schools offer a broad range of classes, allowing students to select topics of interest. Others have a particular focus, such as drama, foreign languages, the culture of the nation where the school is located, the sciences, art, and so forth. When selecting an international summer school, students may want to think about the topics they would be most interested in studying, and what they want to take away from their experience.



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