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Why Join Summer School in the UK

Updated: Mar 18, 2018


An international summer school provides the opportunity to have an exciting experience in a highly stimulating environment and very often in an exotic location. My students usually don’t regret having swapped the beach or home sweet home for summer school, as they highlight that an international summer school is an enriching opportunity both professionally and personally. The study load is often lighter compared to the traditional semester, yet you’ll be able not only to listen to top experts and learn about the latest trends in the field, but also to add new connections to your network.  


Here are five reasons to join an international summer school:


1. Have a memorable international experience

Extensive international experience is a must for any graduate who would like to become successful in professional life. However, it is not easy to leave your alma mater for a year abroad or even for a semester. And not every person would like to spend a whole year in the environment of a developing country. In this situation international summer schools – which are usually two to three weeks in length – offer a unique means of gaining professional experience and discovering new opportunities.


2. Learn from top academics and professionals

Apple’s Steve Jobs has often repeated that “innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” In order to become a leader, it is very important to learn from leaders, and often international summer schools attract experts who are typically busy and often inaccessible during the academic year. Good schools try to attract not just educators and professors, but also experienced practitioners from different fields.


3. Network with like-minded people

Top-notch international summer schools are built around specific themes and target students and faculty who have interest in and enthusiasm for very special issues. Unlike the traditional university environment where students are among those who gained admission to a certain program, international summer schools attract like-minded people according to their professional interests. These networks are very strong and effective, as an international summer school can be built around specific themes like business, innovation, global and regional sustainable development issues, etc.


4. Gain knowledge and transferable credits

During the academic semester students may miss out on interesting courses for a variety of reasons, and in some instances specialized topics are not covered in the regular curriculum. Summer schools are more flexible and dynamic. For example, in the case of the Silk Road International Summer School, students are interested in exploring not just cultures and inter-cultural communication in the Great Silk Road region, but also in emerging ideas and trends about traditional and innovative sustainable infrastructure from China to Europe via Central Asia, and they had interesting discussions on these issues.


5. Gain hands-on experience

American poet and writer James Russell Lowell once said, “One thorn of experience is worth a whole wilderness of warning.” International summer schools provide good opportunities to have hands-on experiences in different formats. These experiences might range from meeting local policy makers and representatives of NGOs, to visiting local businesses and learning how business really works in a specific country, or even rolling up your sleeves to work on small projects.

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