SPOTLIGHT: “How summer schools can give children an inside edge”

Summer holidays at school have thrown open a vast array of opportunities for “Summer Schools”. In an overly competitive international environment, these courses have gained popularity world-wide offering innovative academic and non-academic courses that span a variety of fields and interests says Vanita Uppal OBE, Director,The British School, Delhi

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Students experience student life on campus, explore and develop leadership and communication skills and gain a global perspective from a multicultural environment. These programmes enable students to refine key skills of critical thinking and creativity. Some students join these schools to get an insight into fields that they are considering for college education. Taught by industry ‘gurus’ these courses enhance a students’ understanding of the field and provide them with cutting-edge knowledge when applications are made to University.
Summer schools are competing to offer that extra and include courses that will better prepare a student for college, even introduce them to professional fields of study that are gaining popularity. For example, Georgetown University (where a British School Student is registered for this summer) will do a prep for SAT, some Math and English as well as University tours. The Global Paths Summer Programme in the UK “prepares candidates for student life – exploring 6 different campuses and cities and develop skills for success – through a real-life problem solving project presented to a panel at Manchester University.”  They also help “choose the right university through genuine experience and honest, professional guidance”.
Vanita Uppal copyCollaborative programmes with the world-renowned Schools, which have an array of famous graduates/alumni is another draw. Recognising the value of summer school, The British School has partnered with The University of Warwick, to bring the Summer School experience on site and create an outstanding educational opportunity for students not just from The British School, but from schools across New Delhi and other cities in July this year. The initiative has been immensely popular and a cost effective alternative for many. With courses in Economics and Finance taught by top lecturers from the University of Warwick, it will provide students with a unique insight into what it would be like to study economics or finance at university level. In addition to the academic lectures and seminars, the Summer School will also include personal development sessions.
It should be remembered that summer school does not, however, guarantee admission to a particular university, but it certainly influences a student’s final decision. The experience better prepares students, showing them immense possibilities and propelling them to reach their goals.
The sheer variety of options and offerings for summer school can be intimidating. It is important to identify what one is looking for. Finding the “right fit” university and course is critical to a student’s career, and should be one of the important considerations for joining summer school. The experience should somewhat fill the gap between high school and higher education plans. Apart from a positive international experience and knowledge gain, it should enable a student to make an informed choice.