When international students decide to apply to colleges and universities in the USA, they are taking a huge step. It’s a risk, too. What if they don’t like the lifestyle? What if they find the studies too challenging? What if they are not challenging enough?
Loretta O’Neill, an English language tutor at EduGeeksClub, explains the biggest problem for international students: “It’s the language. These students know English, but they struggle with academic English. When they are faced with complex assignments, they get stuck. I believe they need to prepare themselves for that aspect of the studies before they start.”
Do you know how you can find the answers to all of your academic English questions? It’s not by becoming an active reader of relevant subreddits. It’s not through virtual campus tours. Of course those things will help, but they still won’t provide you with practical experience. Summer school is the answer.
If you try to think of the best ways to spend your summer, studying wouldn’t be your first choice, would it? However, summer school programs are more fun than you assume. They expand your horizons. You’ll not only learn new things, but you’ll also get a direct impression of what studying in the USA is like.
7 Reasons to Attend Summer School
1. You’ll Learn
Even if you don’t plan to enroll in a U.S. university, summer school will still be beneficial for you. If you’re still in high school and you want to improve your grades, summer school is a great opportunity. The tutoring will help you cement the knowledge you’ve already obtained, and you’ll build on it.
If there’s a subject you’re not confident about but you need it for the undergraduate program you’ve set your eye on, summer school is exactly what you need.
2. It’s Fun
You’ll make lots of friends from different countries. The groups are usually small, so you’ll be able to develop strong bonds with your fellow students. It’s still summer, so the studying program may not be quite as challenging, and you’ll definitely have time for fun.
3. You’ll Work on Your Social Skills
If you intend to attend university in the USA, summer school will prepare you for the social aspect. You’ll be alone in a new country, so you’ll have to communicate with people you don’t know. Summer school will test your social skills, and it will help you take them to a higher level.
4. You’ll Get Hints about 4 Year Education in the USA
This unique educational environment allows you to focus on your strengths and work on your weaknesses. You’ll be in a bubble that’s outside of the usual educational system, but you’ll still get a realistic impression of what actual study in the United States looks like.
Is the material too challenging? Then you’ll have to prepare better before you begin at university.
5. You’ll Decide Whether You Like It or Not
At summer school, American universities give you a chance to see how you might like living in the U.S. You’ll be given an excellent opportunity to live and study in the buildings and facilities of world-class universities.
If you’re not sure whether or not you’ll like this environment, summer school will definitely help you make up your mind.
6. You’ll Practice Your English
Remember what the English tutor told us at the beginning of this article? International students struggle with the language. Even if you’re an advanced speaker, you still may have trouble writing academic papers.
Summer school gives you a chance to polish these skills. You’ll listen to actual lectures, so you’ll get used to the academic tone. You’ll also work on various projects, so you’ll improve your writing skills.
7. It Will Look Great in Your Resume
You might think you’re far from the point when you’ll have to start looking for jobs. However, it’s never too early to start gaining experiences that would look great on a resume. Summer school is one of those opportunities. It shows your potential to challenge yourself. It shows your continuous efforts to learn and grow. This experience will have a major impact on the job hunting process.
How to Find the Best Programs
You can choose hit Google with relevant keywords, but you can also use a specialized search tool to research U.S programs.
Here are some important things to consider:
● The type of program you’d like to attend. As a student in a summer program, you’ll have an option to select your classes. Some of them will complement the plans you have for your future studies, but you can choose others out of curiosity.
● The region of the U.S and the city or cities that attract you most.
● The size of the program. Would you want to be part of a big group, or do you prefer a smaller program?
When you find an attractive program, the application process will be quite simple. All universities offer information on how you can enter such a program, but you can also write to the Summer Sessions office to get more details.
It’s clear: summer school will be great not only for your future studies, but for your career path as well. This is an opportunity to research what you want from a university program. Plus, you’ll gain important skills that will make you a more successful student.
Antonio Tooley is a hopeless optimist who enjoys basking in the world's brightest colors. He loves biking to distant places and occasionally he gets lost. When not doing that he's blogging and teaching ESL. He will be happy to meet you on Facebook and Twitter.