Maybe you thought your summer vacation couldn’t get better than staying at home, not having to do anything, seeing your friends, or going to the beach. But now you can get ready for summer vacation 2.0 made super fun with an unforgettable summer school experience in the U.S. Maybe you too have dreamt more than a few times of seeing with your own eyes the most iconic American landmarks while walking the streets of famous cities you could only see on TV.
Joining a summer school program in the United States might be the perfect way to combine your curiosity for exploring America, your goal of having an unforgettable summer vacation and your desire to learn new things and meet people from different cultures worldwide. International summer schools in the USA can offer you all this in an action-packed international adventure.
So you’ve probably heard about summer schools but hesitated to look more into them for some reason. Now it’s time for you to find out more about the amazing benefits of summer schools and how much you can enjoy American summer school programs.
Highlights for a great summer course in the USA
As an international, whether you just finished high-school, an undergraduate or graduate degree, or you’re still a student, a summer course at an American college or university can help you achieve both your academic and personal goals.
Already enrolled students may need to take additional classes to complete their degree and summer courses provide just the opportunity to do that. Or maybe you completed a university degree a while ago, but you’re just considering a summer school because you want to experience the American campus lifestyle.
You can choose from a variety of study programmes:
- courses that focus on acquiring English language, combined with aspects about the American culture
- courses dedicated to students who want to complement their current study program so they involve learning more about a certain field
- courses that involve introductory knowledge about a certain subject area – mainly addressing students or adults who are interested in getting more insights and exploring career options
Additionally, colleges and universities allow students to customize their study plan so you can take as many classes as you wish, combine more fields of study and even have an academic schedule just like in a normal semester. So if your goal is to improve or advance your skills and knowledge faster, you can choose an intensive summer study course.
The variety of topics you can learn more about during a summer school course include: African American studies, astronomy, creative writing, environmental science, journalism, music, political science, film studies, design, photography, computer games and more. Apart from your main subject area, you can add other useful academic courses that focus on learning how to write a college application essay or a motivation letter.
Start dates and summer course schedule
U.S. colleges and universities usually organise summer schools between May and August and they can last from two to twelve weeks. Depending on the university, the schedule is mostly flexible, giving you the possibility to attend full-time or part-time classes, in the morning or in the evening and most times, study hours will be combined with plenty of social and cultural activities.
Exceptional benefits of the U.S. summer school programs
Regardless of your motivation for attending a summer school, either for fun, curiosity or to progress with your knowledge, you will discover that summer school programs in the USA are extremely enriching and beneficial for your personal and academic development.
Major benefits of attending American summer schools
1. Smaller class sizes
Summer courses are smaller in size than classes during the traditional academic year, which comes as a great advantage in terms of student-professor interaction. You will inevitably get more attention and tailored instruction individually, based on your level, skills and study goals. Your learning and progress can be easily enhanced and have more opportunities to actively participate in class.
In addition, you will also get to know your peers better and it will be much easier to make friends in a small crowd.
2. Easier to get in
At some summer schools, entry requirements may be a little less demanding, so you might not necessarily need a TOEFL certificate to successfully get admitted. You will just have to go through an English exam so the university can establish your language level, but it’s always recommended to check with your chosen university first.
3. Enjoy the science
Some summer courses also integrate scientific research opportunities, workshops or the occasion to attend a series of conferences and events directly linked to your study program. These are a great opportunity to discover if a study field would be the right degree choice or career path for you.
4. A glimpse into the future
If you were considering of applying to a university for a full degree, a summer course at the same university will help you realise if this institution is the perfect fit for you in all terms: academically, as far as goes the campus environment, facilities and so on.
As an international student, the whole summer school experience will also give you a good idea on how American college classes differ from the ones at home.
5. Never a dull moment
Outside of classes, you can engage in a number of fun and social programs inside and outside the campus. You cannot just benefit from the great facilities and resources of the university and practice sports or join a music band or participate in various contests, you can also enjoy sightseeing tours and visit the most iconic landmarks of the city and the surroundings.
Popular American cities where you can attend a summer school
Most American universities of any city usually offer summer school programs, so if you have one city in mind where you would enjoy attending a summer course, then you will easily find one.
But here are some of the most popular student cities in the U.S., where you can choose from a wide range of summer school programs and enjoy a terrific leisure time.
West: Los Angeles, San Francisco
Los Angeles is a bustling, high-class city where you can attend many summer school programs, especially if you’re interested in film and theatre studies. After classes, you can visit the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Universal Studios or have fun at the Disneyland Park. Wander around Bel Air or Beverly Hills and maybe you’ll bump into a famous American movie star. You’ll also be close to the beach, so you’ll have that part of your vacation covered as well.
San Francisco is one of the most emblematic American cities by just mentioning Golden Gate Bridge, the former Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, or the Chinatown district. If you’re curious about seeing a baseball match, in San Francisco, you can support the San Francisco Giants or the San Francisco 49ers teams.
Southeast: Florida, Washington D.C.
Enjoy the lovely and warm weather of Florida, the lovely beaches, and see the famous Everglades, Walt Disney World, and the Kennedy Space Centre. Many of the summer schools from Florida deliver life sciences, information technology and design courses.
Regardless of the field of study of your summer course, in Washington D.C., it will be impossible not to learn at least a few things about the American history. Washington D.C. covers a vibrant and multicultural environment, and you can visit iconic places like the Lincoln Memorial, the United States Capitol, the Smithsonian Institution.
Northeast: Boston, New York
Nicknamed “the Athens of America”, due to the importance locals place on education, Boston is home to some of the best universities worldwide. Here, you can attend numerous summer schools and study almost any field you can imagine. In Boston, you can visit the John F. Kennedy Presidential Museum and Library, Freedom Trail, or the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum.
Probably the most well-known American city, New York is a great place to study, visit and have fun. Particularly if you’re interested in journalism, media, music, theatre and entertainment in general, New York is the perfect place for a summer school. Check out the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, Empire State Building among many other interesting places and definitely watch a Broadway show.
Find the perfect summer school in the USA
If you’re still not convinced that American summer schools are truly awesome and that they will offer you a memorable study experience, start searching and get more information. Summer schools in the U.S. are the perfect opportunity for you to improve your English, learn more about U.S. culture, politics and customs and visit some of the world’s greatest attractions.
In addition, you will get accustomed to the American academic environment and that is an important advantage if you’re preparing to study a full degree at an American college or university.