Summer and Winter Courses: Advancing Your Higher Education During Your Vacation -

Summer and Winter Courses: Advancing Your Higher Education During Your Vacation

Now more than ever there is enough time for everyone to get a boost up the ladder of higher education in a short period! For some students short academic courses are a fast way to get a formal specialization in any field of interest.

These short-term and cost-effective programmes are an effective solution to gaining advanced knowledge, without having to invest in a Master’s programme.

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Summer schools and winter schools across the globe

Out of different types of short courses around the world, summer and winter school courses are some of the most popular. Their numbers have been increasing in many countries in Europe (the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, etc.), as well as the U.S., South America, Australia and more. Besides the obvious benefits, such as a shorter study period, summer schools are also a good opportunity to travel and know different cultures.

Winter programmes are flexible, since some of them begin in October while others and, actually most of the courses, start in January. Usually lasting between a few weeks and a couple of months, summer and winter schools provide a concentrated study experience that may make an important difference in the academic and professional life of a student.

Setting your expectations from summer schools

Summer schools, especially, are constantly growing in popularity and number. Summer courses in Spain, UK, Italy and many more European countries might be taken up in English or a local language. Many summer schools offer courses in disciplines such as Humanities, Business and Economics, Natural Sciences, etc.

Students can benefit from specific information on various topics such as: business language studies, courses related to globalization, practicing yoga, specific law studies, history, medicine, e-commerce and much more. Courses may also combine optional language lessons to offer support to students who don’t speak the local language fluently.

Such as winter programmes, summer courses are held in small classes and are usually more interactive, so that students have a higher benefit from the short period that the course requires. There are plenty of programmes for those who wish to learn a foreign language, indeed, but summer schools also include educational field which add a bonus to their knowledge and CV.

The generous global offer of programmes that take place during summer also translates into a variety of choices, when it comes to location, subject, duration and costs. Even though it is rather difficult to make an average, most of the summer courses require below 2,000 EUR as tuition fees and they don’t take control of your entire yearly holiday. These usually begin around July and last for a few weeks.

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However, since summer short courses are held in the period when students are usually searching for relaxation and disconnection from learning. This is why you should consider carefully which programme you should enrol in and treat it as a hobby you are really passionate about.

Some admission officers pay a particular attention to this aspect and sometimes the acceptance depends on the students’ reasons for enrolling in a summer course and his/her interest.

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What to expect from winter school courses?

Winter school courses are provided throughout the cold months of the academic year. Regardless if the course offers a certification or not, it is commonly known that the cultural experience plays an important role in the decision to study abroad.

Since these kinds of holidays last less, you can enjoy your study break by taking a course abroad and blending your knowledge with the taste of a different culture. After choosing your field of study, whether it is healthcare or a foreign language, you take a constructive inside look on a foreign culture and also enjoy a holiday trip.

Winter courses mean two – eight weeks of study, with an average cost of around 1,200 EUR. However, the financial aspect is all up to your choice. You can take a one-week winter class in Madrid, Spain for 400 EUR or spend five months in the UK and pay tuition fees of 3,200 EUR.

Students have the chance to meet other international students and participate in events and sightseeing excursions hosted by the organizers. Many winter-time sports activities are usually provided. Of course, if you don’t particularly like the cold weather you could choose a winter school course in a warmer country and enjoy a sunny, welcoming experience.

Course certification

Many institutions and universities offering short courses in Europe provide students with a certificate at the end of their course. Summer schools and winter schools are especially known to offer a degree to the student justifying his attendance and successful pass of the courses.

Furthermore, students can have a first look at the level of the programmes offered by a University or school and decide whether to continue their studies there with a Master’s or a PhD programme.

Some students who take a summer or winter course usually are directly interested in the degree, because it gives them the chance to improve their academic records. If you are in this category, you are also recommended to view the summer course as more than its direct usage. Once you take the summer course for a bonus and not a remedy, you will gain more of the experience.

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This certification will have an added value also if the field you study during the summer/winter course is not available on an academic level or gives you an extra specialization that will also be useful at during the university degree courses.

To find a short course in a specific European university or school, you can either choose the university you are interested in and search their website for “short courses” or “summer – winter school”, or simply search on for a variety of available summer or winter programmes and courses.

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