For some students, summers are for waking up late, spending all day in bed and not worrying about exams for two full months. But for those wanting to get a little more out of those two months, summers are for mastering their skills, investing in their future and explore new cultures. In other words, summer school abroad.
Summer school typically lasts between one and eight weeks and is a chance for students to explore subjects they are interested in or pursue new interests. It is known that summer school is one of the most enriching experiences for students, but what are the actual reasons why so many students choose to spend their summer studying, instead of playing video games or going to the beach all day?
Strengthen Your Resume
Whether you are preparing for graduate school or for a new job in the future, the experience you gain in summer school will weigh tremendously on your resume. Employees, as well as admission boards, will have a chance to see that you take a deep interest in the field you want to enter and are not afraid of challenging experiences.
If you want to be a journalist, for example, just imagine how good it would look for your employer to see you have attended Cambridge creative writing summer school. You will get the opportunity to talk about your experience there and how much you have gained from it, which will count as an important part of the interview. And, if you manage to show them how much this experience has benefited you, you will have already won them over.
As a student, you probably don’t have many opportunities to gain work experience, so summer schools and other extracurricular activities are going to be you winning ticket to getting the job you desire. Employees know that and are looking for people who do everything they can to gain as much knowledge as possible about their domain of interest.
Better Your Foreign Language Skills
If you choose to attend summer school abroad, you will get a chance to improve your language skills, be it in your mother language, or in a foreign one. Choosing a course in an international language, such as English, German or Spanish, will help you better your vocabulary and practice speaking the language with native speakers.
The best way to improve your language knowledge is to constantly speak it, and when you get the chance to practice it with native speakers, your chances of becoming fluent are way higher. Try to speak as much of it as you can and in as many situations as possible. Only recur to English when you don’t have any other choice, but try to do it as little as you can.
Even if you don’t choose a language course, try to practice as much as you can with locals, so you can pick up on the accent and frequently used phrases. Being able to carry on a simple conversation in a foreign language will feel like a huge achievement.
Build Your Confidence
Studying abroad has tremendous benefits for shaping your personality and building your confidence. When you find yourself in a new city, even the fact that you’ve been able to navigate a map all by yourself will boost your confidence to the roof. Every new thing you learn, every new person you meet and are able to befriend will help you develop new skills that will help tremendously when you come back home.
Many students who have studied abroad have said they came back changed for the better. Even the fact that you manage to get over homesickness will show you that you are able to do things you never thought of.
When abroad, make connections, talk to people, try things you never tied before and allow yourself to step out of your comfort zone and push your limits. Chances are, you will come back richer than you left.
Learn to Live Independently
Being on your own for a few weeks or even a few months will teach you a thing or two about how to handle certain situations without the help of your parents. From getting around town on your own, to grocery shopping, you will get a taste of what adult life is really about.
You will be responsible for waking up on time to attend classes, prepare for assignments and managing your schedule. You will also learn how to exchange busses to get where you need to, when your parents aren’t around to drive you from one place to another.
Perhaps the most valuable thing you will learn about living independently is how to handle your finances. Dealing with exchange rates, as well as managing to not spend all your money in one week are going to be real life lessons. You are completely responsible for yourself, so you will develop some skills that are going to turn you into an adult. Doing the dishes, cleaning up, shopping for groceries, as well as cooking for yourself if you don’t want to spend all your money eating out are also things that will help you later on.
Embrace New Cultural Perspectives
Many students choose to study abroad precisely because of the chance to exchange cultural experiences with other students. Being able to talk to people from all around the world will teach you about tolerance difference of perspectives, as well as respect.
You will get a chance to build new relationships, which will turn out to be extremely valuable in the future. Being able to visit a friend you met in summer school, who lives on the other side of the world is not something you should turn down.
Think of the fact that, despite your cultural differences, you are all brought together by the same interests. In the end, you will return home knowing you have friends all over the world. And, who knows, maybe even future work opportunities. After all, networking is amongst the most powerful tools.