Education

 Summer Break vs Summer School

In days past summer was a critical time for families whose livelihoods were tied to agriculture. Since they had to bring in the harvest quickly to prepare for winter, families needed the extra help school-age children provided. Schools closed in July and August to give kids the chance to help out on the farm.

Even though most families no longer need help from kids on the farm they still look forward to summer. Summer break allows families more quality time together. University students go home to visit friends and relatives. High school students increase their work hours or visit family. While those are all praiseworthy activities high school students should consider using the break to prepare for the challenges ahead.

Universities receive thousands of applications a year from all over the world yet admit comparatively few. Any added training or experience that suggests the applicant will thrive at university increases their chance of acceptance. Past performance is a good indicator of future achievement. Successful completion of a summer program tells the admissions board that the applicant has the willingness, fortitude, and ability to take extra steps towards success.

Beyond simply increasing admission chances, many programs prepare students to make the transition from homeroom to dorm room. Residential programs give future university scholars a taste of things to come. They also provide an academic head-start that will place them ahead of most peers.

Summer Programs are specialized and likely include more than one option for a family to choose from. Immerse Education can help. If the student already has a major in mind, she can attend a subject-based program. If not, she can enroll in a program that offers core university classes. This will expose her to university-level work.

Often this early introduction inspires students to choose a degree plan for their first semester. Most universities accept class hours from accredited summer programs, so at any rate she will advance toward her goal, have a clear direction and graduate quicker.

Perhaps a concrete example will illustrate the point. If a student knows she would like to become a French teacher, she can enroll in a French-language program. She can likely choose a “full immersion” route that will require her to speak French while there. If she attends a 3-hour class for 5 days a week, then in 3 weeks she will gain 45 hours of French language exposure that most of her university peers will lack.

 Some programs will have residential options or “camps” that provide additional advantages. It is not uncommon for the camps to be held at the university.

It would include cultural and social sciences classes in addition to language training. Our future teacher will eat and learn about French cuisine, listen to French music and enjoy common French games and pastimes. She will take classes (all in French) on French literature and history and chat with her classmates in French. She will likely be around young Francophiles from all over the world and make lifelong friends. she will have gained crucial social skills that will ease her transition from family life to dorm life.

With the countless summer programs that are available most families can find an option that works for them. Universities and public schools offer summer programs as do private businesses. Often universities will partner with the surrounding high schools to offer students the chance to attend university classes during normal school hours. The summer programs are largely residential. If a university held the camp illustrated above, it would likely offer the chance to fly to France as part of its curriculum.

You can imagine how valuable such a trip would be and how profoundly it would affect such a young mind. You can also imagine how good it would look on a CV, resume or university application. Summer programs are becoming increasingly looked to by admissions personnel at universities precisely because of the many advantages they offer. Browse the programs near you. You will be happy you did today, and even happier in decades to come.

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