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Should I Attend a University Summer School in Year 12?

Designed to offer you a taster of student life, university summer schools for year 12 students are a great way of seeing if university is right for you; your chosen subject and your chosen institution/city. 

In particular, Oxford Summer Courses can offer year 12 students the chance to experience life at some of the world’s leading institutions, including; the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge.

What is a summer school?

A British summer school is a short residential course which fully immerses students into a subject of their choice. Combining academic study with extracurricular activities, they usually take place during the summer months (hence the name), and within school or university grounds. 

How long do they last?

Lasting anywhere from one day to six weeks, the length of the summer school depends on the provider and the chosen subjects.

At Oxford Summer Courses, we offer a tailored programme, so you can choose how long you want to stay with us. From a one week taster to a full six-week summer course, just get in contact with our admissions team and we will be able to create a bespoke schedule for you.

What can I expect?

Most university summer schools for year 12 are designed to introduce you to the subject which you may be thinking of pursuing in higher education. This means your timetable will probably contain a variety of lectures, discussions and workshops which will fully immerse you into the subject. 

If you attend an Oxford Summer Courses summer school, you will receive the Oxbridge style of teaching. This involves small seminar groups, one-to-one tutorials and independent study periods in which you will you experience writing university essays and conducting research around your subject.  

Will I have free time?

Of course! Though you will cover quite a few hours of study time, summer schools are aware that sometimes you need a break.

At Oxford Summer Courses, we offer an excellent selection of free time activities. From day tips to the Harry Potter Studios and Windsor Castle, we also offer city exploring, punting trips, sporting afternoons and so much more. Not forgetting down time for you to relax and catch up with your new friends or read your favourite book.

What are the benefits of attending a university summer school?

  • Trial a subject before applying for it at university
  • Get a taste of independent living
  • Develop language skills
  • Support your university application
  • Learn the university way
  • Study in an infamous city
  • Make new friends
  • Have fun
  • Get ahead in your studies
  • Get an edge over your peers
  • Learn from top academics
  • Make a memorable summer

Let’s take a more detailed look at them below:

1. Trial a subject before applying for it at university

A university summer course offers you the chance to immerse yourself in a subject that you wish to pursue at university. Whether you’ve studied it before or not, you will have a few weeks to taste the subject and see if it’s right for you. 

2. Get a taste of independent living

For most people, going to university will be the first time that they move out of their family home and live on independently. 

When you attend a summer course, though you will be living with other students and a pastoral team, you will still be staying away from home. Your down time will be yours to do with how you wish, and this won’t feel too dissimilar to what life at university may be like.

3. Develop language skills

For many students, they may choose to study abroad as a way to develop their language skills.

There is no better way to learn than by immersing yourself in a new culture for a couple of weeks, surrounded by those who can help and support you to learn the language. 

4. Support your university application

A large reason as to why many students choose to participate in a university summer course in year 12 is to both support and enhance their university applications. 

Showing potential institutions and employers that you chose to spend your summer holidays further developing your knowledge around the subject you’re passionate about shows a huge amount of dedication, passion and commitment to the subject. 

Also, if you attend one of Oxford Summer Courses’ summer schools, then our tutors will write you a letter of recommendation which you can also include in your university applications. 

5. Learn the university way

It isn’t until you attend university that you’ll actually know what ‘university life’ is like. 

For most people, you will have probably never stayed away from your parents for a long period of time, or experienced much in terms of independent learning.

A summer school is great in that you will not only get a taster of independence (to some extent, you will still be supervised by on-course staff members), but you will also have an introduction to university teaching and learning styles. 

Particularly, if you choose to study with us, as already mentioned above, you’ll get the chance to experience the Oxbridge teaching method. Expect one or two-person tutorials, small seminar groups and plenty of time to work outside of the classroom on essays and assignments. 

6. Study in an infamous city

Part of the fun of participating in a university summer school is getting to experience and live (temporarily) in a brand new city.

You may have never lived in a city before, so embrace the business, the hustle-and-bustle, and enjoy exploring and learning about a new culture. 

7. Make new friends

When you attend a short summer course, you’ll be joined by lots of other students from all over the world. This is the chance for you meet other like-minded individuals who all share the same passion for learning as you. 

Sharing accommodation, meals and free time, you’ll have plenty of time to get to know one another and create unforgettable memories together. 

It’s the chance to make lifelong friends who will be invaluable to your network as you grow up. 

In particular, if you join Oxford Summer Courses and complete a course, then you will become a part of the Bridgemark Network where you can continue to socialise with your new friends, reminisce, and meet alumni students from years past.

8. Have fun

Got no plans for the summer? A summer school is a thrilling way to fill up your holiday.

Immersing yourself in a subject you love, meeting new friends and going out on group excursions and trips...what’s not to love and enjoy?

9. Get ahead in your studies

What better way to get ahead in class than to spend your summer developing your knowledge around a subject?

Aside from your chosen subject, you will also learn a wide range of skills which you can put to practice throughout your education; you’ll further your analytical, essay-writing and presentation skills, which will no doubt benefit you upon your return to school after the holiday.

10. Learn from top academics

Here at Oxford Summer Courses, you can feel assured that you will be taught by some of the world’s best tutors. 

We pride ourselves on hiring tutors from the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge and other outstanding institutions, meaning that you really will be learning from some of the top academics in the industry. 

11. Get an edge over your peers

Want to stand out from the crowd? 

With popular universities and jobs getting more competitive than ever, students are finding more and more ways to set themselves apart from the crowd. 

Showing that you are willing to spend your free time to immerse yourself and learn more about a particular subject or field during a summer school is a great way of showing potential employers and universities that you will ‘go the extra mile’ when it comes to them accepting/hiring you. 

12. Create a memorable summer

You would be creating memories for life when you attend a short summer course. 

Friendships will be made that you will take with you through life, you will learn invaluable lessons and skills from tutors, and you’ll enjoy new experiences that will stay with you forever. 

Ready to apply for Oxford Summer Courses?

For a once in a lifetime experience, join us for summer 2024 where you can discover over 40 academic subjects taught by expert tutors. You’ll also meet other like-minded individuals from around the world and make friends for life! Apply today and choose from 2 stunning locations; Oxford and Cambridge.

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Experience university summer schools like Oxford Summer Courses. Benefits: subject trial, independent living, language skills, application support, university experience, renowned cities, friendships, fun, an edge.

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