Top 15 Summer School Questions Answered


Date of Publication: 18 September 2019

Are you interested in joining a summer school?


Perhaps you’ve heard about them but you’re not exactly sure what they are?

We’ve compiled a definitive guide to summer schools, with the top 15 searched summer school questions answered. 

Take a look at them below to find out more. 



  1. What is a summer school?


A summer school, also commonly known as a summer course, is a short residential academic 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. 


  1. What is the difference between summer school and summer camp?

There are only a few slight differences between summer schools and summer camps, the main one being the program of study. A summer school usually blends academic study with day trips and fun activities, while a summer camp focuses more on the latter. 


  1. What is the difference between summer course and summer camp?

Summer courses and summer schools have no real difference between them and the name is interchangeable. So, similar to the question above, the only real difference between summer courses and summer camps is the program of study. Summer camps are a lot more activity focused, while summer courses tend to offer more academic sessions.


  1. What are summer programs for high school students?

A summer program for high school students will be designed to help a child excel their studies by attending academic classes during the summer months. Usually attended the summer before finals, they can help students to reinforce the knowledge they have learned during the previous year, and also be used as revision classes. 

In addition, some summer programs for high school students may be designed to offer them a taste of university life, so they can begin to think about which university – if any – could be right for them. 


  1. What are the benefits of summer school?

There are plenty of benefits for attending a summer school. From making new friends to sampling university life and progressing in your academics, there are so many reasons as to why you should be attending a summer school. 

For a more detailed look at the benefits of a summer school, please read this blog here.


  1. What is Oxford Summer Courses? 

Providing short and intensive courses for students aged 9-to-24, Oxford Summer Courses offers individuals an authentic taste of the Oxbridge experience. 

First established in 2010 by school friends and Oxford alumni, Rob and Harry, the company grew from their passion to share their exceptional time at the University of Oxford with the rest of the world. 

Many things have changed since we began in 2010; from beginning with just 30 students, we now cater to over 2,500; from just a handful of tutors in the beginning, we now have grown to a cohort of 200 – some of whom have been with us since day one! 

Oxford Summer Courses has also shot to international acclaim, and now in addition to locations in the UK it runs courses in India, Chile, Peru, Singapore and Stanford USA, with several new locations in the pipeline.



  1. How do I choose a summer school?

Finding the perfect summer school can be hard. You want to make sure that you’re choosing a course and a location that is suited to you, as well as somewhere that offers you the best teaching possible. 

Oxford Summer Courses can offer you an excellent level of teaching, with our tutors coming from some of the top universities in the world. In addition to our expert tutors, we are also one of the few summer courses who offer the renowned Oxford tutorial teaching method, which has proven to excel student’s critical thinking. 

We also offer a number of locations for you to study at, which are home to some of the world’s best universities; the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge, Stanford University, as well as at some of the best institutions in London, Singapore, India and Chile. 

If you would like to discuss the other benefits that Oxford Summer Courses can offer you, then please contact us and speak to an adviser today.


  1. How many hours a day is summer school?

Your time spent in academic sessions will vary depending on your summer school program. 

At Oxford Summer Courses, we offer at least 14 hours of teaching time during a typical two week stay with us, excluding independent study and academic workshops. 


  1. What’s the purpose of summer school?

A summer school blends academic teaching with exciting extra-curricular activities to help students to excel themselves academically, whilst providing them with the activities and excursions needed to have an amazing summer. 

Designed for those who want to go above and beyond in their academics, they will push you to further your knowledge around a particular subject, whilst developing a range of soft skills which will benefit you later in life. 

A lot of summer schools can also offer students a taste of university life – to see if it’s right for them, if they would like to apply to that particular institution or go ahead with that particular subject as an undergraduate.


  1. Can you fail summer school?

Again, this is something which varies between summer school companies. 

At Oxford Summer Courses, as long as you complete your work to a high standard and show an excellent level of engagement in your studies, then there is no reason for you to fail, as we don’t base our curriculum on grades. Our Oxbridge methods of teaching are designed to encourage you to test the boundaries and work in a way which you may not have done before. A grading system may limit you to work in a certain style, as opposed to encouraging full creativity. 

However, there are some summer schools which may offer a grades-based system which, if you don’t put the effort in, could cause you to fail. 


  1. Why is summer school so expensive?

Though it may seem expensive, the price you pay for a summer school does cover a lot of expenses. Including accommodation, day trips, the cost of tutors, the pastoral team and most meals, there is a lot which goes into ensuring you have an amazing time. The price may seem hefty, but certainly worth it.


  1. Are summer schools worth it?


If you want to excel in your academics, develop your confidence and communication skills, all whilst making friends and having fun, then a summer school is definitely worth it! 


  1. Does summer school help your GPA?

GPA (grade point average) is a points system used in the American education system  to determine what your average grade is. 

If your child has failed a subject class at high school, then some summer schools do offer the opportunity for them to try and re-sit the grade by attending a summer course in that particular subject.

Summer schools can definitely help your GPA by helping you to perform better in school as you spend two weeks immersing yourself and building on your knowledge of a particular subject. 

If you study at Oxford Summer Courses, we only allow small class sizes (of no more than four) and one-to-one/two tutorials, meaning that you get a truly personalised teaching method, focused on your ability and nurturing the skills which you wish to work on. 


  1. How can I raise my GPA in high school?

Though they of course do not guarantee a raise in GPA, summer schools could help in raising a GPA in high school. Building on your knowledge of a subject will certainly help when it comes to examination time at school. Especially if you’ve spent a few weeks on that one subject, gaining a deep understanding of it. 

As already mentioned, some summer courses do offer the chance for you to re-sit a specific subject for a chance to improve your grade, though this requires a few weeks of hard academic studying. 


  1. Should my child go to summer school?


Summer schools can offer your child the opportunity of a lifetime. Blending immersive and interactive classroom sessions with academic excursions and skill-building workshops, a summer course can be the perfect opportunity to help your child to grow and develop. 


Interested? Learn more about Oxford Summer Courses and our program here, or apply for our 2020 courses today!

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