The study experience of a summer school course abroad is well-known to be an amazing experience, offering a good balance between theory and practice, classroom lectures and outdoor activities. It is as tempting as it sounds and many international students agree on this by choosing every year from the wide selection of almost 5,000 short courses worldwide provided by ShortCoursesPortal. More than 1,700 of these short courses take place during summer ensuring an unforgettable holiday experience where the students' minds and creativity are also nurtured and challenged.
Not sure if a summer course is right for you? Read more in this article.
General application requirements for a summer short course
There are a few elements which you can consider the most common that occur throughout the application process or that are so widespread that may be considered general rules for the admission. So, what do you need, at first, if you wish to apply for a summer course?
- A document which states that you are enrolled in a university
- A transcript which proves that you fulfil the prerequisites that are required by the field of study
- For the USA: a minimum GPA
- In some cases, a Bachelor’s, Master’s or a PhD degree
- The level of study, especially in the case of language schools.
These are not all required to determine whether you are admitted into the course or not, but in order to place you in a class with a certain level of study that best suits your knowledge.
What language skills will you need?
Actually, a lot! Summer schools require proficiency in writing, speaking, reading and listening in the language that the programme is taught. In the case of English, you will be asked for an IELTS, TOEFL, CAE, CPE, PTEA or another similar certificate. The language level required usually varies depending on the course, but you should prepare for at least an IELTS score of 6.0 or equivalent.
These are all required so that you will fully understand the lectures and be able to write assignments and participate actively in course discussions, debates or group projects.
Are there age limits?
There are two possibilities:
- In order to be allowed to apply for a summer course, students are required to be over the age of 18.
- Some short courses that target undergraduate students do not specify a minimum age, but they do demand for additional documents, such as a letter of consent from the parents.
What actually happens when you apply?
Once you’ve got all the details figured out, it is time to start the application process. Here’s what will happen:
- Choose the course you wish to apply for and check if you meet the admission criteria.
- Check if you have to send any supporting documents.
- Check the visa requirements.
- Decide if you wish to book your accommodation in advance, if it’s not provided by the institution.
- Look for additional activities available and decide if you want to participate.
- Submit your application online.
- Wait for your acceptance e-mail.
- Follow payment instructions.
- Receive invitation letter for visa matters after payment, if applicable.
- Buy health insurance for the duration of your stay.
Prepare your stay
In most cases, students enrolled in a summer course will be housed in the university campus, or close to the university grounds. Accommodation costs are usually included in the total course costs, but you should make sure this is the case before applying. Universities make sure guests are safe for the entire duration of their stay.
Some universities provide Residential Advisors who will organise social activities and help with any problems that may arise. If you do not want to live in the accommodation provided by the university you may choose alternative housing options such as staying over at a friend’s house in the country, booking an inexpensive hostel, or try out couch surfing.
You need a visa during your stay
Now let’s talk about documents. Visa requirements will depend on your study destination and your country of origin. Students coming from an EU-member country who plan to study in the EU do not need a visa and can travel using only their regular ID. Students coming from outside the European Union will need a short-term study visa.
To receive a study visa you will have to follow one or more of the following steps:
- Begin the application process as early as possible;
- Contact the closest embassy or consulate of the destination country;
- Provide the documents required by the embassy;
- Pay the visa fee;
- Include the study invitation from the university;
- You may have to prove that you have sufficient funds to sustain yourself during your stay;
- Study costs
In addition to the regular programme costs, pay attention to any additional fees. Such costs may include accommodation, social events, travel expenses, course materials, food expenses, and others. Some programmes may offer discounts for early application. Social activities may include different packages, tailored to your available budget. If you are a student of the university providing the summer course, or you study in a partner university you may receive a substantial discount.
Some students may be eligible for EU-funding and some universities may even provide a limited number of scholarships to cover part of the summer school course.
Still haven't made up your mind what summer school course to study? Here is a list with some of the best summer schools available this year.