Attending summer school is a great way to personalise your educational programme and to shape your college career into a unique experience. As the NUIM International Summer School kicks off this week, we consider the benefits of enrolling in an international summer school.

Intercultural experience

Studying abroad provides a complete experience of a foreign culture: living, eating, studying, travelling, meeting locals and making new international friends. Most international summer schools welcome students from across the world to their programmes each year and provide an opportunity for students to meet and learn from their international peers.

Total immersion

Studying at an international summer school is about more than what you learn in lectures. It’s about the total experience: travelling overseas and learning about how people live in a foreign country; learning about yourself when you are away from the comforts and familiarity of home; learning to be confident and fending for yourself while living abroad.

International courses and lectures

International Summer Schools allow students to complement their home studies with courses that may not be available at their home universities or that take a different approach to the subject matter. Students learn from international lecturers while taking courses in their subject area that are focussed on local knowledge. For example, International Business students can study region-specific modules such as International European Trade or Western Organisational Management.

International peer learning

A key benefit that international summer schools offer their students is the opportunity to learn from the experience of their international classmates. Education systems across the globe differ greatly in the way lecturers teach and in how students learn. Studying at in international summer school allows you to learn from your peers as well as share your experiences and knowledge.

Learning through English

International summer schools in both English and non-English speaking countries are offering students the opportunity to take courses through English. When studying in an English-speaking country, students must interact in English 24 hours a day. While the lecture programme allows students to practice their academic English, the extracurricular programme helps them to improve their communication skills in authentic, everyday contexts.

Practical learning

Many international summer schools place a more practical emphasis on the learning experiences offered to their students. Visiting lecturers, industry experts and visits to multinational and high-profile businesses as well as NGO’s allow students to see what they learn in the academic programme put into practice in real-life situations.

Stand out with foreign academic credit

With the numbers of graduates increasing every year, students are constantly looking for ways to augment their diplomas and to make their CV’s stand out from the crowd. Studying at an international summer school will allow you to take courses not readily offered in your home university. Employers recognise the benefits of international knowledge and exposure when looking for the next generation of high-achieving employees.

Study abroad taster

For students that have not spent long periods away from home before, enrolling in an international summer school can provide them a taster of what it is like to study abroad for a semester or even longer. If you are not sure if study abroad is for you, taking an international summer school programme will give you a great insight into how you will react to studying away from home and if it is for you.

International experience at low cost

International summer schools offer budget-conscious students who would like to study abroad the opportunity to benefit from the study-abroad experience without the higher costs of a full semester or year overseas.

The NUIM International Summer School

The National University of Ireland Maynooth International Summer School (NUIM ISS) has welcomed students from North America, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia for the month of July 2014. Students take Irish and EU-focussed courses in International Business, Economics, English, Geography, Politics, History, and Anthropology. Along with an intensive programme of lectures and tutorials, students also participate in field trips to places such as the Irish government buildings and the European headquarters of various multinational IT companies, and the programme includes an extensive cultural and activity schedule.

What next?

If you think that study abroad is for you, speak with your university’s study abroad advisor or a representative from your International Office.

For more information on the NUIM ISS please click here or email summer.school@nuim.ie.