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Summer school (or summer university) is a school, or a program generally sponsored by a school or a school district, or provided by a private company, that provides lessons and activities during the summer vacation. Participation in summer schools has been shown to have substantial beneficial effects on educational progress.
Summer schools in North America
In high school, college or university, students can enroll in classes for credit to be taken into account in their grade point average or their transcript. Generally, this credit is in one of two categories: remediation or advancement. For remediation, the summer school is used to make up credits lost through absence or failure. For advancement, the summer school is used to obtain credit for classes to accelerate progress toward a degree or to lessen the load of courses during the regular school year. Many universities offer short-term summer courses to attract both local and international students, and these programs are often surrounded by social activities.
In academia, the term can also refer to a type of conference. Typically, established academics will give presentations on advanced topics in a field to postgraduate students. This type of summer school is often organized at a national or international level, and no credits are awarded. Also, a college or university sometimes offers a summer program for teachers or other professional workers wishing to round out their professional or general education. Some summer schools are for the general public involving no examinations and are not for degree purposes.
Summer schools internationally
Outside North America, the term has a broader definition and refers to all ages and includes leisure and other non-academic subjects, so, for example, a course on hedge-laying is probably targeting older adults. In these regions, Music Summer Schools, on the other hand, may be designed for school age students, college students, or adult professionals or amateurs at various levels of attainment.
Summer schools can also provide students with educational experiences that would not be available to them within their normal schooling. This may encompass subjects that are not conventionally offered in schools (such as law, which is not usually offered in UK schools but may be taught in summer schools), or the experience of studying in an ancient university. It may also incorporate a wider variety of excursions and fields trips than would be possible in day-to-day education, so that some summer schools straddle the line between education and holiday.
Geneva Summer Schools, Switzerland
The University of Geneva benefits from over four-and-a half centuries of teaching and research excellence. Created in 1559, it is today one of Europe’s leading research institutions and among the leading francophone universities of the world. Faculty in the social sciences are key players in policy development and international decision-making, research in the humanities has an international reputation and developments in physics and molecular biology are world-renowned. Welcoming international students, researchers and faculty members to our University is an important part of our mission and vision for the future. Launching Geneva Summer Schools in 2012 represents our investment in the development of innovative teaching and research through short-term programs, as well as our commitment to creating inventive pedagogical opportunities for students. We believe that summer schools play an important role in the international presence of the University of Geneva, encouraging both the mobility of students but also the launch of international collaboration in groundbreaking research. We are committed to making such short-term programming available to a wide-spectrum of international and local students by offering excellence scholarships and developing a network of summer school exchanges. This accessibility, innovation and international mindedness makes us a truly “globalised university”. Geneva provides an inspiring background for intellectual pursuits during the summer months. Home to IOs and NGOs in a diversity of areas like humanitarian aid, intellectual property, human rights, climate and environment, and peace and security, to name a few, the UNIGE participates in regular collaborations with international organizations. Our summer courses take full advantage of this unique situation and offer students a field-oriented curriculum in a city at the heart of Europe. We look forward to welcoming students, faculty and researchers from around the world to the University of Geneva for the Geneva Summer Schools.
English as a foreign language
Summer schools are a popular choice for students of English as a Foreign Language, particularly children. EnglishUK, the language teaching organisation for EFL in the UK, has more than 470 members, many of which operate summer schools. Summer schools often offer foreign language immersion, which has known benefits for language learning. Summer schools of this kind also hold appeal for students wishing to pursue higher education in English-speaking countries, which consistently top university league tables and get a high percentage of their students from overseas, as summer schools in these countries provide insight not only into the English language, but also into the cultures that use it. They may even provide guidance for such students in their university applications.
- Advanced Multimodal Information Retrieval Int'l Summer School (ERMITES), FR
- Cram school
- Special education
- Summer camp
- California State Summer School for Mathematics and Science
- California State Summer School for the Arts
- Catholic Summer School of America
- Dartington International Summer School, UK
- Harvard Summer School
- International Summer University (ISU) Kassel, Germany
- International Winter University (IWU) Kassel, Germany
- National Science Summer School Inc.
- Queen Maeve International Summer School
- Radboud Summer School
- Rabb School of Summer and Continuing Studies
- Transitional Justice Institute Summer School on Transitional Justice
- Utrecht Summer School
- Willie Clancy Summer School
- List of summer schools of linguistics
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- Guide to Summer Camps and Summer Schools. 31st edition, 2008/09. Porter Sargent Handbooks, a Division of Alloy Education.
- Guide to Summer Camps and Summer Schools. 32nd edition, 2010/11. Porter Sargent Handbooks, a Division of Alloy Education.
- Summer Schools and Summer Courses UK 2012; music schools; drama, theatre, acting and art courses, English language courses.
- Directory of summer courses in Europe
- Summer Schools @ Aegean, Greece 2013
- Human Rights and Law related Summer Schools
- Sherborne (formerly Canford) Music Summer School
- International Musicians Seminar, Prussia Cove