There is no question that studying abroad can provide any students with many benefits. Taking on the challenge of an international education is sure to develop your cultural awareness and knowledge of others, boost your self-esteem and skills to support a successful future career. There are many options to choose from, but the first question you should ask yourself is whether you want to engage in a short-term or long-term study. If you’re not yet sure about spending two or more years studying in a foreign country, there are two options you should consider: a student exchange programme or a summer school course. While both options provide great study opportunities, some differences set them apart.
Here are a few advantages of enrolling in a summer school course over taking a student exchange semester abroad:
1. No time to be homesick
Because summer courses don’t usually last more than one month, you will probably be safe from homesickness. In addition, if you don’t enjoy the study environment, you won’t have to endure it for an entire semester. As a short-term guest, a professional staff will make sure you will be well taken care of. However, while staying a whole semester abroad may be more challenging, the experience will probably help you to discover a level of self-reliance you never knew you had.
2. Cheaper costs for university short studies
A shorter study period generally means lower costs than an exchange in the same country. However, this is not a general rule, as some summer courses in esteemed universities can be considerably pricey. In most cases, accommodation is provided by the university and prices may or may not include additional expenses for activities, food, and travel. Make sure to ask for detailed information about the amounts you have to pay. You should also know that both summer courses and student exchanges include some form of financial aid to cover part of the costs.
3. Higher flexibility
Studying an exchange semester abroad usually means you will study the subjects you would normally learn in your home university. A summer course offers you the chance to choose a subject outside your curriculum. You can deepen your knowledge of a subject you are familiar with or take an introductory course on an entirely different topic. You also have the option of choosing the difficulty level of your summer course, in advance. Academic institutions such as the University of Kent provide a wide range of summer courses to meet your diverse educational interests.
4. Relaxed classes
As summer courses are shorter and take place outside the academic year, students can expect a more relaxed study environment. Classes are shorter, allowing extra free-time activities. However, students should not underestimate the complexity of the courses. Teachers and students will be more relaxed, but you are still there to learn, after all.
5. Extra study credits
Almost all summer courses provide extra credit for completing the programme. In addition to preparing in advance for a new academic year, the extra summer work will help lower your future academic load. An exchange programme will only offer the same amount of credit as a regular semester in your home university.
6. Focused summer courses
Summer courses usually have to cover a lot of information in a short amount of time. As a result, subjects will be more focused on specific topics in relation to the set outcomes. Smaller class sizes stimulate a higher interaction between students and the faculty. The condensed study environment will help teachers answer your questions in higher detail and encourage class debates.
About student exchange programmes
All these reasons should not discourage you to take a student exchange programme, which has its own unique advantages, including:
- More time to make long lasting friendships;
- Help develop a wider set of skills;
- A genuine substitute to the whole semester, no need to complete any extra subjects after returning home;
- More student activities;
- A chance to know the country and people in greater depth;
- More time to advance your communication and language skills.
Choose a summer school course, a student exchange programme, or both to have a unique, enriching study experience abroad. Add another valuable dimension to your personality, challenge yourself, experience a real adventure and become a more mature and aware individual. Find the right summer course for you on www.shortcoursesportal.com.