7 Top Summer Schools Around the World

24 Apr, 2023 | Get the Edge

Okay, so you’re thinking about joining a summer school this year, but you’re not sure which one to pick? We know that it can be a really daunting prospect, particularly if you’re looking to join a programme abroad, or if it’s your first time taking part in something like this.

We’d recommend checking out our previous post if you’re still trying to figure out how to choose the perfect summer school for you, including considering things like whether you’d like to join a residential school, or what you’d like the programme to include in terms of activities.

Once you’ve got a bit of an idea of the style of summer programme you’d like to join, you can come back here and find the recommendations that are most relevant to you.

Best Summer School for the Humanities: Summer at Doon Leadership Academy


The Doon School is one of the most famous boys’ boarding schools in India, with a sparkling academic reputation. During the summer, they open their doors to boys and girls aged 14-18 years for their comprehensive leadership programme. They ask for a personal statement as part of their application process, and are looking for bright individuals who will be able to keep up with their intensive programme. Looking at everything from History and Economics to Philosophy, Rhetoric and the Performing Arts, the academy is rigorous but incredibly rewarding. The two week course includes hiking and camping portions, and the school heavily restricts use of phones, laptops and tablets in order to allow students to optimise focus.

Recommended by: Saumya, Oxford Scholastica Academy Class of 2019

Spotlight on: The Sutton Trust


The Sutton Trust runs summer schools at thirteen of the UK’s leading universities, including Cambridge and Durham. They also offer a week-long trip to America, visiting various top US colleges along the way. The Trust’s summer programmes are aimed at widening participation, and are offered to UK state school students on a means-testing basis. They cover all expenses involved, including travel to and from the chosen location, meals and accommodation. Similar programmes are offered at other leading universities and colleges around the world.

Best Summer School to Experience University Life: The Oxford Scholastica Academy


Whether you’re looking to apply to university in the UK or abroad, our Oxford summer courses are a great way to engage with the city and try out some advanced study in your chosen subject.

Although we are not affiliated with Oxford University, our style of teaching is modelled on undergraduate study there, and many of our tutors and staff members are past or present Oxford students. The Oxford Scholastica Academy also offers the chance to stay in University of Oxford accommodation, learn in their facilities and even brunch in Corpus Christi College’s formal hall.

Check out our prestigious Oxford Summer School for teens!

Best Summer Camp for Outdoor Activities: PGL


With sixteen different sites across the UK and France, PGL holidays are action-packed adventures you won’t forget in a hurry! Offering everything from abseiling and kayaking to a Cook’s Academy and surf school, the camps all centre around taking on new challenges with your new friends! PGL offers 3, 4 and 7 night trips, as well as non-residential camps. They offer programs with different focuses for people aged 7 to 17 years old, as well as facilitating school trips and birthday parties.

Recommended by: Thomas, Oxford Scholastica Academy Class of 2016, 2017, 2019

Best Summer School for Arabic and STEM: King’s Academy Summer Programmes


The King’s Academy is a top-tier boarding and day school in Jordan, catering for male and female students between 12 and 18 years old. During the summer, they run a renowned Arabic programme for students aged 12 to 16, as well as English and Maths courses.

If you’re looking to develop your STEM skills this summer, consider taking one of their advanced courses for 11 to 15 year olds, which cover things like 3D printing and building lunar colonies! For younger students aged 6-13, they also offer an action-packed sports and activity camp.

Recommended by: Zena, London Scholastica Academy Class of 2019

Best Summer School for the Arts: Interlochen High School Summer Programme


Interlochen is an American high school in Michigan, USA, specialising in the arts and preparing students for conservatoire- or college-level teaching. They also run a range of summer schools, covering everything from the Harp to the Motion Picture Arts. They require video or audio audition tapes, and by ensuring everyone is of a suitable level, their tutors are really able to stretch students to achieve their maximum potential.

This is a great opportunity for high-schoolers looking to transfer to the Interlochen Centre for the Arts full-time, and more especially for those students looking to pursue higher-level musical or artistic study.

Best Single-Gender Summer Camp: Camp Chinqueka


Camp Chinqueka offers two- to eight-week-long adventure camps exclusively for girls between 6 and 15 years old. Based in Connecticut, the facilities are spread along the banks of Mt. Tom Pond, which makes it perfect for boating and swimming, both of which are popular morning activities at the camp. Their guided activities include everything from water skiing to yoga to ceramics, with skilled staff guiding each one.

Camp Chinqueka has a brother camp, Camp Awosting, which offers a similar experience for boys nearby. They organise some joint activities, which are always well-supervised.

Recommended by: Katherine, Oxford Scholastica Academy Class of 2019

Why choose a summer school in the first place?

We hope that at least one of these summer programmes piques your interest, but you might still be wondering why you would even want to choose one in the first place.

If that’s you, you might like to check out our article breaking down just some of the benefits of attending a summer school abroad.

Finally, if you’d rather keep things online this summer, we’d recommend reading our Ultimate Guide to Choosing an Online Course.

You’ll probably have a lot of reasons for wanting to go on a summer programme, so ranking your most important ones could help you to narrow down exactly what it is you’re looking for.


By Sophie Parker

Our Head of Content, Sophie, is responsible for our blog and our resources. She graduated from University College London, where she read English.

Want to explore our range of top-rated Oxford summer courses?

Recommended articles

How to Secure Strong References for Your UCAS Applications

How to Secure Strong References for Your UCAS Applications

References are a crucial component of your UCAS application, offering a holistic view of your potential as an applicant.  Your application will ask for references who can testify to your potential as a student and what you have to offer the university or college...

read more
A Day in the Life of a History Student

A Day in the Life of a History Student

It’s been over three years since I first sent my UCAS application off to Oxford University, meeting the early submission deadline by a slither and breathing a sigh of relief. Now, as a third-year History finalist on the cusp of exams, I can safely say that these...

read more
What Is Market Failure?

What Is Market Failure?

When trying to run any sort of business, it’s important to understand the ways in which things could go wrong, so that you can plan to maximise your chances of success. Market failures are a major risk any company faces. So it’s important to understand them before you...

read more