Is an Oxford Summer School Worth It?

28 Feb, 2023

Student studying at Oxford Scholastica summer school
Attending an academic, international summer school can take a lot of organisation, from finding the best summer school option to sorting flights, which may lead you to wonder whether an Oxford summer programme is worth it.

Given the unique opportunities for academic and social enrichment on offer, we’re confident that Oxford summer schools are more than worth it, and we’ve put this article together to share exactly why.

An Oxford Summer School is a short, often two- or four-week academic programme aimed at high school students who are intending to apply to top universities or colleges around the world. They are not directly linked to Oxford University – the University does not offer summer programmes for international students – but they will generally use University facilities, accommodation and teaching spaces.

There are many benefits of attending an Oxford Summer School, including cultural exposure, gaining independence and building your own international network of like-minded students. You’ll be studying in one of the most famous intellectual cities in the world, so you can take advantage of countless museums, art galleries and exhibitions. In addition, there are more explicit academic benefits, including small class sizes, the opportunity to explore subjects not often offered at high school, and more immersive, hands-on teaching.

What can you expect from an Oxford Summer School?

Whether you choose to study a Medicine course or take a Law programme with us, your Oxford Scholastica summer will be unlike any other. Many of our alumni cite their Scholastica summer as one of the best of their lives, and we’re rated 4.9 stars out of 5 by our alumni community.

In addition to stimulating and engaging classes, led by expert tutors and mentors from top universities, you’ll experience a range of cultural activities. Amongst other social activities, students visit King Charles III’s home, Windsor Castle, experience punting on the River Cherwell and take a debate masterclass in the historic Oxford Union.

Alongside this, students have access to 24/7 pastoral support from our on-site staff team, including full-time matrons, who ensure that students are looked after, confident and having the best summer they possibly can.

What should you consider before booking an Oxford Summer School?

If you’re thinking about attending an Oxford Summer School, it’s important to weigh up different considerations and determine whether it’s the right choice for you. Here are the top advantages and concerns for students:


Advantages of attending an Oxford Summer School


Improve Soft Skills

Develop communication skills and confidence that will help you stand out in future university or college interviews and beyond.

Gain Clarity on Your Future

Gain a clearer sense of what you would like your future to look like, and narrow down the options you wish to pursue after you leave school.

Ask Your Questions

At an Oxford Summer School, you can ask questions about the application process and receive valuable feedback on your work from tutors and staff who study at Oxford and other top UK universities themselves.

Boost Your Credentials

Earn a Certificate and subject-specific Letter of Recommendation to add to your college applications, proving your commitment to academic excellence.

Experience a Historic City

Become familiar with one of the most famous, historic sites of learning in the world, and feel a sense of achievement like no other.

Potential concerns about attending an Oxford Summer School


An Oxford Summer School is a fantastic experience, but being away from home for an extended period can be challenging, especially for international students travelling alone for the first time.

We know this can be a real worry, which is why we have pastoral support available 24/7 during the summer school, from both our house teams and our residential matrons, who have plenty of experience helping young people overcome homesickness and make the most of their summer school experience.


Making Friends

Making friends in a new environment can be also concern for some students attending an Oxford Summer School. It’s important to remember that most students travel to summer schools alone and the programme is structured to help you make new friends. For example, we organise ice-breaking activities on the very first night, so you’ll have gained a new circle of friends before you even step foot in your first class.


Our staff are experienced and we’re confident we will be able to answer all of your questions and concerns, both in Oxford and before you arrive. If you have any specific worries you would like to discuss in advance, please do get in touch with Stephanie from our team, who will be more than happy to help.

So, is an Oxford Summer School worth it?

Attending an Oxford summer school is an investment, but it is an entirely worthwhile one. The opportunity to explore academic passions alongside like-minded students and highly capable professors is unique and invaluable. Outside of the classroom, there is ample chance to socialise with peers from around the world and make fantastic memories in a historic city. Add in some day trips, social events and a supportive alumni community, and it’s clear to see why students often cite a summer in Oxford as one of the best they’ve ever had.

Attending an Oxford Summer School can be a truly life-changing experience. Here at the Oxford Scholastica Academy, our programmes are designed to provide you with a comprehensive and enriching experience that will stay with you long after your flight home.

You can check out some of our Oxford Summer School reviews to see our alumni’s thoughts on how worthwhile an Oxford Scholastica summer school can be.

Ready for the best summer of your life?

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