What Are Pre-College Summer Programmes?

07 Sep, 2023 | Blog Articles, Get the Edge

Are you a student preparing to apply to university? A pre-college summer programme could be the ideal opportunity for you to boost your application, and leave a lasting impression. 

Pre-college summer programmes are specialised educational opportunities designed to help students prepare for the transition to university. They’re delivered in a range of formats and structures, from traditional academic courses, to enrichment activities, to more hands-on experiences like research projects. 

Whatever your goal for the summer is, you’ll be able to find a pre-college summer programme that’s suited to you!

Academic Enrichment and Exploration

The jump from school to university can be quite daunting, especially as you move from focusing on a wide range of subjects to studying just one or two in great detail. A pre-college summer programme can be incredibly helpful in bridging this gap, allowing you to explore a subject in more depth. 

You’ll also be working with experts in the field, so you’ll have the ultimate opportunity to pick their brains and develop your understanding and knowledge!

Often, the structure of pre-college summer programmes involves a range of activities, particularly ones you’re likely to encounter at university – including lectures, workshops, seminars and practical reports – giving you a taste of what university might be like.

You’ll also develop key academic skills, like critical thinking and independent research, making the shift to university-level academics much smoother. 

University Preparation and Application Support

Gaining some early experience of university-level study – and having an idea of what to expect – is incredibly helpful in making what will inevitably be a big transition a bit easier!

Pre-college summer programmes also help to support you in the college application process. This could involve college admissions guidance, relevant entrance exam preparation (e.g. SAT or ACT) or essay writing workshops to help you submit a strong and competitive application. Importantly, you’ll be able to get advice from experienced mentors and experts who have all been through the same processes themselves and succeeded.

Networking and International Exposure

As well as the academic benefits of a pre-college summer programme, there are also many social advantages! 

Most importantly, you’ll get to meet and collaborate with like-minded students from diverse backgrounds. This allows you to experience your subject from a variety of different perspectives – an important element in deepening your understanding of the subject. 

It also allows you to develop and demonstrate your ability to collaborate with people from different cultures and backgrounds, contributing to a university application that showcases a well-rounded and conscientious applicant.

Soft-Skills Development

Outside of academic enrichment and skill development, pre-college summer programmes also focus on developing soft skills such as communication, teamwork, leadership and problem-solving. While these aren’t necessarily hard academic skills, they’re nonetheless crucial for personal growth, and in preparing for your career beyond university.

Pre-college summer programmes are designed to enhance these skills through various activities and workshops, including group projects, presentations and collaborative discussions, providing structured opportunities to engage with the perspectives of other students.

Oxford Scholastica students exploring the city on their pre-college summer programme.

Cultural Experiences

By participating in a pre-college summer programme, you’ll also get the opportunity to immerse yourself in a new culture, explore new cities, visit historical sites and experience local customs and traditions. 

Our residential students at the Oxford Scholastica Academy have the opportunity to explore Oxford – through punting and scavenger hunts – as well as the surrounding areas, with day trips to Windsor Castle and Blenheim Palace!

Many pre-college summer programmes offer activities and excursions specifically designed to encourage cultural immersion, such as museum visits, language classes and cultural workshops! 

Experiencing new cultures is essential for broadening perspectives, fostering tolerance and understanding, and promoting global citizenship. This is especially important as universities have students attending from all across the world, so being able to engage with everyone, and respectfully consider different perspectives is vital to being able to work together and expand on your own understanding. 

The Oxford Scholastica Academy’s Summer Programmes

There are a wide range of summer programmes at the Oxford Scholastica Academy, so you’re sure to find one that aligns with your goals and aspirations. We offer tutorial-style programmes – with a focus on hands-on learning – across a variety of subjects, including some that you may never have studied before, such as neuroscience, medicine, engineering and law

They’re also  tailored to different ages, so you can be certain that the courses will be suited to your current academic level. All of our courses are delivered by experts in their field, so you’ll be learning from passionate, motivated and successful tutors. 

Pre-college summer programmes can seem intimidating if it’s your first time away from family, but at the Oxford Scholastica Academy, we make sure to foster a supportive community. There is always someone available to help, and many students leave with friends for life!

Pre-college summer courses are specialised programmes that encourage academic exploration and enrichment, cultural immersion and skill development. They help you to become a well-rounded student, and prepare you for the teaching style and independence you can expect at university. 

If you’re looking for a way to invest in your future, improve your academic skills, and ease the transition into university, pre-college summer programmes are the ideal choice. Check out the summer courses offered by Oxford Scholastica Academy to find the one best suited for you!


By Kylie Li

Kylie is reading Experimental Psychology student at Queen’s College, Oxford. She is most interested in developmental and cognitive psychology, and how these can be applied to the education system.

Interested in a pre-college summer course?

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