Summer programmes can be an excellent way to:
- Help you to decide which subject area really interests you
- Gain experience of undergraduate-style study (for academic programmes)
- Gain experience of a subject area in advance of your university applications – experience that you can reflect in your personal statement (UK), college essays (USA) or statements of intent (Canada, HK and others).
- Develop wider personal skills (e.g. interaction, teamwork, organisation and management)
Please note that in the UK, attending a summer course will not in itself increase a student’s degree admission chances (though some companies like to give the impression that it will!). In the USA, however, attending a summer course run by a university can be seen as a positive demonstration of interest in that university.
It's worth considering a summer programme in the summer of Yr11/12/2nde/1ère. There are many on offer, both in HK and overseas. Some academic programmes are run by university staff, whereas travel, charity and adventure programmes are usually run by independent companies. Often, academic programmes combine both undergraduate-style study and social activities.
The most useful academic programmes are likely to be those offered directly by universities (as opposed to independent companies). Look carefully at who is actually running the programme, and the staff who will actually do the teaching! Some companies play on the name of prestigious universities, giving the impression that they are connected. Overseas programmes tend to be very expensive, so do your research to make sure it's worthwhile.
This list will be updated as and when the Guidance Department receives details of new programmes.