University residential events and summer schools - why should your students consider attending one?
University summer schools and residential events give students a chance to try out universities in an authentic and fun environment. It’s extremely useful for students to attend open days of course - but a residential event extends this experience even more – giving students the opportunity to test run the universities they’re interested in. It’s also a great way for students living far away from the universities they’re considering to spend time exploring the campus and area in depth.
At Teesside University we hold an annual Year 12 residential summer school. You’ll find that other universities offer similar residential events throughout the year. Our summer school includes challenging, interactive academic sessions as well as social activities designed to help students relax and make friends. Academic sessions are taught by lecturers and students are given contact time with particular staff as they would as an undergraduate student. Teesside University’s student ambassadors are heavily involved in our residential event. This gives attendees the chance to chat to real students throughout the event, learning about student life and asking questions about studying at university.
Our attendees stay in Teesside University halls throughout our summer school. This gives them a real sense of what it’s like to live as an undergraduate, in a study bedroom, alongside others, sharing facilities and building new friendships. We often hear at open days that students are nervous and unsure about moving away from home into university accommodation. Staying in halls at a summer school really helps to ease concerns and uncertainties.
How much do summer schools cost?
Here at Teesside, our residential summer school is completely free. It is held on our campus, over four days – all accommodation, food and activities are covered throughout this time. Many other institutions will offer free places too – which may be subject to students meeting specific conditions, assessed via an application. Check what is required with each institution – most will have this information on their website. Some universities charge for residential events but many events offer free food, drink, accommodation, travel and social activities.
Social activities and academic experiences
Social activities at Teesside University’s summer school are chosen to help students build confidence, experience the local area and improve their social and networking skills. Previous social activities have included white water rafting at Tees Barrage, Go Ape, quizzes, pizza nights, sports, AirTrail and bowling.
In terms of the academic experience, Teesside University’s summer school gives students the opportunity to choose a particular academic area to learn more about – spaces are very competitive for some areas. Students take part in lectures, seminars and study activities in their chosen area, giving them a sense of whether they’d like to pursue it at university. The experience of attending real lectures and using university facilities like labs, newsrooms, art rooms and design studios are also really useful in highlighting the differences between further and higher education.
If your students are keen to learn more about university life, I’d really recommend a residential summer school – you’ll find that lots of universities offer them. Attending a residential event is a real challenge for students and a great opportunity to learn about higher education. It’s also an impressive achievement to add to a UCAS personal statement and it also allows students to build their confidence, meet new people and really think about their futures.