Is Oxford Summer School Worth it?

Summer schools are a great opportunity for your child to experience new subjects, grow personally and academically, and enjoy life-changing adventures.

But how do you know if an Oxford summer school is worth it? Oxford summer schools allow your child to experience life in one of the oldest and most renowned universities in the world: the University of Oxford. However, the very best summer schools won’t be cheap, so it’s important to know exactly what your child will get out of the experience, so you can gauge whether an Oxford summer school is worth it.

While the chance to spend a summer soaking up once-in-a-lifetime cultural experiences in Oxford and receiving top-notch teaching from world-class tutors is tempting, not all Oxford summer schools are created equal. When you’re browsing Oxford summer schools online and in brochures, make sure you look for those which offer the most authentic experience of life at Oxford University, for a range of different age-groups.

In this article, we’re going to cover 9 reasons why an Oxford summer school is worth it, and what you should expect from the very top Oxford summer schools.

Is Oxford summer school worth it?

An Oxford Summer School is worth it because it helps your child boost their university applications, provides renowned cultural experiences, helps your child find their direction in life, develops vital skills for the workplace, teaches subjects which your child may not be able to learn at school, fosters friendships from all around the world, allows your child to make important connections with industry leaders, offers your child the chance to eat, sleep and dine at Oxford University: the oldest university in the English speaking world, and gives your child the most exciting summer of their life.

Let’s dive right in, and look at why Oxford summer school is worth it.

9 reasons why Oxford Summer School is worth it

Boosts university applications

An Oxford summer school is particularly worth it if it provides support with your child’s university application. It’s never too early for your child to start preparing for university, especially if they have particular ambitions about where they want to study, and which course they want to pursue.

If your child wants to study an extremely competitive course like medicine, particularly at a top UK university, an Oxford Medicine summer school would give them invaluable information for this process. The best Oxford summer schools will provide expert advice on each section of the medical school application including interview technique, personal statement and the BMAT exam that every applicant has to take as part of their entry to medical school. You should also expect practical medical workshops, where your child can learn basic medical procedures to help get their passion and skill for medicine across in their application.

An Oxford summer school will be especially worth it if they offer personal statement and CV workshops, where your child can get the support of professionals to craft the most competitive personal statement for university, and also learn how to create a compelling CV for the workplace. The very best Oxford summer schools will have a strong international focus, and support students from all around the world to enter UK universities, for example, through providing top preparation courses for English tests like the IELTS and TOEFL.

Provides renowned cultural experiences

The best Oxford summer schools will introduce your child to the extraordinary and magical culture of Oxford, home to the oldest libraries and universities in Europe. An Oxford summer school is only really worth it if your child is given an expert introduction to the stunning architecture and renowned history of this ancient city.

Look for an Oxford summer school with a really excellent cultural programme, so that your child won’t miss a second of what Oxford has to offer. The top Oxford summer schools will ensure that your child visits world-class places like the Ashmolean museum, which has some of the most famous art and archaeology artefacts in known history. Your child should develop a rich view of the world, as they explore treasures from an Ancient Astrological bowl to mysterious Egyptian mummies.

No visit to Oxford is complete without the chance to go punting. Punting is the quintessential Oxford experience, floating past the famous Botanic Gardens, the gorgeous Christ Church college or the rose gardens of Magdalen School, so it’s a good idea to pick an Oxford Summer School which gives your child the chance to try this, in a safe and supervised environment.

Helps your child find their direction in life

The Oxford summer schools that are really worth it, are the ones which can inspire your child for life. Perhaps you have a bright thirteen or fourteen year old who lacks direction because they’re not sure what they want to do in life, or what they’re even passionate about. An elite Oxford summer school would be the perfect opportunity to help them discover what they want to pursue, and help them define some goals for the future.

Make sure you choose an Oxford summer school that allows your child live in the actual colleges of Oxford University, because sleeping in student accommodation set in quadrangles that are centuries old, and walking in the same corridors as Nobel prize winners means your child will soak up an atmosphere that will spur them on to realise their ambitions.

Your child will learn from the world’s best minds, and in places where life-changing scientific discoveries were made. Whatever course your child chooses – whether it is Robotics or Film – they should attend an Oxford summer school where you can guarantee they will be taught by Oxbridge tutors, Ivy League Academics, expert medical researchers and top industry leaders in film and fashion, to give them the very best quality of teaching and experiences which will help them define their future ambitions.

Develops vital skills for the workplace

Every course that your child takes at an elite Oxford summer school shouldn’t just prepare them for university, but to excel in the workplace. Jobs are overwhelmingly competitive now, particularly because of the effect of Covid-19 on the economy, and it is only right that your child is given the very best advice and opportunities for their career.

Look at every subject an Oxford summer school offers, and find those which provide networking opportunities and advice sessions with industry leaders, either through guest talks or practical workshops in the courses themselves.

Finding an international Oxford summer school for your child is very important in terms of future career success. This is because Oxford summer schools which allow your child to interact with 50 or more nationalities give them a unique global perspective which will ensure that they excel in an increasingly global workforce.

Top Oxford summer schools will also offer courses which explore global issues and international relations and politics, which teach invaluable skills for succeeding in a deeply interconnected world.

Teaches your child subjects they can’t access at school

An Oxford summer school is worth it if it can provide exciting subjects which give your child the chance to study something fascinating outside of their curriculum.

For example, the opportunity to learn to code and produce their own websites, apps or digital games through a Coding course taught by computer science experts. Or, the chance to study Robotics and learn to programme robots to perform manoeuvres, and sense and detect objects.

You’ll find that the very best Oxford summer schools won’t just let your child sit in a classroom, picking up a bit of theory. If your child studies Business Enterprise at a great Oxford summer school, you can expect them to learn every aspect of running a business successfully, as well as create their own business product and learn how to market it.

Then, if your child has dreams to become an entrepreneur or work in a multinational company, they will have the skills, passion and expertise from a young age.

Fosters friendships from all around the world

A great way to tell whether an Oxford summer school is worth it, is to check how many international students it attracts, as well as its level of pastoral care.

A good Oxford summer school will have a wealth of experience supporting children as they make the big step to travel to Oxford and the United Kingdom for this extraordinary educational experience, and will create an environment which fosters easy friendships with other children from all over the world.

The Oxford summer schools which are hard to beat are those which frequently have students from almost every nationality in the world. Your child is likely to make friends and connections with people from a huge variety of cultures, but all with the same passion and excitement for learning.

Not only will meeting children from all across the world greatly enhance their communication skills and empathy (a hugely valuable asset in the workplace), but attending summer school together is a very bonding experience, and is likely to lead to lifelong friendships.

Meetings with industry leaders, and connections for life

If your child is attending one of the best Oxford summer schools, they should expect to meet industry leaders and pioneers, whatever subject they are studying at summer school.

You should ensure that the Oxford summer school your child attends provides inspirational presentations and networking opportunities with world experts, from people like Professor Richard Dawkins (author and evolutionary biologist) to Baron Saye and Sele, famous English peer and businessman.

The experts your child meets at their Oxford summer school will will be a crucial source of information on the industry they may wish to enter in the future, and become useful contacts for life.

The very top Oxford summer schools will even give your child access to Oxford University buildings that only students and staff usually have access to, for example, they may be able to hear talks and lectures in the famous Sheldonian Theatre, where Oxford students graduate and matriculate.

Eat, sleep and dine in the world’s most famous university

Living, dining and studying in the world-renowned University of Oxford, is the only way to experience an Oxford summer school. Your child should be able to spend two weeks or more in libraries, dormitories and dining halls that tourists can only dream of entering. From the food they consume to the Oxford-style tutorials they experience, your child should expect no less than the most authentic experience of Oxford University life.

Your child should dine in, for example, the grand dining hall of Balliol College with its stained glass windows, or walk daily across the quad of The Queen’s College, ‘the grandest piece of classical architecture in Oxford’.

An Oxford summer school is an investment that should pay off for the rest of your child’s life, and in order to maximise this investment, check that your Oxford summer school tries as much as it can to represent the Oxford traditions that will truly inspire your child to apply to a top university or pursue a certain subject, for example, Formal Hall with a grace in Latin, or a formal graduation ceremony.

Most exciting summer of your child’s life

Most importantly, an Oxford summer school should be fun. We’ve all had a horrible year in many ways due to Covid-19, and your child may well have missed out on much of the socialising and excitement that they should have enjoyed.

Check which Oxford summer schools offer a wealth of extracurricular activities. An Oxford summer school is definitely worth it if it maximises not only its presence in the beautiful and cultural city of Oxford, but its proximity to London.

Your child could enjoy trips to everywhere from Harry Potter World to Hampton Court Palace, where Henry VIII famously lived (its Tudor kitchen used to make a mammoth 1600 meals a day!).

Your child may also be able to visit London’s West End and see some of the most famous shows on offer, from Wicked to Billy Elliot.


Now that we’ve gone through 9 reasons why an Oxford summer school is worth it, we hope you’ve found this a useful read. An Oxford summer school can be a fantastic way to set your child on the path to success, as they find what they’re passionate about studying or the career their dreams, in a city which has launched some of the world’s most extraordinary minds.