Summer is already knocking on the door (thank God!). If you’re looking for an experience where you can make new friends, extend your knowledge, and gain university credit, here are some of the best courses to sign up to this summer break.

1. Oxford Summer Courses

If you dream of studying at Oxford University in the future, this is especially for you. Oxford Summer Courses gathers students from 111 countries, offering more than 40 academic subjects. All courses are taught by Oxford tutors, with an average class size of 3.7 students. Most residential courses are two weeks long (one, four, or six week programs are also occasionally available), where students will stay in rooms used by Oxford students during the term.

Location: Oxford, United Kingdom

Date: June 23rd – August 11th

Price range: £4500-4700 (14 days)

How to apply: Submit education (current school, grades, subject-relevant certifications) and a short writing prompt. (Link below.)

*Information above may vary depending on the course.

Courses offered (40+):

  • International Studies and Politics
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Arts and Humanities
  • Business and Entrepreneurship
  • Biotechnology and Genetics
  • Medical Sciences


2. New York University Summer High School Programs

New York University (NYU), one of the most well-known colleges in the US, and offers a wide variety of rigorous courses for students who like to challenge themselves. Their programs consist of various classroom assignments, activities, and events that allow students to get a taste of college and city life. The length of the courses is much more flexible than Oxford Summer Courses, lasting anywhere between one to six weeks.

Location: New York, United States of America

Date: June – August, differs greatly on program. Check website for details.

Price range: $5,000-15,000 (with credit, many non-credits are free)

How to apply: Submit personal statement and official high school transcript. Applications must be submitted two weeks prior to program commence date.

Courses offered:

  • Tisch School of the Arts (acting, dancing, filmmaking)*
  • NYU Precollege (30+ academic subjects)*
  • SPARC: Summer Program for Automation, Robotics, and Coding
  • Mastering English
  • CALI: College Access Leadership Institute
  • MPAP: Music and Performing Arts Professions

*Only starred programs offer credit.


3. Harvard Secondary School Program

Do you want to inspire and motivate yourself by spending your summer at an Ivy League University? Well, Harvard Secondary School program offers online, commuter, and residential programs with over 200 course options that match your interests and goals. Students can enroll in one or two courses, attend workshops, as well as attend social activities.

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America

Date: June 22nd – August 10th

Price range: $3,340-6,680 (online or commuter), $12,730 (residential)

How to Apply: Submit counselor report, high school transcript, English proficiency exam results. International residential students must submit application by April 23rd.

Courses offered:

  • The Human Market: The Global Traffic in Human Beings
  • Mathematical Modeling
  • “A Short Tour of the Universe Guided by Einstein and Others”
  • More than 200 courses from 60-plus subjects. College credit being earned.

Duration: 7 weeks (residential)


4. UCLA Summer College Immersion Program (SCIP)

In 2018, UCLA ranked #1 public university in the US on Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Their summer program consists of two UCLA coursework and co-curricular components, allowing students to get a sneak-peak of the UCLA undergraduate experience. Courses range from STEM to humanities, including lectures and seminars lead by professors at the university.

Location: Los Angeles, United States of America

Date: June 24th – August 2nd (6 weeks)

Price Range: $9,000 (residential), $5000 (commuter)

How to apply: Submit GPA, unofficial transcript, statement of purpose, resume of extracurricular activities.

Courses offered (16 courses, 5 co-curricular components):

  • Comparative Literature
  • Design/Media Arts
  • International Development Studies
  • Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology
  • Psychological Science
  • College Writing/Admissions Workshops
  • Leadership Seminars


5. University of Amsterdam Summer School

The Netherlands has a well-developed educational system and relatively cheap college tuition fees, making the country a popular destination among scholars. If you are interested in studying social sciences in one of the best universities in the EU, the University of Amsterdam offers three honors programs for students ages 16-18.

Location: Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Date: July 20th – August 2nd (2 weeks)

Price range: €1200 + 350 (academic + housing)

How to Apply: Submit passport, transcripts, CV/Resume, personal essay (600-750 words). Applications must be submitted by April 1st.

Courses offered (Pre-University Honors):

  • History and Culture
  • Politics and Society
  • Urban Studies


Extra Online Course : EdX

If you want to explore your passions, but don’t want to leave your cozy couch or the summer shore, try taking an online course. EdX offers more than 1,900 courses from over 100 leading institutions like Harvard, Microsoft, and MIT. Most courses are free and self-paced, making it suitable for students looking for flexible study schedules.

Price range: Free ($50-300 for verified courses with certificates)


*All images in this article are taken from cited websites.