Take a Shortcut: Go to Summer School

The new demands detailed in the Study Progress Reform make spending a few weeks at a summer school during the summer holidays even more advantageous.

The advent of the Study Progress Reform has made going to summer school even more worthwhile. At summer school, you may catch up on courses you have neglected or get ahead with your coursework for the coming semester. Lars Holm Olsen, who works as a student counselor at Aalborg University, is in favor of this approach. “Summer school may help you catch up on some ECTS-points and get back on track with your studies. Further, for some students there’s an added bonus, since going to summer school may upgrade their professional skills,” he explains. Going to summer school may also prove advantageous, because the courses are often more clearly directed at specific occupations than the general courses offered during the semester. “Attending summer school may provide you with useful contacts and a good network within your field of interest,” says Lars Holm Olsen, who believes summer schools will become more widely used in the future.

Intensive Weeks
25-year-old Mie Bach-Pedersen has attended summer school multiple times. She’s studying to become a graduate engineer with a specialty in mathematical modeling and computing. She went to Cambridge for two weeks during the summer holidays, because she wanted to learn more about project management. Danish universities also offer summer school courses, yet Mie Bach-Pedersen chose to go abroad. “I did have the opportunity to attend a course on project management here in Denmark, but it just didn’t fit my schedule. I also really liked that I was able to take things slow during the semester, without falling behind on my coursework,” she says.

The summer school at Cambridge also offered a course on game theory, which she would not be able to attend at her own school, DTU (The Technical University of Denmark), since it is usually considered an economics course. Yet, Mie Bach-Pedersen has gained much more from attending summer school; she has gained good friends and wonderful experiences. “In a way, going to summer school is similar to studying abroad; yet, the experience is more intense, since it lasts only two weeks, and you live with your fellow students. Basically, you spend the entire day together, so you bond quite quickly,” she says.

Collaborating with International Students
Every time Mie Bach-Pedersen went to summer school, she expanded her network. Also, she enjoyed being with people, who had chosen to take the course. “When you attend university here in Denmark, a lot of students take courses because they have to. At summer school, people really want to be there,” she says and explains that summer school has also showed her her strengths and weaknesses. The only drawback to going to summer school is the price. Attending summer school abroad is a bit expensive, since you only get 5,000 Danish kroner (which is equivalent to 5 ECTS-points) to cover expenses. Further, as opposed to studying abroad, finding grants for attending summer school proves difficult.