The best European summer schools for international students

Summer school is a great way for students to enhance their education with extra qualifications and certificates that will give them the edge over their peers when the time comes to take the next step.

But not only that. International summer schools offer the chance for students to explore new cultures, grow in confidence and gain independence by living away from home in a completely different country.

Europe is one of the best places for international students to attend summer school. Many of its institutes are award-winning, and thanks to the continent’s vast historical background, there’s plenty of opportunity for learning outside the classroom.

From quantum mechanics and artificial intelligence to communication and fashion, there’s a huge range of courses to choose from, across a multitude of summer schools in various countries.

What are the best European summer schools for international students?

With award-winning summer schools like Oxford Royale Academy in England and one of the world’s best business schools, HEC Paris in France, Europe is a fantastic place for international students to study.

Some of the other best summer schools in Europe include Frankfurt Summer School in Germany, the AIP Language Institute in Spain and Bocconi Summer School in Italy.

In this article, we’ll go through what each of these institutions has to offer, so you can make an informed decision about where in Europe you should study next summer.

Oxford Royale Academy (England)

In 2012 and 2016, Oxford Royale Academy was awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise and in 2011,2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016 it was named ‘Best Educational Product’ at the industry BETA Awards.

Based at Yarnton Manor in England’s prestigious county of Oxfordshire, the academy welcomes students from more than 160 countries for both summer programmes and year-round courses.

All of the courses on offer are comprised of a rigorous academic schedule along with an extensive activity timetable, which includes cultural excursions around the UK.

Summer school students wishing to take one of Oxford Royale Academy’s courses in the UK are given the opportunity to study at either Oxford University or Cambridge University if they’re between 13 and 18 years of age, or Uppingham School for those aged eight to 12. For students wanting to stay at home and study, there’s also the option to take the courses online.

Students aged 13 to 18 years old have the option to study the following subjects at the academy’s Summer School for Teens:

  • Philosophy, Literature and Modern History (from £5,495)
  • Curing the Future: Medicine and Disease (from £5,495)
  • SAT Preparation (from £5,495)
  • Designing Tomorrow: Engineering, Robotics and Technology (from £5,495)
  • Explore Engineering and Technology in Cambridge (from £5,495)
  • Explore Business, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (from £5,495)
  • Law, Politics and Economics (from £5,495)
  • Experimental Psychology (from £5,495)
  • Discover Arts (from £1,495)
  • Junior English Programme (from £1,495)

Students aged eight to 12 years old can choose between these subjects at the Summer School for Juniors:

  • Discover Arts (from £1,495)
  • Discover STEM (from £1,495)
  • Fantastic Futures! (from £1,495)
  • Junior English Programme (from £1,495)

If you decide to study at Oxford Royale Academy, you’ll get to experience guest lectures and debates from leading academics, thinkers and politicians, with past guest speakers including former leader of the Conservative Party William Hague, explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes and politician and human rights activist Shami Chakrabarti.

Plus, you’ll be walking in the footsteps of world leaders like Bill Clinton and Tony Blair, Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafazai and Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne – all whilst experiencing a true taste of British life and culture.

HEC Paris Summer School (France)

World-class business school, HEC Paris, is a leader in research and education in management sciences, offering a unique portfolio of summer courses for both resident and international students.

Those wishing to study at its summer school can enrol on one of its intensive programmes, lasting between one and two weeks.

Classes are taught by both professors and professionals within the relevant industry, and students have the opportunity to mix with international participants from leading universities around the world.

The school offers two youth programmes for those aged between 15 and 18 years old, both of which last one week and are designed to equip students with the tools and techniques needed to succeed in the 21st century:

  • Youth Leadership Initiative (€2,900)
  • High Impact Communication (€1,200)

The following summer programmes last for two weeks and are available to take online throughout June and July:

  • Business and Climate Change (€2,800)
  • Corporate Finance (€2,800)
  • Entrepreneurship and Digital Innovation HEC-TUM (€2,800)
  • Fintech (€2,800)
  • Geopolitics, Globalisation and Business Strategy (€2,800)
  • Investment Banking and International Finance (€2,800)
  • Luxury Management (€2,800)
  • Mergers and Acquisitions (€2,800)

Frankfurt Summer School (Germany)

Goethe University – organiser of the Frankfurt Summer School – is one of the top five universities in Germany.

A sprawling institution, it has 16 departments across three campuses, with 3,400 academic staff, 48,000 students and 8,000 international students from more than 30 countries.

Those wanting to study at the Frankfurt Summer School can choose to take a two or four-week course, covering 24 subject modules:

  • Analysing the Unobservable: Structural Equation Modelling in Comparative Social Research (€500)
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI): Modern Methods (€500)
  • Basic Research Methods in Linguistics (€500)
  • Data-orientated Methods in Linguistics (€500)
  • De/Postcolonial Feminist Theory and Activism (€500)
  • Demystifying English Academic Writing (€500)
  • Elementary Forms of Social Life (€500)
  • Feminist Movements, Practices and Experiences of Decolonisation (€500)
  • Fintech, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and the Law (€500)
  • German Language (€175 to €350, depending on length)
  • Intercultural Communication (€500)
  • Labour Law, Migration and Globalisation (€500)
  • Multilevel Analysis (€500)
  • Organisational Behaviour (€500)
  • Path Integrals in Quantum Mechanics (€500)
  • Rediscovering New German Cinema Through the Rainer Fassbinder Collection (€500)
  • Return on Marketing (€500)
  • Social Psychology (€500)
  • Superphysics and Supercomputers (€500)
  • Symmetries in Quantum Mechanics and Particle Physics (€500)

As part of their studies, students will take a variety of educational tours in and around Frankfurt, as well as two weekends away in Berlin, Amsterdam or the neighbouring city of Heidelberg. These excursions aim to offer an interesting and valuable cultural insight into life in Germany and Europe.

AIP Language Institute (Spain)

The AIP Language Institute in Valencia is an Instituto Cervantes accredited centre, as well as an official Cambridge English preparation centre, which has been offering language courses since 1998.

It now receives more than 800 students under 18 years of age from all over the globe each year.

Designed for 12 to 18 year-olds who want to go abroad to learn another language, the institute’s International Teen Summer Camp is the perfect combination of Spanish or English lessons and recreational and cultural activities.

Spain’s third largest city has sandy beaches, modern architecture and centuries of history, providing the ideal backdrop for students wanting to immerse themselves in a different culture and language.

The language courses on offer are:

  • Spanish Language (€35 to €7,000, depending on length and intensity)
  • English Language (€35 to €7,000, depending on length and intensity)

Lessons are usually taught in the mornings, from 9am to 1pm, with the afternoons reserved for activities including sailing courses and kayaking, trips to amusement parks and the City of Arts and Sciences and weekends away to places like Peñíscola, Calpe and Jávea.

Bocconi Summer School (Italy)

Milan’s Bocconi University is a research institution of international standing. Specialising in business, economics and law, it’s the ideal place for students wanting to develop their passion in these areas over the summer holidays.

Summer school courses are taught by the university’s top-class faculty and consist of live sessions with professors, guest speakers and classmates, recorded sessions and online forums.

High school students can choose to study two of the following courses:

  • Communication and Advertising (€1,100 to €1,300, depending on when you apply)
  • Computer Coding (€1,100 to €1,300, depending on when you apply)
  • Digital Marketing (€1,100 to €1,300, depending on when you apply)
  • Economics (€1,100 to €1,300, depending on when you apply)
  • Entrepreneurship (€1,100 to €1,300, depending on when you apply)
  • EU for Sustainable Globalisation (€1,100 to €1,300, depending on when you apply)
  • Finance (€1,100 to €1,300, depending on when you apply)
  • Game Theory (€1,100 to €1,300, depending on when you apply)
  • International Politics (€1,100 to €1,300, depending on when you apply)
  • Luxury and Fashion (€1,100 to €1,300, depending on when you apply)
  • Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (€1,100 to €1,300, depending on when you apply)
  • Strategy (€1,100 to €1,300, depending on when you apply)

While international university students can choose to study one of the following courses:

  • Digital Marketing (€1,400)
  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management (€1,400)
  • Equity and Venture Capital Financing (€1,400)
  • Fashion and Design Management (€1,400)
  • International Business Strategy (€1,400)
  • Luxury Management (€1,400)

Which European summer school course is right for you?

As well as having a fascinating culture that’s steeped in history, Europe has a great deal to offer in the way of educational institutions.

This is why it’s such a popular destination for international students who are looking to broaden their horizons by studying in a different country over the summer.

Whether you want to take a course in Philosophy, Literature and Modern History at Oxford Royale Academy or learn Spanish while making new friends in Valencia, it’s almost guaranteed that Europe will have the right summer school course for you.