Summer may be winding down, but it’s never too early to start thinking about your plans for next summer. Participating in a summer program can help you use your months away from school constructively—not to mention the fact that they can help you stand out in the college admission process. But if you’re worried you’ll be spending your dog days at some boring camp, toiling away on calculus theorems or being wrangled into annoying group activities like the “trust fall,” think again.
If you’ve got a major case of wanderlust, there are dozens of exciting, off-the-beaten-path summer programs in Europe that will let you shake the dust of your hometown off your feet and see the world. Here's a look at just a few of the adventures that are waiting for you across the pond.
Live la vie en rose with one of the many summer programs offered throughout France. Unleash your inner Francophile at the Barat Foundation Summer Program in Provence, where you can choose from workshops in French language and literature, writing, art, cuisine, photography, cinema, dance and movement, and theater. The Glories of France, organized by the University of New Orleans, takes place in Montpelier, where students spend four mornings per week taking college-level French and enjoy trips to places like Barcelona on the weekends. And if your heart flutters at the mere thought of the City of Light, L’Academie de Paris offers a precollege program that will immerse you in French culture and Parisian life. C'est magnifique!
Longing to visit the Emerald Isle? Adventure Ireland, which primarily enrolls Americans and Canadians, offers cultural immersion through traditional and modern Irish music, sightseeing trips, and sports. The Irish Way summer study abroad program also introduces high school students to Irish history and traditions, as well as the Irish language. And the University College Dublin Summer High School Program gives exemplary juniors and seniors the opportunity to explore Irish culture and participate in workshops and social activities such as Ceili dancing and Gaelic football.
Pizza and pasta and Parmigiano-Reggiano, oh my! If Italy is calling your name, you’re in luck: the food- and history-rich country has loads of amazing summer programs. Make your dreams of becoming a real-life Indiana Jones a reality with the Humanities Spring Archaeology Boot Camp, which offers a hands-on study of Paestum and Pompeii. Shakespeare in Italy, offered at the Rome campus of the University of Dallas, lets students travel to sites that the Bard used as the backdrop for some of his most famous plays. And the Spoleto Study Abroad Summer Session in central Italy lets high schoolers pursue their interests in the arts and humanities in a European setting.
Switzerland is a postcard-perfect country of bucolic villages scattered among mountains so arresting they almost seem unreal. If you’re looking for some peace and quiet in a naturally beautiful setting, a summer program in this idyllic Alpine country may be perfect for you. The Institute Le Rosey Summer Camp in Rolle offers intensive language study in French, Spanish, and ESL, along with an array of sports and artistic activities. Les Elfes International Summer Camp in Verbier also combines language instruction (in French, German, and Spanish) with recreational pursuits, including sports and cultural excursions. And Aiglon College Summer School, a British-style boarding school in Chesieres-Villars, combines intensive language instruction with adventurous activities that allow students to take advantage of their surroundings.
For more information on these and the many other summer programs available in Europe (and throughout the rest of the world), be sure to explore the CollegeXpress Summer Program Search!