‘It’s an experience of a lifetime! I was able to learn not only from the professors and seminars, but also from the other students and staff. I made connections spanning the globe that I’ll treasure for a very long time. I’m so thankful for the opportunity and that I chose to take it!’
Josiah – University of Victoria, Canada
We want you to have a trip where you can focus on exploring things and learning about everything and everyone, including yourself! For that reason, we offer a comprehensive package with no hidden fees and just optional extras to make life easier for yourself or allow you to try more new things.
We will meet you at either Heathrow Airport and escort you to our accommodation in London or you can head straight there on arrival day during our transfer window of 10am to 5pm. Our team are there to help you check in and start exploring straight away or simply relax after a long journey.
For anyone arriving outside of these times, don’t worry, we will still help you to join us and you can also book a private meet and greet service to make life easier.
While the primary focus of the International Summer School is to study something new, it is also a great opportunity to explore some of the UK. Upon arrival on the programme, you will spend the first 4 days in the wonderful city of London.
We will begin with a welcome talk where you will get to know your peers, the International Summer School team and the Student Ambassador group leaders. This is followed by a combination of organised activities and free time to allow you to enjoy the city as you want to, and get to know other people on the programme before the serious academic studies start.
Organised activities include
- Watching Shakespeare in the world famous Globe Theatre
- A trip to the British Museum
- Guided walking tour to help you get to know and explore the city
- A visit to one of the world famous sites in the city centre such as Westminster Abbey or the Tower of London.
We also offer the chance to visit the Warner Brother Studios, home of The Making of Harry Potter as an additional extra to the social programme in London as well as a visit to the infamous Tower of London.
Please note that the exact timings and dates of the programme are subject to change, as are the nature of the guided activities. Exact details are provided closer to the start date of the programme.
Accommodation is included at all times within the programme, unless specifically requested otherwise.
During our stay, all students will be accommodated in shared ensuite bedrooms of single sex in a hotel in the centre of London. Breakfast is also provided during this part of the programme.
Accommodation is provided on campus at one of our halls of residence in single, ensuite bedrooms with access to self-catering facilities. Bed linen and towels are provided and rooms are cleaned once a week, though it is the individual’s responsibility to ensure the communal kitchen areas are cleaned after use.
Catering is not provided on the programme unless requested, at an additional extra at the cost of £220. The meal plan includes breakfasts and lunch vouchers to spend at specified restaurants and vendors on campus as well as a basic shopping pack for the dinners.
We encourage self-catering as it is difficult to cater for everyone’s taste on a meal plan but also it provides a real opportunity to engage with other cultures as you share in cooking duties with your neighbours which often results in impromptu cooking lessons. Everything from paella to the best way to prepare noodles can be taught in an evening!
Check out the virtual tours in Lafrowda, Rowe and St Germans on our Accommodation website to see the inside of a typical self-catering residence used in the International Summer School.
Along with the academic aspect of the programme, we also provide an engaging social programme to ensure that students can get the most out of their experience. This includes visiting other areas of the UK and enjoying the opportunity to socialise with people from all over the world. The programme includes a day trip to either Bath or St Ives as well as other on-campus evening activities.
Enjoy the opportunity to spend a day on the beach with a difference!
St Ives is a picturesque seaside town on the Cornish coast perfect for enjoying an ice cream or local Cornish pasty, some wonderful independent shopping and a golden sandy beach. It also boasts the title of centre for art in the UK, with many famous artists either living full time in the town or drawing inspiration from the area. This reputation for art is further supported by the presence of the Tate Gallery in the town and several other independent art galleries.
In previous trips students have loved exploring the quaint local shops and getting an insight into the Cornish lifestyle as well as some students venturing into the sea for either a swim, to enjoy some form of watersport or seek out the native seals on a cruise. If it’s sunny enough, you will also spot a member of the International Summer School team going for a swim, mostly to prove to the watching students that it is warm enough!
Our evening programme begins on arrival night in Exeter with a welcome party to introduce some of our academics and also a campus tour.
Other organised events can include a Karaoke Night, Team Challenge and Pub Quiz night to encourage you to get to know your peers as well as enjoy your time with us as much as possible.
Impromptu social evenings also spring up throughout the programme and have included a games night, evenings in the city centre to watch sports matches and even sports nights.
Rather than specify where you should visit each weekend and pack out the social programme, we would rather encourage you to explore your own interests in the UK or even Europe.
While you may have ‘must visit’ places to see, the majority of students change their mind according to their new found friendship groups. We can even offer ideas on where to go based on what is easily accessible and practical within a weekend.
Students over the years have visited other UK cities, such as Edinburgh and Cardiff, stayed local and gone to Dartmoor or the Jurassic Coast or even gone abroad to ‘The Continent’ to visit places like Amsterdam or Paris.
It is worth having a think about what you would like to do before you arrive, but remember to keep your options open as you may well change your mind when you get here.
We offer drop-in sessions in the week building up to the free weekend to offer advice on booking transport and accommodation and help with any concerns you may have. We want to make sure that you are safe and enjoying yourself even when off exploring without us.
Optional day trips
We also offer an optional trip on your free weekend in case you would like to explore the local area with some help from us or you aren’t really sure what else to do.
For 2020, you have the chance to explore the natural beauty that Dartmoor National Park has to offer, ranging from open moorland to historic ‘sideways’ forest and ancient rock formations. We will organise a tour of some of our and past students' favourite areas in one of the biggest national parks in the UK, so you can fully explore the amazing atmosphere and history of the area.
Areas of interest include Hound Tor, a famous place for any Sherlock Holmes or Lord of the Ring fans, and skipping the rocks at Dartmeet to get onto the ‘Trolls Bridge’
A city north of Exeter, Bath is famous for its architecture, history and for once being home to author Jane Austen. Must see locations include the famous Roman Baths, an ancient heritage site; Bath Abbey and the Royal Crescent – an area of incredible beauty which takes you back to the UK's Georgian period.
As well as great shopping opportunities to rival London, the opportunity to explore a part of UK history that would seem familiar to most people but still surprise you is a wonderful reason to visit Bath.
We provide a private transfer for each student on the final day of their programme to Heathrow Airport by 12pm on the day of departure or the earliest time that a person leaves in the afternoon, from 3pm.
We ask that you let us know if you wish to make your own alternative plans for departure or if you need to travel outside of that time frame. Whilst we cannot guarantee we can provide you with a transfer, we will do our best to help you organise a cost effective and timely transfer yourself.
We recommend that you book any outgoing flights departing from Heathrow for late afternoon on departure day, to ensure we can get you there in time for your flight, or later if you are departing from any other airport.