How to give your child a global perspective with a summer school | Mum In The Madhouse

How to give your child a global perspective with a summer school

In our vastly interconnected world, it’s more important than ever for our children to develop a rich global perspective. Summer schools are fantastic ways to increase your child’s creativity, empathy and ability to understand diverse issues around the world, as well as giving them an advantage in an international workforce.

Summer schools such as Imperial Global Summer School (run by Imperial College London), UCL Summer School and Oxford Royal Academy (the U.K.’s leading provider of summer schools) offer a unique opportunity for your child to meet people from different cultures and explore a wide range of subjects. Let’s look at a few ways summer schools can enrich your child’s global perspective.

How can summer schools give your child a global perspective?

International Friendships

One of the most special things about summer schools is the rare opportunity to make friends with people from a variety of different countries. This will really enrich your child’s worldview and help them to learn naturally about different values and cultural structures.

When it comes to Oxford Royal Academy, the most commented upon aspect by parents is the huge variety of students from different nationalities. Your child will form long lasting friendships with children from Nigeria, Ecuador, Iceland, Brazil and any number of countries around the world. In 2019, Oxford Royale Academy had 150 nationalities attending at summer school! Nothing is a better teacher of diverse cultural values than empathising with someone from a different country and culture.

Your child will develop lifelong bonds with their international friends as they start an exciting journey of studying and dining in the world-famous colleges of the University of Oxford. They’ll learn together in some of the world’s most famous academic and historic settings. Your child will bond with their friends on exciting trips and extra curricular activities, from visiting the London Eye and Harry Potter world, to Hampton Court Palace. This is a valuable opportunity for their social development, helping them for strong connections with their peers. Students at Oxford Royale Academy can develop independence and resilience, as they are allowed to explore the city by themselves, although they will always be in reach of a member of the ORA team.

Similarly, Imperial Global Summer School has a wide variety of students from different nationalities attending its courses. Students at Imperial global summer school will be able to socialise and enjoy different activities, from sports such as football and badminton, to talent shows and pub-style quizzes which will really help them bond with their newfound friends from across the globe.

Increased creativity and cultural experiences

No two days should be the same at summer school. One of the most compelling things about your child’s experience at summer school is the sheer amount of cultural activities they can experience outside of their course. These will help them develop a richer understanding of the world, and develop creativity – a hugely valuable part of human development.

Oxford Royal Academy’s Oxford summer school benefits from being in a city which has world-famous architecture, culture and museums. Your child can visit the extraordinary Ashmolean Museum, which has some of the most famous art and archaeology artefacts in history. Your child will develop a rich worldview as they explore everything from Egyptian mummies to stunning and valuable contemporary art. Your child will be able to see treasures ranging from an Ancient Astrological bowl, saucer and spoon at the Persian court, to a prehistoric Sun-disk.

Your child can also visit Oxford’s Pitt Rivers Museum, which is a fantastic way to enrich their global perspective. The Pitt Rivers Museum has amazing archaeological and human objects from all ages and parts of the world. The museum’s collection of artefacts ranges from 2500-year-old cylindrical glass bead with a human face, to grinding stones made from volcanic rocks in Mesoamerica. Recently, these museums have started to consider their role in colonialism, and explore the need for a new narrative around the objects they house. Your child can consider these issues of colonialism and ownership of historic artefacts. This will give them a wider understanding of the behaviour of different countries in the past, and the global issues of colonialism we need to reckon with.

Imperial Global Summer School also offers great cultural excursions that will help your child understand the global nature of London. Your child will be able to visit the fascinating museums in South Kensington including the Science Museum, Natural History Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Problem solving on a global scale

Summer schools often offer classes which your child can’t do at school, and go in-depth in ways that really stretch students’ imagination and intellectual limits. This is a fantastic way to develop your child’s global perspective. Oxford Royale Academy’s Economics course, for example, helps your child gain a strong understanding of the most pressing economic issues affecting the world today. The truly international learning environment at Oxford Royale Academy with its huge number of student nationalities means that your child will gain an unrivalled insight into economic systems all over the world. When your child gains a good knowledge of business issues around the world, this increases their knowledge of the interconnectedness of our country to the rest of the world, and the economic issues we can help solve. Your child will also discover how to navigate different cultural viewpoints and opinions to find the best solutions for issues – an invaluable skill for the workplace.

UCL summer school also offer a wide variety of courses to help your child explore global problems, and discover solutions to them. UCL’s Politics and Global Development course helps your child understand the politics of poverty and inequality in different countries, and the political factors, for example, leadership institutions and governments, which shape countries’ development. Your child will look at different tools for analysing politics and the economy, as well as the donors and NGOs that intervene in major issues.

Competitive Skills for the Workplace

Summer schools like Oxford Royale Academy and Imperial Global Summer School give your child a global awareness that will ensure they excel in a global workforce. According to Harvard Business Review, people who can succeed in a diverse team in a global workforce will be in higher demand for employers, as companies expand across continents. The Guardian writes that employers now consider international familiarity more important than good grades when hiring candidates.

A course like Oxford Royale Academy’s Global Issues course would give your child a valuable insight into the global issues and relationships that dominate the world. This includes the global economy and current political controversies. Understanding these nuanced issues are hugely important to succeeding in and perhaps leading international teams. The need to communicate with so many different classmates from across the globe teaches the crucial skill of debating and problem-solving respectfully and effectively with people who hold different beliefs. This is an invaluable skill for an international workplace.

Builds Empathy and Emotional Intelligence

Interacting with people from different cultures, and understanding different experiences is key to building your child’s emotional intelligence. The friendships your child will make at summer school, with children from many different countries, will help them navigate different viewpoints, increasing their empathy for others. Our key social and critical skills such as self-awareness, self-management and social competence stem from this kind of emotional intelligence. Research shows us that people with average IQ but high EQ (emotional quotient) outperform people with high IQ 70% of the time!

Summer school courses such as Human Sciences or Classical Civilisation are invaluable for increasing your child’s awareness of the world, emotional intelligence and empathy. Classical Civilisation, for example, will help your child to understand the life and times of people in the ancient world, increasing their knowledge of other belief systems and philosophies.

These are just a few of the ways you can help you child develop a valuable global perspective with a summer school. If this has peaked your curiosity, there’s a wealth of information on the Oxford Royale Academy, Imperial Global Summer School and UCL Summer School websites.