Study Abroad

Summer schools

Spend your summer overseas

A summer school is a great alternative (or addition!) to a term or full year studying abroad. You'll get to know lots of new people and places, and learn about different cultures. And it'll help you develop a global outlook and improve your CV.

Check out our exchange finder to learn about our summer schools. Just make you select "summer school" under the programme type.

Use our exchange finder now

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Summer schools

We offer a range of summer school programmes that are organised by our partner institutions worldwide. From studying art history in Paris, to astronomy in Hawaii, to learning about Japanese culture and living in a home stay in Tokyo, we've got you covered. Most of our summer schools are subject specific, but some also focus on a particular cultural theme. 

What to consider when researching a summer school

Application process

  • All application information and links can be found on the exchange finder page for each opportunity. You will either apply via Study Abroad (Essex Abroad team) or directly to the summer school.  
  • Apply directly - with this option you apply directly to the summer school and use their application process. You can do this to apply for many of our summer school opportunities, or if you find a summer school independently. Please do let us know if you plan to attend a summer school as we aim to track all student mobility and we are able to offer support around funding, travel insurance and verify your Big Essex Award if we have a record of your experience.
  • Apply via Essex Abroad - with this option you will fill in an application to study abroad. This normally means that the fee is waived for the programme. These spaces are often popular, so do make sure you take time completing the application. You will normally still need to pay for some costs which may include travel, accommodation, meals and other living expenses.

Our exchange finder is updated regularly as we receive information about summer schools from our partner universities. Please check it regularly to make sure you don't miss out!


Use our exchange finder now


The cost varies across the range of summer schools. Many of our partners offer a partner discount, so even if you apply directly, it's always worth mentioning you are an Essex student.

You also need to factor in the cost of accommodation, transport, travel insurance and day to day costs such as food.  There is funding available for selected programmes, visit our funding opportunities page to find out more.

If you receive any funding through Study Abroad you will also be eligible to apply for University of Essex Travel Insurance (and in most cases this will be a mandatory requirement of the funding).  You will still need to get your own personal insurance cover too (to cover personal belongings) but this should help with the costs.


Summer schools vary in duration and options. Some will be a very short period of time - for example 4 days. Others you will have a choice of sessions to select from which can span the entire summer. The most popular duration is around 3 - 4 weeks.

For a summer school to count towards your Big Essex Award it must be a minimum duration of 2 weeks or 14 days.


Taking part in a summer school can be a great chance to diversify your studies and study outside your comfort zone. Some programmes will have pre-requisites which you must meet to be accepted on the course. Others will be more general or open to groups of students. All this information is shared within the exchange finder and on the partner's summer school website.

Some summer schools offer academic credit for completion of their programmes. Whilst these are not currently able to be recognised as part of your formal degree at Essex these can be included in your HEAR transcript under the Big Essex Award

Many students use a summer school experience to explore future study opportunities such as a study abroad year or post graduate studies.


All the summers school have different deadlines so make sure you have checked this out! If you are applying via Essex Abroad you may have to apply to us and then if you are successful you will also have to complete a registration with our partner institution.

The deadlines can be found in the exchange finder information page for each summer school.

Other useful information

You can crowdfund towards the cost of the summer school using CLICK.

We love to hear feedback about your experience! Please do keep us updated whether you stop by our office on Square 2 at our Colchester campus, drop us an email or tag us on social media using @essexabroad

"The programme at CUHK in Hong Kong was an exceptional, once in a lifetime experience. We were extremely well catered for throughout the summer. The cultural activities were immersive and wonderful opportunities to understand the history, heritage, and beauty of Hong Kong. It created a deeper appreciation for such a wonderful location. The course I was studying was fascinating to me, inspired a work ethic and passion for education that I had been struggling to rejuvenate prior. I look forward to bringing everything I learnt during my time there, to my Essex degree"
Sadie - Psychology Summer school - Hong Kong - Chinese university of hong kong
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"I took part in a 5 week summer school at Pusan National University in Busan, South Korea, in the summer following my second year (2017). I studied Korean Language and Culture and the experience was inspirational. I went on to complete my Masters at Essex and then moved back to South Korea where I currently live and work. I never would have dreamed of doing this if I had not had the chance to visit for the summer school"
Sadie, BA International Relations and MSc International Management Graduate Summer school, pusan national university, 2017
Get in touch
Contact us to find out more about summer schools You can visit us in person at our office on Square 2, Colchester campus. Opening hours are below. If you are based at Southend campus or want to chat to us outside of these times, then book a remote call using the link below.
Monday - 11.00am to 1.00pm, Tuesday - 11.00am to 1.00pm and 2pm to 3pm, Wednesday - CLOSED, Thursday 11.00am to 1.00pm and 2pm to 3pm, Fridays -11.00am to 1.00pm and 2pm to 3pm.
Telephone: 01206 872198