My Experience with European Summer School – Where Learning meets Fun!
If you have read my post on my experience with VP Bali, you would know, I love to add more to just plain traveling. Initially, I wanted to join a summer school in Malaysia, but it did not work out because of timelines. So, I started looking for summer schools in other parts of the world. That is when I stumbled upon the website for summer schools in Europe. It's an excellent site, to find out schools based on different criteria, like, course type, distance or in-school learning, start date and the number of days, the fee structure, certificate, and university credits.
European Summer School was perfect for me because of the following reasons:
- Application submission was still open
- Had multiple terms running from July to August (I was looking for options in August)
- Each term was of 2 weeks (I didn't want to commit more than that)
- Had courses of my interest (including Marketing, and Advertising)
- Wasn't as expensive as I thought, given that it was in Europe
The application process was pretty straight-forward. You just need to fill in an online form with personal details and information about your education, profession (if any) and the course you are interested in. After you have submitted your application form, you'll get a confirmation email from the school. And soon after that, you'll get a follow-up email with application fees and invoice details.
The school gives an option to make the payment in two parts - 50% each. The final payment, however, has to be made before the school starts. It also provides scholarship to exceptional students. For that, you'd require to submit your resume and cover letter along with your application.
After you have paid the fees, you'll get application approval and accommodation confirmation.
You can use these confirmations as supporting documents for your visa application
Course Options and Dates
The program runs in 3 terms from July to August with different courses in each term. The school offers a variety of courses to suit your interest, ranging from Business Management to Marketing, to Human Resources, Arts, and Personal Development. If you want to attend the course of your choice, check their website ahead of time, so that you are able to apply before the seats finish and you don't miss the application deadlines.
Quick Tip: If the seats are full, and you are really interested in one particular course, then drop an email to the school. They'll try their level best to accommodate you in the class of your choice.
The total fee of the course is 750€. It includes the application fee and the necessary study materials. For accommodation, there is an additional payment of 150€. You can, however, choose to stay in any other accommodation of your choice.
You can also apply for a merit-based scholarship if you have financial constraints. And if the school finds your application particularly good, they might just offer you one.
I actually applied for a scholarship and based on my motivation to join the course and previous experience I was offered a scholarship of 40%. It was a great news for me since I just had to pay 450€ now instead of 750€.
What does the total experience include
The 10 days of school just fly by and before you even realize the term is over. All these days are packed with classes in the morning and fun activities in the evening.
The classes start with an introduction to the course and gradually progress to understanding the depths. The best part of the course structure is that even in such a short time, you get an opportunity to actually work on the things that you learn in the class.
As for the activities, Linda and Lucie (activity coordinators) make sure that every day the students experience something new and different and local to Prague. These activities include a walking tour to the city's points of interest, dining in different restaurants, going for open-theatre movie night, playing beer pong, picnicking/barbecuing in a park, and so much more. The best part, the activities are not just restricted to the ones mentioned above, since the organizers are always open to suggestions and ready to change plans according to everybody's interest.
But again, you don't need to attend all the activities, you can choose the ones that you are really interested in. I'll, however, recommend that you do participate in if not all, most of these activities, because it helps you see the hidden parts and experiences of the city from a local's point of view, and also make friends with the rest of the group.
My experience in the class
I applied for the course, "Fundamentals of Marketing" but unfortunately, it got canceled a few days before the start day. I was a little disappointed, but it was too late now to cancel my plans since I had already booked my flight tickets and applied for the visa by then. That would be a heck lot of money wasted.
Other courses that were available were Business Management, Human Resources, Personal and Professional Development, and Online Marketing Challenge out of which Online Marketing was already full. I then decided to continue with Personal and Professional Development. During orientation, I requested Hank and Lucas (the program coordinators) to transfer me from Personal and Professional Development to Online Marketing Challenge. My roommate was also looking for swapping her course, Online Marketing Challenge with Business Management. Therefore, luckily, I could get her seat in the Online Marketing class.
On the first day of school, I was super-excited about re-living the college experience and studying in a classroom of mixed nationalities. The class started with everyone's introduction followed by the course introduction and structure. We were provided with some snacks to keep us active throughout the class on the first day
The course was very detailed even though it was just for 10 days. We learned in depth about marketing and the need for it, different techniques to market depending on the product type, understanding the statistics and how to improve them. We had a few guest lectures where we deep dived into the technical aspects of setting up a website.
Throughout the course, we worked on two projects - one individual and second a group project. For the individual project, we had to set up our own personal blog and incorporate the technicalities that we had learned during the class. For the second project, the class was divided into groups, in which each group had to set up their website for the product/idea that they had. In addition to that, we had to market our product/idea using different marketing techniques.
Q&A was encouraged in the class and everybody participated in giving genuine feedback as each of us progressed through our projects. The instructors were always there to guide and direct in the right direction for both, our personal blog and our team project.
The best part of the class was being able to apply the theory that we learned into our project and that too within a time span of 10 days.
Working on a project with students from other countries was a great learning experience in terms of understanding the differences and similarities between the cultures and perspectives that are observed in different parts of the world.
My experience during the activities
European Summer School was not just about studies, it was more of a wholesome experience. Linda and Lucie our activities' coordinators had planned 10 days of ultimate fun. The very first day after orientation we went for dinner together where all the students got a chance to interact with and know each other.
These fun activities were not just limited to dining and partying together, but also touring the city on foot and bikes, picnicking in parks, going for day-trips and much more. For me, it was a perfect blend of a local and a tourist experience.
It is during these activities that you interact the most with other students, especially those who are not part of the same class as yours. So make sure you try to be part of as many activities as possible!