During my first year in college, I started receiving emails, forwarded by my school, about partner universities that were organizing summer schools. I quickly became interested in them, and I started reading every mail to compare the available summer schools. One school in particular had caught my eyes because it had a length of 4 weeks, with only 3 days a week lessons. I preferred that school because I thought a longer duration would give more time to get to know other students, and we also had plenty of time to explore Scotland.
I filled in the necessary paper work and a few weeks later, I received an email from the University of the West of Scotland, to confirm my registration. They also added all the students to a WhatsApp group, where I was able to find 2 other Belgian students from Howest (my college). We got talking and decided to meet up at a local bar to get to know each other before we go to Scotland. This was in particularly nice because we were also able to book the same flight, and meet up at the airport. That way we didn’t have to travel alone.
I won’t tell a lot about all our activities in Scotland, because a full month of activities is a bit long to talk about, so I will focus on the lessons instead of our free time.
We had 2 main classes, one with lessons about leadership and management, and one with lessons about how to create a startup. Every Wednesday we also had an ‘optional’ class, and subjects on these differed, but the ones that I remembered the most from, are our marketing classes, because the teacher was laidback, and we always discussed several interesting topics about content he showed. The content that fascinated me the most was the YouTube series “Don’t hug me I’m scared” because the storytelling and subtle details about this series are so well done.
Each of the two main classes also gave us an essay that we needed to pass in order to get our certificate. The class about leadership and management, provided us with a case about a leader/manager of a company (I can’t remember which one 😅) and we had to do a study to conclude whether the person in the case was more of a manager, or more of a leader. In the other class, we had to come up with a business idea, of which we had to make a cost analysis.
Overall, I enjoyed the summer school, and I was impressed how much the way classes were given differs from Belgium. I preferred the way they did it in Scotland since it was way more laidback, and smaller classes. The one thing that could have been better was the different nationalities that were participating in the summer school. There was 1 person from France, 3 (me included) from Belgium, and all other students were from Germany, and they were even all from the same school except for 2 Germans.
I would like to recommend the school to other students, but keep in mind that if you’re doing it to get to know more people from different nationalities, that this school won’t be the best. I’ve heard from the German students that there school participates in it every year.