In the summer school business, you feel as if the new year starts in late August! Just as the last students depart, so you’re finalising the offerings for the following season!
Looking back on 2014 – the highlights
- It’s always interesting when we have our first students from a new country. This year, we were delighted to welcome students for the first time from Croatia, Singapore, Macau, Japan, Korea and New Zealand! As before, quite a lot of our students came from East Asia, either from some of the best local schools, or from some of the best international schools.
- For the first time, we had a dedicated programme for students in the age range 14-16. We were delighted to see how well this younger age group responded to our fairly demanding material and schedules: the students coped really well, and for 2015 we will be increasing the number of programmes designed for this age group.
- We had our first season at St. Andrews in Scotland. It was a hugely popular destination for our students. They loved the beaches and the fresh sea air, and the attractive little town, which is so different from the larger centres in England. Maybe they can see now why William and Kate decided to go there! We arranged a presentation with the University which was so well-received that a remarkable number of students are now planning to apply to St. Andrews.
- While in Scotland, students were able to enjoy trips to Edinburgh, to see the University and the impressive city itself, as well as going to Aberdeen (University and city) and the Scottish Highlands. In St. Andrews itself, they all took golf lessons on one of the most famous golf courses in the world!
- Having made a number of changes to our courses, we were eager to see how our students responded. Our aim was to make them more interactive and relevant, while still maintaining a strong academic focus. The courses preparing students for specific academic subjects were particularly well received, as was our revamped course in English for Academic Purposes.
- We put quite a lot of effort into our seminars to prepare students for university entrance. KE is now a UCAS centre (handling applications to universities) and our UK Co-ordinator, Jessica Yang, has been trained in UCAS procedures and policies. She has also been establishing closer ties with the universities which our students visit.
- As before, our special events such as the seminar on dining and etiquette, the formal dinner and the afternoon tea were very popular with our students… who are now dining like perfect ladies and gentlemen!
- In their feedback forms, students were full of praise for our staff, particularly our team of eager student mentors, who accompanied and befriended our students while they were with us. In fact, there was quite a lot of praise all round. Here are some of the comments:
“He came back on Friday and told us that learning was so different in UK and he really enjoyed the environment, campuses, tours, classes, fellow students and the fantastic people from KE. I think this is going to be a life-long memorable experience for him. He has also broadened his horizons, got new inspirations and this will definitely help him prepare himself better to face the challenges of the changing world… Definitely, we would be happy to recommend Kingdom Education to our friends and relatives who are interested in sending their children for an overseas learning experience.” – Parents, Macau
“In those 3 weeks, besides having tons of fun and making lots of friends, I really learned a lot (not going to list them out or else this email will be 2 pages long) from many different people and most importantly experienced things that would not have been possible to experience had I decided to join a normal summer program. I realised that the experience I gained not only aided me in my understanding and appreciation of UK college life but also provided me valuable lifelong memories.” – EC, Taiwan
“The summer programme by Kingdom Education is excellent. It is professional from logistic arrangement to curriculum design.” – JM, Group Leader, Hong Kong
“K had a wonderful time, learning about UK culture, visiting various universities that she is interested in applying to, and taking engineering classes. We are most happy to know that K made many good friends and that her confidence grew through the program. Thank you for giving K an excellent opportunity to prepare her for university in UK and for making the future direction clearer to her this summer.” – Parents of international school student, Japan
“…an incredibly enriching place along with amazing time and positive experience. He not only learned new skills, and met new people, but his confidence soared and he is looking forward to another summer of challenge in 2015!… J also reminded us to thank the following “great KE Team” for making everything so smooth and professional from the time of his arrival until his departure.” – Parents, Macau
Well, one unfortunate group was five hours late getting back to Oxford after being delayed by flash flooding in London – not what you want to add to the rush hour traffic! But the mood on the coach was lightened when one of our student mentors arranged for everyone to do some singing…
Looking ahead to 2015 – what’s new?
- Australia! Join us for our 15-night study tour of Australia starting on January 3! The tour takes in the cities of Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne, and there are visits to six of the eight leading universities in the country – all of which are ranked in the top 100 worldwide. We also offer two of our courses as the tour proceeds.
- The USA! After two years of preparation, we’re delighted to confirm the start of our American programme for the summer of 2015. We’re offering a choice between the West Coast (based at UC Berkeley near San Francisco) and the East Coast (based at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, roughly equidistant from New York City and Boston). Students can choose between two-week, single-centre programmes and three- week, two-centre programmes offering the chance to see both sides of the country.
- We are also offering study tours of New Zealand and its universities, but on a closed group basis – please contact us if you are interested. We can also similar programmes in the other countries if our dates and schedules don’t suit.
- We’re offering a range of exciting new courses. First of all, we’ll have a total of eight academic course options. We’re widening the range of interests covered by our existing courses, plus we’re introducing four new options with more of a creative feel. Here is the full list:Economics, business & entrepreneurship | Law, society & international relations | Medical sciences & psychology | Science, technology, engineering & mathematics (STEM) | Art, design & photography Creative writing & journalism Drama & theatre | Music
- Not only that, but as a new alternative to EAP, and preparation for IELTS or TOEFL, we have a brand new course for native speakers of English: Critical Thinking and Advanced Writing. For serious thinkers, and serious writers…
- Finally, for students taking a 3-week programme, we’re offering a course on Leadership Training and Development. This dynamic course will help students to develop their abilities to express themselves effectively and to inspire others to tread in their footsteps. This course in itself should be a strong incentive for all those who can to stay for the full three weeks!
- In the UK, we’re moving our centre in the North of England to the great university city of Durham. Durham University dates from 1832, and is usually regarded as England’s third university. We’ll be based at St. Chad’s College, founded in 1904, a small and intimate centre with a homely, traditional feel. The location is amazing: the College is literally opposite the magnificent Durham Cathedral, and in the middle of a UNESCO World Heritage site.
- For next year, all our UK programmes will be multi-centre, so students can experience the very best of what the country has to offer. They will all see a range of top universities and fascinating cities. (Although we’re not staying in York next year, students will still be able to visit the city and the University on a day trip from Durham.) We plan to add the University of Leeds to the list of leading universities which we visit.
- With so much being developed, it was important that we should also develop our publicity materials. We will have a new-look website, a new brochure and, for the first time, a video! All coming soon…
- Finally, just to remind you that, in order to expand further the range of nationalities represented on our programmes, we’ll be working to attract more high-calibre students from Europe, the USA and Latin America in particular. For 2015, we expect to be thoroughly international!