<#comment>My daughter is keen to go to summer school. Is it really useful? And which one should she go too?

Summer is already here and for students it comes with images of relaxing and having fun. However, high school students, it might be useful to look at an effective summer program that will help you spend time constructively, teach you new things and bolster your CV for your college applications.

Behind every magical summer program lie the fundamentals of building up experiential learning, social development, character, civic engagements and ‘soft skills’, that will be extremely beneficial in your profile.

While the traditional idea of a summer camp would be fun activities, camping, backpacking and the pool, today’s summer programs are constructed to meet the immediate needs of college-bound students.

There are a variety of summer programs to enhance young adults’ cognitive skills and bolster their critical thinking, communication, problem solving and self-confidence. All such summer programs are intertwined with fun activities, sports and team-building sessions to help you make new friends.

Taster programs, as they are called, are ones which offer students an insight into the course they want to study in college. The programs are specific to those subjects (for instance, Physics or Economics) and help students make informed decisions about the field of study they wish to pursue in college.

Since they are focused on academics, many of these programs can help students gain credits for university, giving them an early head start.

STEM programs - Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics - provide both practical and theoretical experience in this domain. Modules in the summer program would include robotics, research, crime scene, networking and more.

There are also language proficiency courses, focusing on improving a student’s second or third language. If you choose such a program it’s often advised to travel to the country where the language is spoken. Most often these programs are blended with extracurricular activities such as sightseeing trips.

Then there are the Oxbridge Summer Programs (or Ivy Leagues). These summer programs are for high-achieving students who wish to study at Cambridge or Oxford or any of the Ivy Leagues. The modules of this program would include leadership, personality development, and other traits that top universities look for in applicants. These programs also teach students strong essay writing skills that dramatically help their applications. Many of these programs include test prep courses (such as for SAT) as well, to truly hone a student’s chances of getting in.

Most of all, summer schools are fun! Make sure to make the most of them.