Summer Residential Programme

Cambridge International Academy’s Summer Residential Programme at Clare College is a truly Cambridge experience which you will never forget. Our Programme is specially designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills that will help you with your university preparations. You will be studying and making friends with peers who are aspiring and committed students studying similar British curricula in their home country. This is for students under the age of 18.

Clare College is the second oldest college of the University of Cambridge, founded in 1326. The College spans the River Cam, situated behind the Old Schools (administrative centre of the University) and next to King’s  College. Amongst many of the notable alumni of Clare College are James Watson, Sir David Attenborough and Sir Richard Tim Hunt.

Dates: 18th July—4th August 2018, 17 days & 17 nights, Pick-up & drop-off at Heathrow Airport, London

When asked “What motivated you to choose this programme rather than any other similar ones?” one of our students said. “We can learn the culture of England through this programme, and it better prepares us for future admissions. While in the other programs […], I could only focus on studying academic things without anyone telling us how to better prepare for the future. Also, the course is much various than others.” Joanna, summer 2017

Our Summer Residential Programme is made up of the six components below.

Problem Solving and Thinking Skills (PSTS)

Many high performing students have strong subject knowledge. However, whilst this is a fundamental requirement when one aims to apply to one of the world’s most academically rigorous universities, many still struggle in the area of problem-solving.

PSTS focuses on helping students to use their existing knowledge to its full extent, utilising what they already know to approach challenging problems in new and unfamiliar contexts. Students are encouraged to “play” with a problem, break a big problem into parts, work through the problem out loud and ask open-ended questions which will help them to get closer to a   possible solution.

The PSTS component is delivered in various ways, using puzzle-solving activities and problem-solving exercises, as well as experiencing Oxbridge style mock interviews and Oxbridge written assessments such as, for example, the Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA) test.

PSTS is primarily designed for OCC students though ACC students will participate in one of the PSTS activities.

“I really enjoyed teaching the students on the programme. They were incredibly enthusiastic and engaging, and they excelled in the problem-solving activities” Dr Paul Elliott, Director of Studies in Biology, Homerton College, The University of Cambridge.

Formal Communication Skills (FCS)

Being able to communicate your thinking to others involves mastering a wide variety of interactive communication skills. The complementary abilities to be able to persuade others and to listen to them are equally important, in social and global academic contexts, as well as in the world of work.

At FCS sessions you will learn about presentation and interview techniques and British debating through playing fun games, acting, formal presentations and formal debating. You will receive individual, instant verbal feedback during the sessions and personal written feedback at the end of the programme.

Our instructors are Oxbridge graduates. They are experienced international debaters as well as having extensive experience in teaching debating workshops. Due to the format of British debating, which requires debaters to develop the skills and techniques required for ‘thinking on their feet’, this has proven to be very successful in encouraging quick thinking skills and the communication of your ideas succinctly in formal situations.

“…the first session began with some fun games…learning about emotional expressions, using body language and important public speaking skills…during the following sessions, we learned about professional debating, from format to actual debating…Our instructors applied lots of fun techniques to help us expanding our thinking and coming up with many ideas during every round of debating preparation time…” Christina, summer 2017

Subject Taster (ST)

Subject Tasters give you the chance to get a taste of an academic subject equivalent to first-year undergraduate level. There will be three sessions for each subject, each session generally focusing on a different theme.

All students will take one of following 3 subjects: Natural Sciences, Economics and International Relations. Please indicate your first and second choice on the application form. ACC students will take a second Subject Taster from either Psychology or Neuroscience. Please indicate your choice on the application form.

For each subject, there are limited places and these will be allocated on a “first-come-first-served” basis. You will be informed of the subject(s) allocated to you in the enrolment letter.

University Applications (UA)

The University Applications component consists of ‘subject and university choice’ and ‘personal statement’.

This is a very intensive component with one-third of the time (3 hours) spent on guidance on how to research about universities and subjects as well as how to get help. Students are expected to spend their free evenings to actively research and narrow down their subject choices and chosen universities. This lays the foundation for their personal statement which makes up the remaining two-thirds of the component (6 hours). By the end of this component, you will have the first draft of your personal statement for university applications.

“This component helped me to widen my horizons in university applications, it helped me with decision-making based upon my interests and strengths…Our personal statement tutor gave a very detailed analysis of our writing…” Angela, summer 2017

University Tour and Admissions (UTA)

The Admissions component helps our students to find out more about admissions and applications at the universities they are visiting.

Each visit lasts for two to three hours, and visits may include admission talks (normally by an international officer or student liaison officer), a tour around the university (often guided by a current student) and a short           subject taster session (given by one of the university’s academic staff, subject to availability).

These visits may include Cambridge, Oxford, LSE, Imperial, UCL, Warwick, Nottingham, Loughborough, Bristol and Bath, depending upon availability and appropriateness with regard to our students’ backgrounds and aspirations.

Cultural and Adventure Activities (CAA)

We believe in the importance of both working hard and playing hard. CAA will include two days outdoor team-building activities, tours of London, Cambridge and Oxford, punting, a visit to the Harry Potter Studio and a half day trip near Cambridge.

You will spend one night in a bunk-bed dormitory at the outdoor activities centre. These activities encourage you and your teammates to collaborate to achieve goals together. You may participate in five of the following activities: canoeing, kayaking, abseiling, Jacobs ladder, trapeze, crate stacking, catapult pioneering and climbing. There will also be a bonfire in the evening if the weather permits.

Many students spoke highly about the two-day outdoor teambuilding adventure…with the instructors’ support and persuasion they took up challenges they never thought of taking…they learned the importance of working as a team, moving together, and leaving no one behind.

We listen to feedback from our students and in response, some changes to our 2018 Summer Programme are listed below: * an extra day in London; * stay in the same  hotel during the tour; * include a visit to Harry Potter Land