Summer breaks for most of us revolve around the numerous ways in which we can upgrade our portfolios and résumés; doing an internship, taking extra classes, doing some form of community service or preparing for competitive exams, are some such examples. As a result, many of us lose out on the opportunity to travel more and see the world around us.

Recognising this, many educational institutions and organizations now offer summer school programs and internships to students where they have something to show on their portfolio thus ensuring holistic development in the truest sense of the term. Many prestigious universities across the world offer summer school programs where, across a period of three to four weeks (sometimes even more) students from different parts of the world are given the opportunity to study and also explore a city or a country on their own. Columbia, Harvard, Cambridge and The London School Of Economics currently attract the largest numbers every year including a massive share of students from India.

Whereas, the popular opinion here is that, these programs are nothing more than a money-making racket and that kids just go to have a good time, not do anything constructive and blow up a large amount of money in the process, this is not entirely true. While there are many cultural events, parties, guided tours of the city, its museums, day trips in and around the city, there is also a very hectic and concise study routine with four to five hour lectures per day (depending on what course you’re doing and where you’re doing it), tutorials and examinations as well. So if you’ve always wondered what exactly is so great about foreign education, this is a great way to find out just how different the structure and pattern of education abroad really is.

With each program ranging between a couple of months or three, one tends to get a taste of exactly how life works in the West which a tourist never really can. The Columbia and LSE summer schools give you a chance to take in, explore and be a part of two of the grandest cities in the world whereas Cambridge ensures you get a complete experience of University life in the UK studying and staying on one of the most beautiful campuses on the globe. Lastly, being independent in a new place for a period of time really helps one acquire some perspective and give them more clarity about who they are and what they wish to do once college ends.

Image Courtesy: www.summer.harvard.edu

Shraman Ghosh
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The writer complains about the scholarship not being advertised in the papers.

The Rhodes Scholarship is one of the most coveted awards for international study. It opens the door to the University of Oxford for post -graduate courses ranging from Master’s programme or a research degree to a second undergraduate degree. Innumerable students from all over the globe aspire to win recognition and financial aid through this medium. Initiated in 1902, with the vision of Cecil Rhodes, it has been extended to Commonwealth countries including India.

The selection process for Rhodes begins in the month of august by which candidates are required to submit their applications. These applications must include an essay mentioning the aspirant’s strengths, weaknesses, goals, career aims etc. The application should include recommendations from six close acquaintances, three of whom the applicant ought to have studied under. One passport size photograph, age certificate, evidences of courses taken and other academic distinctions obtained are also required.

While nominating the committee regards the qualities and ethos that Cecil Rhodes held dear. A Rhodes scholar is expected to posses an exemplary academic record complimented by striking sport skills. Character, compassion, leadership ability, morals and ethics are indispensable tools of their armory. Short listed candidates are then called for a preliminary personal interview, after which the selected candidates face another interview in December which forms the final leg of the selection. The chosen candidates join the esteemed club consisting of dignitaries such as Bill Clinton and Bill Gates. The essence of Rhodes Scholarship is the promise of a life full of opportunities!