The High School Student News Site of The American School in London

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The High School Student News Site of The American School in London

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Students share highlights after attending pre-college programs

Graphic by Georgina Angus
Multiple students feel pre-college summer programs have opened their opportunities and experiences within their field of interests. Moreover, students have gained knowledge and engaged with specific academic aspects that they might want to pursue in the future.

Many universities offer summer courses for high school students that focus on more specific fields of study compared to typical class offerings. 

After attending a business and entrepreneurship pre-college program for two weeks at the Oxford Royale Academy, Naz Kaya (’25) said she was able to think more clearly about her future. 

“I have been interested in business, and I wanted to discover my more specific interest within the larger field of business,” Kaya said.

Warren Lowe (’24) attended a math academy program at the University of Pennsylvania as a rising Grade 11 student to explore external STEM opportunities that he said broadened his perspective on his upcoming college journey.

“I was looking for other ways to study math outside of school,” Lowe said. “And I found it cool how I got to live on campus and see the school without like, going on a guided tour.”

According to Crimson Education, university summer programs allow students to explore their passions, engage in college-level coursework and cultivate leadership skills. 

Aaron Stephen (’23) participated in Imperial College London’s virtual global summer school for engineering during Grade 10. Stephen said he thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to gain insight into day-to-day college life, despite the program being online. 

Furthermore, Stephen said he appreciated the time he spent with people who had similar interests.

“The idea that you’re with a bunch of like-minded peers [that] have the same kind of drive you do is nice,” Stephen said. “It’s nice to be able to discuss stuff with them at a high level.”

It is just a good experience since we are not really exposed to the specific fields of jobs at school, so it’s nice to explore.

— Scarlett Novak (’26)

Moreover, Scarlett Novak (’26) said she participated in three courses at Sarah Lawrence College prior to her transition into the High School. She partook in programs covering several academic fields that are not specifically taught at school. 

“Since we don’t really like, get taught biology in eighth or ninth grade, I wanted to explore the subject,” Novak said. 

After Kaya’s first business course, she said she had a clearer understanding of her passions, allowing her to extrapolate her areas of interest within the business field and pursue those further.

“This year, I am going to do an economics course at UChicago since economics is a branch of business that I found myself more interested in from the previous course I took part in,” Kaya said. “Next year, as a junior, I will be taking AP Economics, so I think that the economics course that I will be taking at UChicago will prepare me.”

Additionally, Stephen said he wishes he had known about pre-college programs before Grade 10 and regrets that he did not attend a program earlier.

“If I were to travel back in time, I would do it earlier, and it’s definitely something I would recommend,” Stephen said.

Moreover, Novak said pre-college programs are unique opportunities that allow students to explore subjects outside those offered as classes at school.

“It is just a good experience since we are not really exposed to the specific fields of jobs at school, so it’s nice to explore,” Novak said.

Ultimately, Kaya said attending a pre-college program helped her form many new relationships with the other students and get a gauge of university life.

“You get to make so many more social connections with people from international countries,” Kaya said. “You truly experience what college life is kind of like.”

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