While Summer Schools are nothing new on the university scene, the range of courses on offer is growing every year, particularly in France.
Historically more focused on learning a foreign language through immersion, or offered to doctoral students, it is now an integral part of the summer program for students – and the not-so-young – in search of cultural discoveries and intellectual emulation.
Whether in France or abroad, the themes on offer are as vast as the range of disciplines covered by the universities.
These are mainly short, non-degree programs, open to all levels. Sorbonne Université offers courses in French literature, climate change, the challenges of artificial intelligence and rhetoric.
Sciences Po, for its part, opens its doors to students from all over the world, enabling them to follow intensive study programs. Two types of public are targeted here : on the one hand, those who are already students or working professionals, and on the other, a younger public, mostly high school students, who would like to discover what student life is like and how to study in an institution of this level. Courses are usually organized in the form of intensive seminars and encourage interaction. They can be delivered face-to-face or remotely, via the digital platforms usually used. Last but not least, depending on the campus of residence, there are also city discovery programs in Paris or Reims, giving an insight into the life, history and culture of the area, and aimed primarily at international students.
Almost all French universities also offer intensive French language programs for foreign students, so that those who have chosen to study in France are well prepared for the start of the new academic year. One of the objectives of universities and other higher education establishments remains the recruitment of foreign students. Their international prestige and recognition depend on it.
In the south of France, in Aix-en-Provence, the Faculty of Law is hosting the Summer University in Political Economy organized by IES Europe (Institute for Economic Studies Europe) and IREF (a liberal and European think tank founded in 2002). Some twenty eminent researchers, including Professor Mario Rizzo, an economist at New York University, Professor David Schmidtz, a philosopher at the University of Arizona, Steve Davies, a historian at the Institute of Economic Affairs in London, and Professor Jean-Philippe Feldman, a jurist at the University of Rennes and Sciences Po, will be speaking at the event between July 20 and 22, sharing their analyses with participants of all ages and backgrounds.