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My experience of UCL’s 2020 Summer Schools

By Lauren Sandhu, on 17 September 2020

This summer has been a busy one for the Access and Widening Participation team. At the end of July we ran 13 summer schools for students in Year 12 (S5 in Scotland/Year 13 in Northern Ireland) online. Some of the students who attended kindly blogged about their experience. Today we hear from Natalia who took part in our Languages and Cultures Summer School. 

My name is Natalia and I live in Scotland. I have just moved into 6th year (my final year at high school). My favourite subjects at school are Music, French and Business Management and for my last year I have chosen to do Spanish, Administration and Advanced Higher French. At university I would love to study International business with Spanish because this gives me an opportunity to know the world of business as well as studying a language which I absolutely love.

I really enjoy studying languages at school because I have always wanted to travel. In the future, I would like to live in Spain. I have always loved Spain’s culture, the climate, and their attitude and dynamic and hence, this influenced my decision of applying to the Sutton Trust’s Summer School at UCL to study “Languages and Cultures”.

During the programme, we had a series of fun activities that we could complete on various languages such as French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch and many more. Additionally, we received talks from people who work at UCL who were able to give us advice and answer any questions which we had about university. We also had the opportunity to speak with current students at UCL who are studying languages and we had a Q&A session with them which gave us an insight into what university lifestyle really looks like and what studying languages also looks like.

I really enjoyed meeting people who work and study at UCL because it really gave me a clear insight into this university. I have never considered studying outside of Scotland or at UCL before this Summer School, but now, this experience has opened my eyes to so many opportunities. It changed my view on what university looks like in terms of studying. Before this programme, I thought that once I start university it will be the same, plain things that will be taught to me and that once I go into the course, I will only be able to focus on studying and I will have to drop all of my hobbies to the side. However, to my surprise, I have found out that universities offer so many different societies and opportunities which completely changed my attitude towards going into university.

I really recommend this Summer School to everyone! Others should join this programme because you learn so much about university life and you get to meet so many lovely people. I have learned so much just in five days and this was done virtually this year – I can only imagine how much I would learn if I were there in person! It is such an insightful program and it was very enjoyable too. If I could, I would re-do that whole week again because I found it so fun!

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