Going to College: University summer schools for 5th year and TY students
Often students restrict their CAO research too early by focusing on points, or ruling out whole subject areas too quickly. Attending a summer school at the end of fifth year and trying out a wide variety of areas, including topics in which a student may only have a passing interest, is a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience learning at third level without any of the repercussions of making a poor choice.
It is a perfect solution for fifth year students who are struggling with career choices. Such struggles are understandable as most fifth year students have little concept of what university life might be like, neither are they able to understand the technical differences between the courses.
These summer schools are a really productive way to pass a number of days over the long break - they allow students to enjoy a small slice of university life as well as exposing them to academic lectures in a wide variety of areas. Here is a selection of what's on offer.
Maynooth University will run a non-residential summer school for fifth year students from June 11-15. Students experience study in areas such as primary school teaching, languages, biology, computer science, chemistry, maths, business, psychology and many more. Students who are aged over 18 may apply to stay on campus during this week.
It costs €30 to attend for one day and students can attend for five days and experience a wide variety of subject areas for €120, with lunch included.
Students can book online now at maynoothuniversity.ie.
University College Dublin
UCD's summer school for students entering university in September 2019 will run from June 5-8. This offers a wide variety of courses over the four days. The cost to attend one course is €35 with a reduced rate of €15 for families in receipt of Jobseeker's Allowance.
Courses available include arts, engineering, science psychology, music and many more. Students can sign up for courses in one or a number of areas if they wish.
For more information and booking, see ucdsummerschool.ie. Booking is now open.
NUI Galway's various summer schools are run by different departments, between June 7-28. Some are more suited to Transition Year (TY) than fifth year students, while others appeal more to fifth years, and, even, sixth year students.
Interested applicants can find information on nuigalway.ie/summer-schools. Courses are provided in law, engineering, science, business and computer/IT.
Days are filled with interactive activities as well as information sessions for students, and are aimed at assisting participants in making decisions regarding their course and specialisations options. Many of the courses are free to attend.
Dublin City University
The DCU Summer Scholars programme, which runs from June 25 -July 6 at the DCU Centre for Talented Youth (CTY) is now closed for applications.
However, the university has an excellent term-time course for TY students, which is open to applicants until May 11. Third year students who will be entering TY next year may apply to spend one day a week at DCU where they will get to experience an academically rigorous third level programme. Students who have not previously participated in the CTY may also apply for this programme and will be assessed on their results, assessments and teacher recommendations.
Aoife Walsh is a guidance counsellor at Malahide Community School, Co Dublin.