Cambridge International Relations Summer School
The Cambridge Immerse International Relations summer course aims to provide high school students with an understanding of the main approaches used to explain the current global political, economic and social order. The field of International Relations embraces a wide range of topics and questions and the cacophony of theories, issue-areas, and approaches not only makes International Relations a fun discipline, but also a wide-ranging and challenging one!
International Relations is the study of politics beyond the state. This seemingly clear-cut definition is understood differently by experts in the field, however, most scholars agree on the fact that the study of politics should not be exclusively confined to what happens inside nation-states. Many political phenomena, scholars would argue, have in fact global causes and consequences.
Summer International Relations Courses at Cambridge University
The Immerse International Relations summer course in Cambridge offers you the chance to go beyond school A-level and IB-level school syllabuses and to gain an insight in what university International Relations is like. Check out what our alumni had to say about their experience studying International Relations in our Cambridge summer school by visiting the Alumni Success page.
By enrolling in the Cambridge Immerse International Relations course, you will explore the role of theory in International Relations and answers questions such as: is there a difference between the terms ‘international politics’ and ‘global politics’? and what is the source of state power and why are states important in International Relations?
Plus, whatever your current ability-level, the small class sizes our International Relations summer course will ensure you will be both challenged and supported in carefully planned classes that emulate the unique Oxbridge system of tutor-student engagement and debate.
What will I study at this International Relations Summer Course in Cambridge?
The Cambridge Immerse International Relations Summer Programme will serve as an introduction to International Relations at university level. It will take a first look at the main goals, concepts, and ideas in the field of International Relations that will come back in later classes and discuss the place of International Relations in the overall disciplines of Political and Social Sciences. What is International Relations, who are its principal actors, where did it come from and what does it aim to do?
The dominant traditions in the study of International Relations in the West since World War II emphasise the power of, and relations among, sovereign states – their conflicts and efforts at coordination. However, as new global priorities have emerged in recent decades, particularly in the post-Cold War era, new approaches within the field of International Relations have entered scholarly debates to account for these new realities. The class will explore the role of ideas in International Relations.
In the International Relations Summer Programme will look at the place of international organisations in a world that is largely dominated by nation-states (and if we take a long-term historical view: by empires and city-states). What is the role of institutions in governing international politics? We will explore this question through an examination of the creation and functioning of the United Nations system.
The European Union grew out of a desire for peace in a war-torn and terribly divided European continent. Five years after World War II had ended, France and Germany came up with a plan to ensure their two countries would never again risk waging war against each other. The result was a treaty signed in Rome, creating the European Economic Community in 1957 – the foundations of today’s European Union. The UK was one of three new members to join in the first wave of expansion in 1973. Today, the EU has 28 member states with a total population of more than 500 million people, and is now facing the challenge of he UK leaving the union. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the European Union in today’s increasingly globalised world? This class will focus on understanding the internal structure of the European Union and assess its capabilities as a political actor in internal and external affairs.
Benefits of enrolling in our pre-university International Relations summer programme
If you want to study international relations at university, then the Cambridge Immerse International Relations summer programme is for you. With 40 hours of academic sessions and a university-level international relations syllabus designed by Cambridge international relations tutors, this international relations summer programme will instill you with the knowledge to not only prepare for international relations university applications but also for life as an international relations undergraduate. You will have the chance to flex your intellectual muscles whilst deepening your passion for this subject.
Students will also improve their ability to articulate a position on the discussion questions as all students are asked to familiarise themselves with the readings and to reflect on the discussion questions listed below. Sessions that explore contemporary issues in International Relations are based on a presentation of the discussion questions by students themselves. Students are asked to discuss the questions for about 10 to 15 minutes, incorporating insights from the readings and providing examples from contemporary international politics, before the group discussion kicks off. This will enable you to frame the conversation and raise issues which you find particularly interesting.
Students will also practice researching and writing a position paper. Students will conduct a general research on the topic assigned to you as well as research your country’s specific position. Writing a position paper means testing your ability to understand the complexity of a country’s foreign policy considering the multiplicity of interests that it must serve.
To ensure you leave the course with the best preparation for your university experience, Cambridge Immerse also offers a range of highly useful, optional skills workshops which are included in the International Relations summer course fee, including Interview Skills Workshops to help you articulate yourself brilliantly under pressure and show your passion for the subject. You can also take advantage of one-on-one Personal Statement Consultations to help you polish your personal statement and make it really stand out from the crowd.
International Relations Cambridge Course Details
As you can see from the topic overview above, the Cambridge Immerse International Relations summer course covers a wide breadth of material, but this is not something to be worried about! Before you begin, you will be given fascinating and stimulating preparatory books and articles to get your teeth into and to make sure you’re fully up to speed before the course begins. To find out more about the summer International Relations course, and to enrol, visit this link.
Quick International Relations summer course facts and stats:
- Maximum tutorial size: 12 students
- Oxbridge style teaching from university tutors
- University preparation workshops
- Inclusive of excursions
- Reside in a central University of Cambridge college
- Dedicated university and subject specific advice
- A variety of carefully planned skills workshops
- Inclusive of all excursions and extracurriculars
- Diverse range of international participants
- Participant Assessment
- Certificate of Participation
Our academic summer programmes offer students the option to choose to study one of 16 diverse subjects, from the arts to the sciences. All of our courses are designed and taught by current or past tutors at Cambridge University who have experience regularly teaching undergraduates. So whether you are interested in Philosophy or Medicine, Computer Science or Creative Writing, or something completely different, experience a unique taster course of what it’s like to study a subject at university level with an exceptional academic programme created and delivered by world-class tutors.
The Cambridge Immerse recruitment process is vigorous to ensure that every single of our tutors is engaging, supportive and passionate, with the drive to ignite a similar passion in the students. Cambridge Immerse’s mission is to provide students from across the world with a unique and unforgettable academic experiences. Our Cambridge summer programmes aim to inspire our participants and to excite them about their subject! We also strive to challenge our participants and stretch them academically, as we prepare them for what life will be like at a top university.
Our philosophy is that each of our participants should feel challenged with interesting academic concepts, whilst our tutors create a welcoming and supportive environment in which our participants thrive.
During the academic sessions at Cambridge Immerse, participants will be encouraged to explore and discuss advanced (and interesting!) topics in carefully planned classes that are designed to emulate the unique Oxbridge system of tutor-student engagement and debate. The aim of this approach is to allow students to develop skills that go beyond simply the learning of facts, but rather to interact with the material in a way that will stimulate academic thought and curiosity. These skills are vital for success in higher education. Participants in our Cambridge summer programmes tackle challenging and interesting academic topics that not only further academic passions but also develops themselves as a student and as an individual.
Programmes that we offer include:
Throughout the summer programme, the Cambridge Immerse tutors will monitor student engagement with the topics that they have been taught. Once the programme has finished, the tutor will write a Participant Assessment that will evaluate how the participant responded to the materials they were introduced to, what progress they made during the sessions, and offer recommendations on how to most effectively advance participant's understanding and interest in the topics that have been explored. We strongly believe that our Participant Assessments are crucial element of the learning process, and reflective of our commitment to the highest standards of education.
Cambridge Immerse is committed to ensuring that students feel confident when applying for university. In order to support students in their pre-university journey, the Cambridge Immerse summer programme contains a University Application Preparation series including workshops, consultations, and mock tests. Below is an example of what students can expect.
Interview Skills Workshops (Optional)
Interviews are required as a part of the admissions process at leading universities. What makes a great interview? During the Cambridge Immerse Interview Skills Workshops, students will gain an insight into what a university interview might look like and enable them to better understand how to respond to challenging academic questions and articulate their viewpoints in a pressured environment. These workshops focus upon instilling participants with confidence and the intellectual tenacity required to tackle some of the key questions that might be asked during interview. University interviews are nerve-wracking for prospective university applicants, it is our aim to support students during their interview preparation and equip them with the skills required throughout - thinking, processing, and responding. For many of our participants, the opportunity to hone their interview technique has been a highlight of the programme.
The Interview Skills workshops are included within the programme fee, though attendance is optional.
Personal Statement Consultations (Optional)
Personal statements form the basis of any strong university application - an opportunity for applicants to position their achievements and ambitions in the best possible light. During their time in Cambridge, students will have the opportunity to develop drafts of their personal statements required for access to all UK universities and many others around the world. The Cambridge Immerse mentor team, who are all currently studying at Cambridge University, are on hand to provide students with one-to-one consultations, offering guidance on how students can best express their interest in a particular subject. The aim of these individual consultations is for students to craft a compelling personal statement that showcases their achievements and interest in a subject
The Personal Statement consultations are included within the programme fee, though attendance is optional.
Certain subjects, such as Medicine and Law, require that prospective applicants to UK universities complete an aptitude test such as the LNAT (National Admissions Test for Law) , BMAT (BioMedical Admissions Test), UKCAT (UK Clinical Aptitude Test). Optional sessions provide participants of Cambridge Immerse with guidance and insights into the best practices for preparing for these tests.
Cambridge is a unique and historic city and with that comes a unique set of cultural experiences. During your time at Cambridge Immerse, students delve into the exciting and often fascinating spectrum of cultural activities available in Cambridge. Furthermore it is our mission to give students a glimpse into life at university, and so our academic programme is balanced with a vibrant and engaging extracurricular programme. Not only will you discover and further your academic interests, activities and excursions planned throughout the programme will give students the opportunity to socialise with like-minded peers from across the world. The activities on offer will often be completely new, exciting and typically Cambridge. Students will learn more about Cambridge, about their fellow students and, hopefully, about themselves.
A variety of activities are organised as part of the programme. Participants can enjoy:
- An afternoon in the sun punting down the River Cam, a quintessential Cambridge affair.
- A visit to Oxford, the home of Cambridge University’s arch ‘rival’.
- Formal dining in Cambridge’s famous medieval banquet halls; a Hogwarts experience.
Visit our activities page to view the full range of subjects that we offer.
The Cambridge Immerse schedule is packed with a wide range of unique academic and extracurricular activities.
Participants start off the day with breakfast in the main college dining hall, with a variety of continental and hot breakfast choices available. This is followed by the first academic session of the day, which takes place in a seminar or lecture format. Participants are then guided to lunch at some of Cambridge’s finest sandwich bars and cafés, and are welcome to explore the city in small groups. Following lunch, academic sessions continue in the format of small tutorial groups or workshops. After all the core academic sessions are finished, students are treated to one of a wide range of excursions and cultural activities, including punting, museum visits and sports activities. A three course dinner in the college dining hall is then followed by an evening social event to help participants wind down and socialise after a packed day.
The timetable shown to the side offers an insight into the typical daily schedule, although this may vary depending on the events planned on the given day.
Unrivalled support system
Cambridge Immerse prides itself on providing a supportive and approachable learning and living environment where participants can flourish. Participants are looked after by the Cambridge Immerse Mentors and Onsite Programme Manager.
Our mentor team is comprised of friendly, specially trained graduates and undergraduates from Cambridge University or Oxford University, who help our participants quickly settle into the programme. The mentors have first hand experience with a variety of academic and non-academic issues and are therefore in the best position to offer friendly, confidential one-to-one advice. It’s an unrivalled support network that we’re incredibly proud of. Mentors have studied a range of disciplines, allowing them to share their own insights and experiences of their academic careers. Each participant is also assigned a mentor, all of whom are enthusiastic to help participants to help create a ‘home away from home’. It’s an unrivalled support network that we’re incredibly proud of.
Each Cambridge Immerse Campus has an onsite Programme Manager who manages the onsite Mentor Team and oversees the organisation and execution of academic classes and social activities. The Programme Manager is an experienced individual who will be there to answer any queries participants or parents might have.
One of the most special elements about the programme, is the ability for students to truly immerse themselves in Cambridge student life by staying in a Cambridge University college during the summer. Cambridge Immerse takes place in four of Cambridge University’s most stunning and historic centrally located colleges: Queens’ College, Sidney Sussex College, Christ’s College and St Catharine’s College.
On each of the Cambridge University college sites, participant stay in single bedrooms, all of which are equipped with high speed internet access. These are the actual accommodation that Cambridge University undergraduates reside in during term time! Corridors or staircases separate students by gender, and bathrooms are either en-suite or shared between just a few participants of the same gender. The wellbeing of our participants is one of our primary concerns, and the college site is secured and monitored 24/7, not only by Cambridge Immerse staff, but also by the college staff themselves.
Visit our ‘Campus’ page for further information.
Travel Information: The fee for Cambridge Immerse is not inclusive of travel to Cambridge. There are several transport options available, including arriving in Cambridge by rail, coach or flight. Please contact us if you need assistance planning your journey to Cambridge.
For international participants, we arrange a shared airport transfer service from London Heathrow Airport to Cambridge. Dedicated staff members meet the participants at the airport terminal of their arrival. Participants are able to book this service once they have secured their place on the programme.
Medical and Dietary Requirements: We are able to cater for most dietary requirements (vegetarian, vegan, nut allergies, halal, kosher); please do not hesitate to contact us if you are unsure if we can cater for your dietary requirements. Breakfast and evening meals are included in Cambridge Immerse, and participants are expected to make their own provisions for lunch at various delicious eateries around Cambridge.
Other information: Students must be aged between 16-18 at the time of attendance to Cambridge Immerse. Students are expected to be fluent / near-fluent in English.
Participate in Cambridge Immerse
Cambridge Immerse is a residential summer course consisting of outstanding academic classes, excellent skills workshops and exciting extracurricular activities in the historic university city of Cambridge. Cambridge Immerse runs in the following 2 week sessions:
- Session 1: 8th July - 21st July 2018
- Session 2: 22nd July – 4th August 2018
- Session 3: 5th August – 18th August 2018
We would be happy to assist you if you have any questions prior to booking your place. For the fastest response to your enquiry, please email:
Students' favourite moments at Cambridge Immerse
University Insights Guide
Top undergraduate students have written an expert guide to the books that you should read for a varied and detailing understanding of your subject. Download our free expert guide to the books you need to succeed! This download also includes a guide to the “Top 20 UK Universities”.