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How to… get maximum benefit from your summer school

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1. Serious fun

While summer school can be a lot of fun, the best ones offer more than just summer entertainment. They can be intensive, hard work, and in many cases aim to simulate what longer-term drama education is like. Be prepared to give whatever course you sign up for your all – otherwise, spending summer on the beach may be a better investment of time for everyone involved.

2. Topic vs teacher

Some summer schools focus on celebrity names and big exciting ‘experiences’, while others cover more familiar and realistic ground like auditions or improvisation but with highly accomplished teachers, and contact with and input from working performers. If you can find one that does both, you’re on to a winner – but go for content, not just gloss, whenever you can.

3. Be wise beyond your years

Many summer schools are open to quite a wide-ranging age group. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but do some homework to check whether the majority of participants are likely to be younger (or older) than you, and if so, how the tutors handle the diversity of age groups.

4. Test the testimonials

It always helps to know what participants thought of previous events. But if you have a specific goal for the summer school, such as getting a feel for what a drama school is like, pay attention to what people who have taken part in the course before have achieved as a result, as well as what they have enjoyed during the summer school itself.

5. Count the cost

When comparing the costs of summer schools, bear in mind that some course fees may be inclusive of meals, travel to shows and other expenses, while others charge a tuition only fee with additional costs coming out of the student’s pocket for the duration of the course. Make sure you budget properly, especially if travelling from a distance

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