Make your summer count: the best online courses to try this year

For many of you, it’s almost the end of another academic year. And it’s definitely been a year full of ups and downs! So, when the summer holidays come around, it’s time to have some fun.

You might already have some activities ready to tick off of your to-do list: head to the beach, redecorate your room, become TikTok famous… But if you’re a little stuck for ideas, the holidays are a great opportunity to try something new.

Here at Save My Exams, we’re big believers in the value of online learning – and there’s no reason why this should stop when the school exam season does! The summer holidays provide the perfect opportunity for you to upskill with an extra-curricular online course.

That’s why, this week, the Save My Exams Study Experts have scoured the web to source the best online courses available this summer. From learning new creative skills that will impress your mates to getting prepared for university; read on to find the right course for you.

Flex your creative muscles

If you’re feeling creative, there are plenty of courses to help you develop new skills and produce something that will impress your friends and family

Online workshops and tutorials are a great way to learn from other creators. Or, you could follow a course at the same time as other people on sites such as FutureLearn or Skillshare, and join a community of learners, supporting each other along the way.

Now all you have to do is choose which creative skills you want to try your hand at…  

    • Screenwriting: Fancy yourself as the next Steven Spielberg? You could give a screenwriting course a go and learn how to write your very own screenplay. 
    • Photography: Keen to become a camera pro and wow your friends with some expert summer snaps? Enrol in a photography workshop to learn all the tips and tricks you’ll need. 
    • Podcasting: Whatever you like to talk about, it could probably be turned into a podcast! Learn all about planning, creating and producing a podcast by taking a course like this one
    • Video game design: Completed it, mate? Why not find out how that video game you’ve been playing all year is programmed on a game design course?

Still unsure? Take a look at these other creative skills courses to browse through different options – from animation to Hip Hop dancing, and cooking to making your own cartoons

You don’t just have to choose just one. Get creative and prepare to show off your new skills when you go back to school.

Stand out from the crowd

Online courses are also a fantastic opportunity to develop skills that will come in handy when you start applying for jobs or further study.

Employers and university tutors often look for candidates who have gone the extra mile, and if your CV or personal statement includes skills that you’ve gained outside of your school study, it could help you stand out from other candidates.

Languages are a great skill to have – especially if you think you might want to travel or work abroad one day. Sites like Duolingo offer fun, interactive courses that you can complete at your own pace and record your progress as you go.

If you’re looking to improve your English language skills, there are also courses available online this summer, like Oxford Online English.

Other unique skills that could help you impress future employers include:

Satisfy your curiosity

Is there a topic you’ve always been curious about? Perhaps something that’s not on the curriculum at school? Now’s your chance to find out all about it!

It could be a scientific question you’re desperate to know the answer to, like ‘can renewable energy sources power the world?’

Or maybe you’ve been burning to find out exactly how some of your favourite computer games work? Hint: it’s all about coding

If you’re interested in Artificial Intelligence (AI), find out how it will impact the ways in which we live and work in the future with this digital skills course.

For other topics, you can browse through lots of great, informative videos on Youtube’s Learning channel, or check out the range of cool online workshops run by Microsoft.

Whatever it is that fascinates you, don’t miss the opportunity to follow your curiosity and become an expert!

Prepare for your next steps

As well as developing new skills and exploring exciting topics, the summer holidays are the perfect time to get ready for your next steps. Whether you’re returning to school in September or moving on to university or work, there’s plenty you can do this summer to prepare.

For those of you heading to university, you’ve probably already got a shopping list of kitchen utensils and houseplants longer than your arm, and a colour scheme picked out for your new room… But one of the biggest challenges when starting university can be the difference in how you are expected to work. Taking a course like this one will provide you with all the skills you’ll need for transitioning to university study, so you can start your first term feeling confident. 

If you’ll still be at school next year, and especially if you’ve got exams coming up, why not take some time over the summer to improve your study technique? There are so many different ways of studying and revising, but finding one that works well for you ahead of the new academic year will save you lots of time when it comes to preparing for exams! 

Whether you’re looking at further study options or starting to search for jobs, it’s likely that at some point over the next few years you’ll be applying for opportunities. So, make sure you’re ready to impress by spending some time this summer learning how to write the best applications.

Take some time for yourself

The past year has been a very stressful time for everybody. Over the summer, it’s also really important to take care of your mental wellbeing and practice self-care to reduce any stress or anxiety.

There are lots of great courses to learn self-care techniques, like this one on mindfulness, and this one on managing stress and anxiety. You can also find advice on mental wellbeing in our Blog posts on mindfulness and back-to-school anxiety.

Whichever subject or skill you’re interested in, we hope that you can find a course on this list to get started and help you plan a fun and productive summer.

Let us know which you try over on our social media channels – @SaveMyExams on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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