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What is the difference between the Explorer, Leader and Scholar Programs?

What is the difference between the Explorer, Leader and Scholar Programs?

Trying to decide which University Preparation program to choose? There are three summer programs: Explorer (2-22 July), Leader (24 July – 6 August) and Scholar (7-20 August).

The first thing to remember is that ALL Reach Cambridge programs include the same 5 core elements, so no matter which program you choose, you can’t go wrong:

  1. University Preparation – Live in a prestigious university city, experience university-style classes and university life.
  2. International Experience – Meet new people from around the world, learn about different cultures and make friends for life!
  3. Fantastic Excursions & Activities – Have loads of fun, with trips to the most famous places in the UK: London, Stratford, Brighton and Oxford.
  4. Personal Development – Learn how to manage your own free time and balance it with your studies: shopping, sightseeing, sport and drama all within a safe, supervised environment.
  5. Academic Excellence – Study with exceptional teachers and rediscover your passion for learning whilst you grow in confidence.

But for those wanting to understand the distinctions between the three programs, each program has a particular focus as suggested by its name:

1: The Explorer program is the original Reach Cambridge course: A 3 week summer program that carefully mixes academic study in the mornings, mind-expanding lectures in the evenings and excursions around the country at the weekends with plenty of time for activities and extra-curricular development in the afternoons. This is the classic choice for many students and can now be combined with The Leader program for a 5 week experience.

2: The Leader program, running over 2 weeks, combines academic classes in the mornings with afternoon workshops on the theme of leadership, as well as excursions around the country and extra-curricular activities in the spare time. Students wanting to stay with us for longer are encouraged to combine the Leader program with either the Explorer or the Scholar program.

3: The Scholar program, running over 2 weeks, is our most academic program, with classes in both morning and afternoon, but there is still plenty of time for activities over lunch and in the evenings and excursions around the country at the weekends. For a great balance, why not combine with the Leader program for a 4 week Reach Cambridge experience!

There is no bad choice when choosing a Reach Cambridge program! All programs receive excellent feedback each year and no matter which program(s) you choose, we are confident you will enjoy your time with us in Cambridge.

Can I combine Programs? Yes!

Can I combine Programs? Yes!

At the end of every summer program our students plead with us to let them stay in Cambridge a bit longer. In response to those requests, from 2017 that will be possible, because students will be able to combine programs 1 and 2 to stay with us for a total of 5 weeks or combine programs 2 and 3 to stay with us for a total of 4 weeks. Any student combining programs will be granted a £500 ‘combined course discount’ on the total price of both programs in addition to any other discounts running at that time.

Please note that program combinations should be specified at the time of application because programs fill up towards the summer so we cannot guarantee that combinations will be possible closer to the summer.

Great discounts available! Find out more!

Great discounts available! Find out more!

There are three types of discount available:

  1. Early bird discounts if you sign up by the deadline advertised at the time of application. This discount applies to all of our programs, including the Spring program, but there is only one early bird discount per student per academic year.
  2. Program combination discount of £500 if you combine two programs! This discount applies to all summer programs.
  3. Refer a friend discount of £100 for each friend you refer to Reach Cambridge. Your friend also receives a £100 discount, amounting to a £200 saving! This discount applies to all programs, including the Spring program.

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Subject Program 1: Explorer
2nd July - 22nd July2nd Jul - 22nd Jul
Program 2: Leader
24th July - 6th August24th Jul - 6th Aug
Program 3: Scholar
7th August - 20th August7th Aug - 20th Aug
Study Biotechnology at Reach Cambridge


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All of our Summer Programs feature the following:

All our students reside in one of the colleges of Cambridge University, or in our central Cambridge headquarters ‘Reach Hall’, and have ample opportunity to interact with present undergraduates and post-graduates. Our teachers are academics and researchers from Cambridge and other top UK universities, as well as including professionals where relevant for the course (e.g. barristers for the Law course, journalists for the Journalism & Media course). All courses take place either in college buildings, Cambridge University Department buildings, or buildings in central Cambridge.

The program fee includes the following:

  • Accommodation in rooms at a Cambridge University college or in our central Cambridge headquarters, ‘Reach Hall’
  • Half board meals
  • All tuition
  • Excursions to local areas of interest in Cambridge, and further afield; in the past we have visited London, Brighton, Oxford and Shakespeare’s birthplace Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Extra-curricular activities in the college and around Cambridge e.g. sport, drama and arts
  • Lecture and Workshop series

The program fee excludes the following:

  • Flights
  • One meal (either lunch or dinner) a day (students can either visit tea-rooms, cafés, or restaurants in Cambridge.)
  • Additional excursions or activities in time off such as the cinema
  • Souvenirs, phone calls home etc.

Note: this is not an exhaustive list of inclusions and exclusions, but indicates the main items.

DSC_8038All Reach Cambridge students come together in the evenings for thought-provoking lectures from inspiring people. Students invariably say that the evening lecture series is one of the highlights of the course.

Our lecturers speak on subjects that fall under three categories: British Culture, International Social Responsibility and Inspiring Life Stories. Highlights have included lectures on Climate Change, Britain in Music, Community Outreach, Journalism and International Criminal Justice.

Always interactive and engaging, the lectures include ample time for questions – students always enjoy asking speakers tough questions after listening to their talks!


The majority of our staff are Cambridge undergraduates, graduates or post-graduates, and are the ideal port of call for students who have any queries about Cambridge University or life at university more generally. Alongside daily contact with our staff team, students can also benefit from the excellent University Life workshops and lectures that we run during our courses.

These range from the practicalities of making a good university application to coping with the issues students invariably encounter once they have commenced their studies. Students can work on their CVs (resumés) or personal statements with the help of staff, and develop their interview skills by attending a mock university or job interview with our supervisor team.

Whilst of course we cannot guarantee that Reach Cambridge courses will get you a place at university, many former Reach Cambridge students have gone on to top universities and have remarked on how helpful their experience at Reach Cambridge was for deciding which types of institution and courses are right for them.


Work hard and play hard. Every spare moment, when students are not in class or at meals, our Cambridge Supervisors organize a smorgasbord of activities for our students to enjoy.

There are activities to match everybody’s interests: from photography groups to ghost tours, from sports tournaments to cake decorating, every student is catered for.

Sporting activities are available in the college grounds, including football (soccer), ultimate frisbee, tennis, basketball, volleyball and the Reach Olympics! There are also drama, music and art sessions as well as an opportunity to try punting down the River Cam!

A highlight of the extra-curricular aspect of the Reach Cambridge program is the World Fair, a special event during which students share their cultures and learn about one another’s countries, making the most of the program’s international environment. Students will also have plenty of time to explore Cambridge with their new friends in a safe and supervised environment.

IMG_9060Reach Cambridge programs involve experiencing more than just Cambridge and academic life – they also provide an opportunity to visit some of the most celebrated historic and cultural sites in England.

We run excursions to some of the country’s most famous places; in the past, these have included London, Oxford, Brighton, Warwick and Shakespeare’s birthplace Stratford-upon-Avon. Taken to see the best that these places have to offer whilst also given supervised free time to explore, there’s no better way to experience this endlessly fascinating country!

Reach Cambridge students also have plenty of time to explore the inspiring and beautiful city of Cambridge.P1010759

The city is home to a number of impressive art galleries and museums that cater to all interests, whether you’re into Archaeology and Anthropology or the Visual Arts. Students also have the opportunity to try their hand at punting along the River Cam, a Cambridge tradition which offers views of famous Cambridge landmarks such as the Bridge of Sighs and King’s College Chapel.




Where better to enjoy the dramatic arts than in the country that produced the world’s greatest playwright?

Students have the opportunity to see Shakespeare plays in
the Globe theatre in London or the Royal Shakespeare Company in
Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare’s birthplace. Past productions have included: Othello, Macbeth, Richard III, Anthony & Cleopatra, The Tempest and Romeo & Juliet. England is world-renowned for its theatre, and on Reach Cambridge programs you will be able to see why!


The safety of our students is our number one priority.  Reach Cambridge staff are on hand 24 hours a day to supervise and assist students, however students are given a certain amount of freedom and independence, and it is up to them to spend this time wisely. Cambridge, being a university town, is a very safe environment. We issue all students with an emergency contact card that displays contact numbers for both Reach Cambridge senior staff and the emergency services. It is compulsory for students to carry this card with them at all times.

In order to ensure that they enjoy their free time safely, students are given:

  •  geographical parameters
  • a curfew for their return to accommodation
  • instructions that they must remain with at least one other person from the program at all times when off campus
  • contact phone numbers for Reach Cambridge staff

Any actions that are perceived by Reach Cambridge staff to endanger a student will result in the student involved being repatriated. Please see our terms & conditions for further details.

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