You’ve always wondered how do behind the scenes of organizing a summer school look? Who is responsible for what are you going to learn? How do we create a balance between academic learning and fun activities? Well, today is your lucky day because we sat down with Rebeka – our ABC BootCamps Coordinator!


Rebeka started her international journey in 2015 when she first traveled to Egypt for a volunteering exchange. She embraced exploring cultures, venturing into new countries, and pushing beyond comfort zones. Upon discovering ABC BootCamps, she aimed to organize global educational experiences for students worldwide.


Without further ado, let’s dive into the world of ABC BootCamps and see what Rebeka has to say about the program, the content she is responsible for and what fun surprises we have for you in store for 2024!


1. Since you are the ABC BootCamps Coordinator, can you give us an overview of the program and the key objectives it aims to achieve?

ABC BootCamps summer school programs take place in different locations around the world. Each program has the same structure, but the location brings the main topic and the flavor to the program. It aims to connect students and entrepreneurs who are looking for up-to-date knowledge. At the same time, it expands their perspective on different topics and offers the chance to connect with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds. Simultaneously, we connect traveling with gaining new skills!


2. What distinguishes ABC BootCamps from other summer schools?

At ABC summer schools, participants are coming from different cultures and have different study and professional background. This makes the program very beneficial for people who want to expand their network, as you can meet people who will give you other perspectives on your reality and ideas. Also, at each program we have professors who are native to that country, so they are familiar with everything that is happening in their market, they are up to date with the latest trends, and giving our participants interactive lectures where they learn by doing, and not just by reading tons and tons of material.


Daryl Hemingway emphasizes the crucial role of passion in starting your own business.

Interactive lecture held by Daryl Hemingway at ABC Toronto 2023


3. How do you approach the content for the summer sessions, ensuring they are engaging and aligned with educational goals?

Each program is accredited within the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System and has its learning outcomes. The learning outcomes are aligned with the market trends in the real business world. Our professors lead participants throughout those 2 weeks of lectures by creating an interactive learning environment where participants don’t learn only from the professor, but from each other by sharing their ideas, opinions, and points of view. Besides that, we combine learning inside of the classroom with visits to real companies. That way, participants can transfer classroom experience to the real business world.


4. How do you create a balance between academic learning and fun activities to make the summer school experience enjoyable for students?

Every day lectures finish around 3 or 4 pm, so participants have plenty of free time to explore the city. Moreover, each summer many local events are happening, so we make the arrival guide for students with a lot of recommendations on what to do and see in the city. Usually, on the second day, we organize a city tour, but not the traditional one. It’s more of a fun one, filled with different games, such as Treasure Hunt. We also prepare cultural activities for students to attend, like going together to watch a baseball game, or simpler events like having dinner together. But, for sure, the most popular activity among participants is the trip to San Francisco (during ABC Silicon Valley) and a trip to Niagara Falls (during ABC Toronto)! In addition to exploring new places together, the weekend is always off, so participants can travel to nearby cities as well.


A visit to Niagara Falls during ABC Toronto 2023.

Trip to Niagara Falls


5. In what ways do you address the diverse needs and interests of students during the summer program?

We keep a small group, so the professors can approach each participant individually. Other than that, they are always invited to share their backgrounds and interests with the group, so they can work on new ideas in different teams. It’s very interesting to see what a civil engineering student can teach a law student, or an art student a science student. While working in teams for two weeks on their projects, they have an intercultural experience, find a common language, and teach each other a lot.


6. How do you encourage and support collaboration among students and foster a sense of community within the summer school environment?

During the program, the participants work in different teams, depending on their ideas and interests. They work together throughout the two weeks and explore the ideas and possibilities of their start-up plans using various business models. Furthermore, participants are mentored by the professors and they receive feedback on how to improve their business plans. In the end, they prepare a pitch presentation, using the methods they have learned during the lectures. The external judges make the final call and give them valuable feedback on how to approach investors. Besides getting to know each other during the lectures, they all stay at the campus dormitory. That way they can easily spend their free time hanging out, exploring the city, attending different activities and making connections.


7. Can you highlight any success stories or notable achievements from previous summer school sessions?

Of course! Many participants met at the program, developed an idea, and started working on it after the program finished. Logically, in order to successfully launch your start-up idea, you need a lot of time, knowledge, skills, and motivation to continue with your goals. Therefore, it is not as easy as it seems. I can highlight one of the teams who kept their motivation after the program and developed their business: They provide end-to-end solutions for Smart Lockers, and software ecosystem. One of the founders, Miha Jagodic, even made it to the list of successful entrepreneurs under the age of 30 in the Portuguese edition of Forbes. Make sure to check them out! developing their idea during ABC Silicon Valley in 2018. developing their idea during ABC Silicon Valley in 2018


8. What advice would you give to anyone interested in enrolling in ABC BootCamps for a rewarding and enriching experience?

I always say this to any student about any international experience (not only ABC) – going abroad boosts your personal and professional life as you are experiencing other realities and cultures. You are a student only once in a lifetime, so it’s smart to make the most of it. And also, once you are exiting your student life and start searching for a job – the employees won’t be looking at which faculty you finished. They will look for somebody who did something extra during their studies, who stand out from the other peers, and who was willing to go outside of their comfort zone to enrich their life.


9. What can we expect of the ABC Silicon Valley and ABC Toronto in 2024?

You can expect meeting new international people and getting inspired by guest speakers from different industries who were in the same position as you, but are now successful entrepreneurs. On top of that, we will visit some of the top companies in California and Canada where you can get valuable tips on how to structure your ideas and make the most of them. And you cannot forget the fun exploring of San Jose, San Francisco, Toronto and Niagara Falls!


We hope this interview with Rebeka has given you a fresh perspective on summer schools! Not only is learning more enjoyable, but you also get the chance to meet people from around the world, listen to experts from the real business world, and experience a different culture and way of life. We’re already thinking about Toronto and Silicon Valley, what about you?