All students are split into groups. The groups are pretty much your family at ISSOS. Students are placed in groups based on age and gender, so you will either be with other girls or boys of the same age. There tends to be anywhere between 8 and 15 students in a group and there is one counselor assigned to each group. Your group will sleep in the same area of halls and will be named after a Scottish island or river. You will participate in activities with your group, meet with them daily, and your counselor is your go-to person for any problems, issues, or concerns. You will mix and hangout with everyone at ISSOS through your classes, evening activities, clans and general daily life. Your group is just there to give you a focus point.
At ISSOS, the clans are the heart and soul of competition. Each student will be assigned a clan at the Clan Calling (an evening program on the 3rd night), given a t-shirt in your respective clan colour, and you will compete for this clan in a variety of tasks, challenges and competitions throughout the summer school. There are four clans for students: MacGregor (green), MacDonald (red), Stewart (blue) and Wallace (yellow). If you have attended ISSOS before you will always be in the same clan, if you have had a brother or sister at ISSOS you will be in the same clan as them. The teachers and head counselors are part of the Munro Clan – the impartial clan, there to judge the competitions and events. Clans are awarded points for the activities they win and take part in, building up to the final week ISSOS Highland Games where all four clans compete for the final points to win the Clan Cup. The clans are an important part of the ISSOS experience and they foster teamwork, bonding and are a great way to meet new people.
Academic classes take place on weekday mornings from 9am-12 noon, your academic class is selected when you first apply to ISSOS. There will be several breaks during the class, so you will not be sitting in a classroom for 3 hours. All academics are taught in a fun and interactive way. ISSOS academics are designed to make sure you reach your personal goals and have fun doing so.
Elective classes take place on weekday afternoons (except Wednesday) from 1pm-4pm. Electives are a bit more relaxed than academics but are still taught to a high standard by qualified professionals. This is your chance to get really involved with something you are interested in, again your elective is selected on application.
Each day after your elective, with the exception of Wednesdays, there will be activities offered to help integrate you with other students, learn new activities, or practice old hobbies. In the past 4pm's have included music jam sessions, football, beach games, swimming, badminton, yoga, zumba, poker, rugby, photography and art. Let your counselor know what interests you have and they can make a 4pm suited just for you!
ISSOS is a summer school unlike any other, in that it offers so much more than classes and culture. Evenings at ISSOS are filled with events and activities, which range from athletic to artistic, encompassing the talents of every student. The evening programs offered include many clan based events, such as, Dodgeball, Ultimate Frisbee, Danish Longball, Sandcastle Building, Urban Orienteering, Mini Olympics, among others. There are also a variety of other events that take place, like the Counselor Fashion Show, the Disco, Scottish Country Dancing, Guest Speakers Debate, Theatre and creative night, and many more. These events help to balance the academics and electives during the day and allow you to get to know lots of the other students attending the program.
Activities & Adventure
ISSOS plan a number of trips to make sure you get to know the country and some of the culture and history that surrounds you. Wednesday afternoon trips are half-day cultural experiences that take you away from the summer school to participate in a variety of different activities and cultural experiences. Saturday trips, on the other hand, are full day trips, which bring the entire school to a new town or city and give you the chance to do some shopping and experience a new place.