The school holidays are coming up; so why not plan something exciting for the little ones, like an overseas camp? Whether you’ve got a budding thespian, footballer, academic or adventurer in your family, here's a round-up of the seven of the most character-building, educational and outright fun overseas summer camps for kids

1. ActionQuest: British Virgin Islands, Leeward Islands or Australia

If your teen is a bit of a water baby, ActionQuest’s one-of-a-kind adventure camps are just the ticket. Designed for youngsters aged 13 and above, these hands-on programmes cover sailing, scuba diving, water sports, marine biology, environmental conservation and island exploration, all amidst the crystal-clear oceans of the Caribbean.

With a focus on fostering leadership and communication skills, participants live together on-board yachts during each camp, and can expect to earn internationally-recognised qualifications in sailing, diving and community service for their efforts.

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2. Les Elfes: Switzerland

Making the most of its idyllic setting among the snow-capped mountains of Verbier, Les Elfes’ summer camps get youngsters aged seven to 17 enjoying the great outdoors—with mountain biking, rock climbing and wakeboarding among the 40 sporting activities offered daily.

Children’s cerebral sides aren’t neglected either, thanks to arts and crafts workshops, plus eight hours of weekly lessons in French, English, Spanish or German. With a truly international atmosphere—over 50 different nationalities join each year—these well-rounded camps strike the perfect balance between education, fun and building lifelong friendships.

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3. Stagedoor Manor: United States

See an Academy Award in your child’s future? New York’s Stagedoor Manor is the only performing arts programme of its kind in the world, and counts the likes of Natalie Portman and Robert Downey Jr as alumni.

Aimed at kids aged ten to 18, these immersive three-week camps see students tackling everything from vocal training to stage combat, alongside daily rehearsals for full-scale musical or drama productions in the camp’s final week—meaning every child gets their chance to shine on stage.

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4. Green Camp Bali: Indonesia

Nurturing the next generation of eco-warriors, Green Camp Bali connects youngsters to nature, inspiring more sustainable ways of living—right down to the fully decked-out bamboo yurts provided as on-campus accommodation.

Catering for children aged seven to 17, activities include night safaris, classes in traditional Balinese culture, exploring nearby rice paddies, learning to build bamboo rafts, and tending to the campus’ expansive organic gardens. Offering a truly unique experience that couldn’t be further from city life, students are certain to leave with a greater appreciation for Mother Nature and all her many wonders.

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(Related: 6 Luxury Eco Resorts For The Perfect Honeymoon

5. Barça Academy: Spain

Have a budding Lionel Messi at home? Sharpen up their skills with a three-week camp at Barça Academy—FC Barcelona’s very own elite soccer school. Open to male and female field players and goalkeepers, students aged eight and over are coached according to the exact same “creative and attacking” methodology as their sporting heroes.

The aim is to improve both ball skills and practical knowledge through intensive but fun small-group sessions, with coaches making the most of Barça’s world-class facilities to bring out students’ confidence.

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6. Reach Cambridge: United Kingdom

Offering a wide range of summer courses that include everything from Biotechnology to International Espionage (yes, really), Reach Cambridge’s summer camps deliver an authentic taste of university life to students between 14-18 years old.

Students reside either at the city-centre Reach Hall or on campus at one of the University’s historic colleges, and teaching staff are predominantly Cambridge University academics and researchers—meaning there’s always someone on hand to chat with about the realities of life on the quad.

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7. That's Mandarin: China

With an average of just six students per teacher, That’s Mandarin’s summer camps in Beijing or Shanghai ensure your child gets the personalised attention they need to improve language fluency. Running day camps for children aged seven and over, and residential camps for over-twelves, the emphasis here is on learning through fun.

Daily activities include calligraphy, cartoon classes, games and reading, and each two-to four-week programme features field trips that reinforce everything learnt in class. Residential students are paired up to share a luxury hotel room or apartment, helping them forge enduring friendships long after summer is over.

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