I'm working on an application for a summer school. In the letter, I am explaining how I have been preparing to get into the field in question and how the summer school would further help me with that and I just typed, without thinking too much:
The XY summer school would not only give me a head start in this regard [in preparing for a career in this field] and help me further prepare but also allow me to connect with researchers from the field as well as like-minded people from all over the world.
However, is this usage of "head start" idiomatic? Am I implying that I would like to get an "advantage" over someone else (which is not what I'm intending to write, of course)? I am sure I have seen "head start" being used simply in the context of "helping you get started effectively" (as in "Doing X and Y will give you a head start when it comes to preparing for your exams"), without reference to anyone else. But I'm now starting to doubt my (purely contextual) understanding since I had never explicitly looked up "head start" in a dictionary and all dictionaries seem to consider "head start" to imply a competitive context.
Also, if I am indeed wrong, I would be very happy to receive comments with suggestions on what other idiom / expression I could use instead.