Submitted on 01/24/2015 by Summerfuel Florence participant | No, I would not recommend this program
I went on this program, intrigued by the glossy brochures and, I'll admit, beautiful people pictured on their website, enjoying gelato and getting a tan. What I failed to realize was that these kids were the most privileged, stuck up, exclusive people I have ever met. I did a lot of research before trying this program, and called people who went on it before. I disregarded their comments that it was a cliquey program. Honestly, these teenagers just killed it for me. I have a lot of friends at home, and we are all relatively privileged. But we are down to Earth as well, and these kids were not. I think it was a geographical difference.
My experience would have completely changed had I been with a friend. I just felt very alone on this trip. If you are considering a Summerfuel trip, I strongly recommend you go with someone that you know.
Other than that, the program was very nice (you get what you pay for, and this program is expensive). The facilities were nice, maybe a 20 minute walk from the center of town. Dinner was good, breakfast was generally a croissant, very Italian.
The site has some false advertising. There was not an intermediate Italian class offered. Also, many students were disappointed that there was no disco night. The curfew was 11 every night, which I thought was reasonable. The security is very good, although we had free time from after dinner (around 7) to 11, the doors locked at 11 so you better be back.
Florence is a beautiful city, and you get to know it well. We also went on the weekend trips to the various cities. They are almost all very similar tourist traps, so I preferred to stay in Florence. However Cinque Terra is beautiful, we all wanted to go back there.
Submitted on 11/19/2014 by Christopher | Yes, I would recommend this program
As I boarded the plane to leave behind all my friends and family for an entire month, I began to wonder, "What was I thinking?" And then I arrived at Summerfuel Oxford. Right away, I made immediate friendships with a great group of people, and the relationships only expanded over the course of the program. We began to explore Oxford; in all of its complexity, its history, and its beauty, simply put, it's amazing. Deciding on a new lunch experience every day was a highlight of exploring the city, and with the vast array of things to do, it never got boring. From the busy bustling streets of the day, to the nearly empty streets of the quaint and quiet town in the evening, life in Oxford is something you're sure to miss as soon as you leave. The classes were wonderfully informative, entertaining, and it was more than evident that the teachers truly cared for us and wanted to see our knowledge grow. The outings to London and Stonehenge, among other things, were an absolute blast, and made for a true English experience (I particularly enjoyed the bus rides through the countryside). All of that being said, I have to return to the friendships I made. Never before at a summer program have I become so close with the other participants; I can honestly say that many of the people I met I now count among my best friends. We were all thrown into the experience as strangers, but emerged changed in more ways than one. Together, we discovered new cultures, new people, and even new emotions that we hadn't experienced before. Four months later, I still speak with everyone daily, and I'm so glad to have met them. Summerfuel Oxford is an experience that will stick with you, not just for the summer, but quite likely for the rest of your life. Believe me when I say there is nothing else like it, and you would be making an atrocious mistake to not attend. Please feel free to contact me with any inquiries or if I can assist in your decision-making process in any way.
Submitted on 11/19/2014 by Rose Nicolosi | Yes, I would recommend this program
My spanish improved soooo much, and I am now even more interested in Spanish at school than I was before. The program is a great mixture of education and fun, because there is time for both. Plus, Even when you are just having fun, you can't help but learn Spanish because you are in Spain. There is plenty of freedom, so the staff doesn't treat you like young kids at summer camp. This program is perfect for you if you like the beach, small towns, ice cream. I am glad I did this program because I do not like touristy things like touring churches and museums and stuff like that, so this was perfect because we only did one weekend of stuff like that. My host family was absolutely perfect for me and I am still in touch with them. I hope to go back soon!
How could this program be improved?
The classes in the morning were very short, but very boring. I was in the least advanced class so it was a lot of review.
Submitted on 11/19/2014 by Margaret | Yes, I would recommend this program
Not only was communication great before the students left but it continued throughout the trip. Registration and paperwork was organized and easy to complete. It was very apparent to us that they had thought the process out and had done it for many years.
Our son loved the program and can't wait to participate again. Not only did he learn cooking and language but he was able to soak up so much more than that. I give Summerfuel an A+ .
How could this program be improved?
Adding additional locations in Italy or Portugal. We prefer the dorm setting.
Submitted on 10/25/2012 by Asaoxfordd | Yes, I would recommend this program
From the moment I got there, I felt like I was in a whole new world. Lady Margaret Hall is one of the most beautiful campuses I have ever stayed at. There was support from day 1, all RA's and staff wanted to make sure you were comfortable. The first week was spent with ice breakers, yes it was awkward, but worth it. I made a group of friends within the first 3 days. Everyone found there little niche in the place. There were defiantly cliques, but none were 'exclusive' and everyone was really friendly since we were all thrown into the same situation. The academics were pretty good. A good class selection, and good teachers. Activities lacked on the other hand, but the kids were more focused on hanging with friends then participating in staff sponsered activities. The freedom to go into town eat and hang was amazing, there was a lot of freedom. I felt very safe though! There was always something to do, whether you actually wanted to go to the activity at night or go in to town with friends. I made such good memories, and I really miss it!
How could this program be improved?
There is a bit of a long walk into town. Maybe have a car or bus that can drive us in!
Describe your day to day activities as a volunteer.
Christopher: Everyday at Lady Margaret Hall, we would wake up to a very British breakfast in the dining hall (which has a striking resemblance to the Great Hall in Harry Potter), attending our morning classes immediately afterwards. For my morning class, I chose Marketing and Advertising, in which I learned about the various advertising...
Why did you decide to study abroad with Summerfuel in Nice, France?
Nikki: I decided to study abroad with ASA Summerfuel in Nice because the program appealed to me culturally, socially, and academically.
What made your study abroad experience unique and special?
Nikki: This study abroad experience was by far the best experience of my entire life. I experienced the French culture through food,...
Why did you study abroad with ASA Summerfuel at UAB in Barcelona?
Haley: I decided to study abroad in Barcelona at the UAB because I had heard great things about the program from friends and acquaintances. I am an advanced French student and saw this as an opportunity to study a new language and experience the culture, as well.
Haley with her friends enjoying their time in Spain!
Why did you decide to study abroad with ASA Summerfuel at UAB in Barcelona?
Emma: I wanted to study in Barcelona because I thought it would be the experience of a lifetime! But I chose Summerfuel, because it looked like the best program and was really action packed. I felt like they always had some sort of activity planned for us so that we were never bored, even though that wouldn't happen...