Be Curious. Make Summer Count.

For over 30 years, Summerfuel has been offering innovative and engaging summer opportunities in the US and Europe. Students who join our challenging pre-college programs, or our authentic study abroad and language programs, develop essential skills that put them ahead of the game. All of our programs are designed to broaden academic and personal horizons, and we work thoughtfully to create opportunities for a truly diverse student population. We have been offering the best, most comprehensive student adventures since 1984, and we still know what students want from their summers today.

Fuel Your Summer

Programs from Summerfuel

Program Reviews

  • Sara
    Autonomous University of Barcelona
    A summer of disappointment

    Going to Barcelona I was very excited to get this "precollege experience" the reality of that advertising quickly diminished. This is not a pre college experience. You are constantly being baby sat by unapproachable and rude staff. They have you running around from the time you get up at 8 am most days to when you get home around 9 pm some days. The senior staff and RA's for the most part don't get along which is a great comic relief but also really shows the maturity of the staff. The classes are far too long, you don't learn very much in the end, and the elective afternoon classes are more useful to use as a nap time. I strongly advise not going on this program if you're over 16 because you have absolutely no freedom and aren't allowed to even leave the residence at any time while you are there. We also spent multiple days at children's amusement parks which were dull and miserable to those who didn't want to spend their precious Barcelona time in a theme park much worse than any in the states. I hope this review saved you from wasting your time and money.

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    Useful: 4 Inspiring: 3
  • Summerfuel
    Age: 18 or younger
    United States
    Nice idea...

    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.

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    Useful: 4 Inspiring: 0
    Response from Summerfuel
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Naturally, we are very disappointed that you didn't have the experience for which you'd hoped, but are nonetheless grateful for your invaluable and considered feedback. We constantly tweak our programs in keeping with the ever-evolving needs of our students to create the best possible experience each summer. Tempted though we are to address each concern here, we're not sure has the capacity! So we ask instead that you call us to discuss. For now, let us just say that it is not in our interests to misrepresent our programs. In our experience, we attract quality students that are invariably looking to branch out, which is why we encourage students to come independently, to push themselves and go beyond their comfort zone. Privileged? It is fair to say that any student who attends one of our programs is hugely privileged and blessed to have the means, as well as parents so invested in their future. The thing is, two of your fellow students in Florence last summer were from the Boys' Club of New York. Incredible, yes, discreet as well, evidently - but certainly not privileged. They earned scholarships by demonstrating the qualities and characteristics of the type of student we ourselves are so privileged to host every summer. In any event, we certainly hope to hear from you soon. Thank you again.
  • Christopher
    Age: 18 or younger
    Tucson, Arizona
    "Fuel Your Summer"? More like Fuel Your Life.

    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.

    Yes, this is the infirmary from The Sorcerer's Stone.
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    Useful: 12 Inspiring: 14
  • Rose
    Age: 18 or younger
    Best Summer of My Life

    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.

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    Useful: 2 Inspiring: 0
  • Margaret
    Age: 31-50
    Review by a parent

    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.

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 3 Inspiring: 2
    Response from Summerfuel
    We cannot thank you enough for such kind feedback. We are so glad your son had such a positive experience. It is why we do what we do. Hopefully he is cooking up some fantastic Italian meals for you on a regular basis.
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