Summerfuel: Study Abroad in Florence, Italy

This program is no longer offered. View more programs from Summerfuel.

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About Program

Florence is the spectacular city of the Renaissance, and synonymous with high culture and sophistication. Surrounded by the beautiful countryside of Tuscany, everywhere you turn is steeped in rich history. From the street vendors gathering on the Ponte Vecchio to the wonders in the Ufizzi, and the hills of Chianti across the river, Florence is an exciting place to live and study, and you will quickly feel at home in this magnificent setting.

Students explore their academic and cultural interests through experiential learning in a unique European setting led by a team of world-class experts who open the eyes, ears and minds of our students to the many aspects of Italian culture. The program combines active, field-based learning, extracurricular activities and weekend excursions throughout Tuscany so that students experience Italian culture firsthand. No knowledge of Italian is required to participate in the program.

Summerfuel operates on a rolling admissions process so the program is open for participation until filled. Click on "Visit Site" for details and to contact the team directly.

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Program Reviews

8 Rating
based on 2 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 50%
  • 7-8 rating 0%
  • 5-6 rating 50%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Growth 8
  • Support 8.5
  • Fun 9
  • Housing 7.5
  • Safety 9
Showing 1 - 2 of 2
Default avatar
No, I don't recommend this program

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.

3 people found this review helpful.
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.

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

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+ .

What would you improve about this program?
Adding additional locations in Italy or Portugal. We prefer the dorm setting.
3 people found this review helpful.
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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