Fuel Your Summer



It's Your Future. 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.


19 West 21st Street
Suite 702
New York, NY 10010
United States

Berkeley Pre-College Webinar: Listen Today!

Did you miss our Berkeley Pre-College Webinar?

It's not too late after all! Listen to Kristal Funk, Pre-College at UC Berkeley Program Director, as she shares the inside scoop about life as a Summerfuel student at Berkeley. From favorite Berkeley eats to what to expect in your classes, Kristal will cover it all.
Don't miss this chance to get a sneak peek into a summer at Berkeley!



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No, I don't recommend this program

I am a parent (physician) who had my 16 year old daughter attend Tufts Summer Fuel program 2019. My wife and I wanted her to get exposure to SAT prep t, College Essay, College admission counseling . She is actually very interested of the school as well.

The program was extremely disappointing and unsafe. We pulled her out in 1 week after we realized how dysfunctional the organization was. SummerFuel is not associated with any university they only rent the space. Boys enter girls room, the resident assistance are temporary help for 1500 a month (check indeed), the faculty are temporary help, college counselor was a swimming coach for 18 years. The college essay was spend to accommodate the international student basic English. Students are left unsupervised on field trip in downtown Boston. This is just few concerns.

Think twice before sending your child. There is a complete lack of transparency in regarding to faculty. This is unsafe. When I approached the present program staff members they were rude and refused to respond to email and phone calls.

What would you improve about this program?
I will suggest the program be shut down. Everything needs to know the truth about SummerFuel
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Yes, I recommend this program

I'll start by saying I'm not your typical reviewer. I was a part of Summerfuel not as a student, but as part of the staff. What a summer! I'll start by saying that I worked with some of the best co-workers I've ever had. We really meshed and worked well together. People from all over the country were chosen as RAs from Massachusetts to California. It was an awesome combination of students from around the world and staff from around the country. Even though the program was for the students, I was able to learn a lot too, just by being around them.

We took trips to local college, and traditional tourist destinations such as Fenway Park and Quincy Market. Plenty of time for the kids to shop, eat and generally explore. Staff also got the opportunity to participate in a lot of local activities and visit Boston's best hang outs as well. The downside is the program is pretty expensive, especially when you factor in international air fare. This means that there wasn't much socio-economic diversity among the students and some of them were a it spoiled and difficult to deal with. At the end of the day though, they were good kids! While the weekend excursions were generally pretty well planned, management definitely could have been better organized and we were all overworked. Sometimes I had to sneak off just to get a bit of rest and a break from running around and I know my co-workers had to do the same. Still, a great opportunity to explore the city.

What would you improve about this program?
Give staff time to catch their breath, plan trips in detail further in advance.
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Yes, I recommend this program

I'll start by saying I'm not your typical reviewer. In 2017 I traveled abroad with Summerfuel not as a student, but as a staff member. I was an RA with Summerfuel and escorted the group flight to Nice from NYC and back. In turn they covered my airfare which was a huge plus!

Students and staff who participate in Summerfuel Nice stay at a local high schoolin the dorms. The wing we stayed in was comfortable and clean. No air conditioning, every window had (adorably French) shutters. By closing them and blocking out the sun during the day while I was out and about with the students, and using the fans provided by the program i kept cool and didn't really miss the air conditioning anyway. What I did miss, was having wifi, but as an adult I didn't think this was a huge issue. For students under the age of 18 however, I wish there had been wifi if for no other reason than to make it easier for them to keep in touch with their parents.

To business! Working with Summerfuel gave me the opportunity to see the beautiful French Rivera in a way I know would have been near impossible financially otherwise. Weekend excursions all over the coast have the students and myself the opportunity to visit such famous locations as Monaco and Cannes, however my favorite trips were to the smaller towns. Students also participated in parasailing, beach trips, museum visits, and movie nights. I really got a feel for the region, which is incredibly beautiful and rich in culture.

What would you improve about this program?
I was often overworked and sometimes even had to speak firmly and advocate to get lunch and dinner breaks due to the fact that we were understaffed. During the month long program I lived and worked with the kids, and essentially I was never entirely off duty. I only received 2 days off. Under-staffing also meant that as the program wore on our Program Director became less and less patient, both with students, parents and staff. As this is an expensive program, the students are from wealthier backgrounds, and sometimes tended to treat the staff like servants which really got to me sometimes. Not bad kids, but very entitled.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Despite the Bastille Day attacks, my time in Nice was probably the most memorable experience I've had in my whole life. I was able to immerse myself in the French subject, not only in the classroom but also by practicing it on the streets of Nice. I always felt support from the staff and my peers and was able to be pushed out of my comfort zone and try new things. I will never forget the memories and friends I made in my summer abroad in Nice, France.

What would you improve about this program?
Adding wifi to the Lycée so we can communicate home easier.
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Yes, I recommend this program

My time in Nice was amazing and I wish I could go back all of the time. Nice has so much to do from Promenade des Anglais, NicEtolie Mall, MAMAC museum, and of course the beach. Anytime spent in Nice will be a good time to me because of the opportunities I had there and the people I met. The teachers at Summerfueld want to help and care about your progress and the directors treat you like their children and are selfless.

What would you improve about this program?
More time in Monaco!!!!


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Christopher Yates

Christopher lives in Tucson, Arizona. He is 17 years old and a junior in high school. He has always considered himself an artistic person, as he loves playing the guitar/ukulele, and has developed a passion for filmmaking during his high school career. As such, he plans on majoring in film during college. He plays the bass on his church's worship team every Sunday, and also recently achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.
students in Oxford

Describe your day to day activities as a volunteer.

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 strategies used by corporations, took a couple trips into town to observe those strategies in action, and even got to taste test products to see if we could actually notice the difference, an activity I particularly enjoyed.

Right after morning classes was my favorite part of the day: lunch. The meal itself could hardly be considered my favorite part of this four hour period, however. What I loved most was exploring Oxford in all its beauty and complexity; finding a new restaurant everyday was always a highlight for me and my friends. There’s many exotic and unique tastes to try all across the city, so it’s a great opportunity to really get familiarized with the layout of everything as well.

Once we returned to Lady Margaret Hall, we attended our afternoon classes. I took British Invasion, a class on the history of British music over the past half decade or so and also one of my favorite parts of the trip. I learned a lot and Richard is a fun and engaging teacher, so I highly recommend the course!

After that, the evenings were ours; we could stick around LMH and take part in one of the numerous activities offered by the program’s staff, or head back into town. We almost always ended up staying behind though, the activities were that good! At around 11 PM, it was off to bed to get ready to do it all again the next day.

Ten years from now, what's the one thing you think you'll remember from the trip?

Without a doubt, the thing that resounded with me most was all the friendships I made. It’s been six months since the program ended, and I still speak to most everyone every day.

What I felt was truly great about the program was that everyone was in the same boat as me; we all started out as strangers, taking a leap of faith and travelling to another country. But very soon, the divisions between us disappeared and we were all acting like lifelong friends. I know that’s something I’ll never forget, and the people I met are likely to continue to impact my life for the next ten years, maybe even beyond.

Has your worldview changed as a result of your trip?

Before travelling to Oxford, my perspective was limited to what I knew within the U.S. Though I was obviously aware of other countries around the globe, it never truly hit me that there was much more to the world until I went out and experienced it for myself. Seeing the London Eye, Tower of London, Big Ben, (I’m a big fan of the Oxford comma now) and Stonehenge in pictures is one thing, but seeing them in person, wow.

Ultimately, travelling to England opened my eyes to how much there is to do and see in this world, and how few of those things I’ve managed to encounter thus far in my life. It certainly broadened my horizons, and I will be travelling internationally again the first chance I get.

What was the most interesting cultural difference you encountered?

Accents! There’s loads of them, and they’re great. Obviously, British accents are in abundance, but England is a huge melting pot; there’s people of all different nationalities in Oxford, each with their own way of speaking and doing things. I particularly enjoyed the Irish accent of our RA, Jake, who I would often have to ask to repeat himself over and over.

Other than that, some noticeable cultural differences were, of course, the Briton’s affinity for tea, as well as their overall cleanliness. London (as well as Oxford), opposed to other large cities I’ve been to, was fairly clean, and this made submerging myself in the culture that much more enjoyable.

Where would you most like to travel to next?

Hmm.. that’s a tough one. I’d certainly like to travel back to England to see some of the things I missed out on this time around, but other than that, Ireland, Italy, and Russia are high on my list.

As one of England’s closest neighbors, Ireland captures my interest almost equally, and I would love to see how the cultures differ between the two nations. As for Russia and Italy, we had many attendees from the two countries at Summerfuel, and seeing their home countries (and them too of course) would really be great!

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

What position do you hold at Summerfuel? What has been your career path so far?

I am the Program Director at Summerfuel Nice. I joined Summerfuel in 2008 after spending a year living in France because I wanted to share my experiences, and my love of French language and culture, with students.

As a former high school French teacher, I believe that cultural immersion is one of the best ways to learn any language, a concept central to Summerfuel's mission.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

Nice is a magical place, and I really enjoy seeing how enthusiastic the students become when they are experiencing everything Nice has to offer.

Being able to share my cultural knowledge with students, and showing them that learning French is more than just looking at a textbook, are great perks as well.

What makes Summerfuel's programs in Nice special?

Since students are living in one location for a month, they really get a chance to experience what life in that city is like, an experience that they cannot get by doing any typical teen tour program. Summerfuel strives to give students the full French experience and offers so much more than the amazing language classes taught by native speakers.

From looking at authentic artwork at the Matisse Museum to parasailing high over the Mediterranean Sea, Summerfuel gives students the opportunity to study and live like a French student.

Do you have any tips/advice for high school students considering a summer experience in Nice?

The best advice I can give is to really take advantage of the opportunity and make the most out of each experience. Try to use French every chance you get: start conversations with the lunch staff, mix in some French when you are with other Summerfuel students, make conversation and barter with a local vendor at the Cours Saleya market. Most importantly, participate in as many activities as you can.

More Interviews