Fuel Your Summer

Summerfuel

About

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.

Founded
1984
Headquarters

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

Reviews

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Spencer
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had a lot of fun meeting all the kids and staff in the program, everybody was likable, and the time we all spent together helped us get really close. In addition to the people, everything we did was a lot of fun. I felt that during the time spent in ESADE business school I learned very valuable information, and the teachers were very nice as well. All the activities we did were a lot of fun, and I got to experience a lot of things that I'm glad I had the opportunity to experience. Some days were very long, with early mornings, walking all day, and not getting back until late, but it was usually for a good experience that I didn't regret. One thing I would mention is that a lot of the tours of churches and museums seemed very repetitive. They were all famous places that were nice to go to, but they were very similar and I felt we could've been doing something else we hadn't done before yet. All in all, I think it was a fantastic experience, and I will definitely be back in the future.

What would you improve about this program?
The one thing I would improve would be the activity planning.
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Koby
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

One of the best parts of the Oxford trip was when they took us to a castle on a weekend excursion. I had never visited a castle before; it was a great experience. I met kids from around the world and we continue to be friends today. Most importantly the classes were very interesting. I took developmental psychology and entrepreneurship. The classes were taught by actual Oxford professors. This trip opened my eyes to different cultures and renewed my confidence in my ability to challenge myself. I highly recommend this trip, I learned about the world and myself. The best experience of my life thus far.

What was your funniest moment?
The water pressure is very strong and quite shocking till you get used to it.
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William
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I really enjoyed my three weeks in Barcelona. I had been to Spain before but this program really allowed me to improve my Spanish and get to know Barcelona. The program was a good balance between classes and plenty of options to explore the city with the group and with friends. The classes take place at a university and we were treated like special guests and had access to the facilities. The classes were fun and helped me to be more confident about speaking Spanish and I noticed a big improvement bu the time I left. The other students came from different places which was good as not many people knew each other and it was easy to make friends. The residence was very nice and we all got double rooms with air conditioning and a big cinema and games room. My favorite part was that we got to see every part of Barcelona from museums to different areas and the beach. I miss it and will definitely go back.

What would you improve about this program?
Barcelona is a late night city so sometimes I felt the curfew was a little early. They extended the curfew on weekends though which was good.
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Emily
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

So much fun!! My Spanish definitely improved and I had an amazing time doing it. Filled with surfing, cooking, swimming and more there was never a dull moment. My family was welcoming and always made me feel at home. You were left to do what you wanted to do and there was always your choice involved with decisions. There was freedom so you could explore the town on your own with your friends but there was guidance when needed. The classes are fun and enjoyable. I Highly recommend this program!!!!!

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Alejandra
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had always dreamed of studying abroad, so I began researching opportunities for summer travel and stumbled upon Summerfuel. They had everything I could ever have wanted- from countless locations, incredible room and board, and activities and courses that I fell in love with before I even took them. I had the absolute time of my life and wish I was back in Oxford every day. I decided to pursue a place at a University overseas because I enjoyed my time so much! I hope one day I'll be able to return to the city of dreaming spires.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
I have never been one for heights or climbing precarious flights of stairs. However, I found myself in that very situation. One weekend, we traveled into London for sightseeing and adventure. My group started off at Saint Paul's Cathedral. Inside, there was the opportunity to climb some 500 plus stairs to reach the top of the cathedral. I stumbled a few times and my calves were on fire, but I have never seen such an incredible sight, nor would I have had that opportunity without Summerfuel
Read my full story

Programs

Displaying 1 - 9 of 9
Summerfuel
Summerfuel: Study Abroad at Oxford University in England
England
9.89 •9 reviews

Oxford is a magical place, loved not just for its longstanding...

Summerfuel
Summerfuel: Spanish Immersion Homestay in Conil, Spain
Cadiz
10 •3 reviews

For three decades, Summerfuel has provided high school students with...

Summerfuel
Summerfuel: Spanish Language in Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona
6.67 •3 reviews

Summerfuel in Barcelona offer students three weeks of Spanish language...

Summerfuel
Summerfuel: Leadership & Innovation at Harvard University
United States of America
7 •1 review

This summer, experience college life at the epicenter of American...

Summerfuel
Summerfuel: International Business in Barcelona, Spain at ESADE Business School
Spain

Offered in partnership with ESADE, Spain’s top-ranked business school...

Summerfuel
Summerfuel: Social Entrepreneurship at Stanford University, California
United States of America

Summerfuel's Social Entrepreneurship programs empower young social...

Summerfuel
Summerfuel: Pre-College at Tufts University in Boston
United States of America

Experience college at Tufts. This dynamic program is designed to...

Summerfuel
Summerfuel: Pre-College at University of California, Berkeley
United States of America

Summerfuel Berkeley is an opportunity for high school students to...

Summerfuel
Summerfuel: Social Entrepreneurship at Georgetown in Washington, D.C.
United States of America

Summerfuel Social Entrepreneurship programs empower young social...

Alumni Interviews

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

Why did you choose this program?

Ever since I was young, I have always been in love with the United Kingdom, most likely stemming from a Doctor Who obsession and a plethora of period dramas. I dreamed of meandering the streets of London, like Shakespeare, or sitting in the many gardens of Oxford, daydreaming in the gardens of Oxford, wondering what it must have been like in Tolkien's time.

During my sophomore year of high school, I became tired of the doldrums of school and feeling like I was missing out on opportunities. I wanted to be able to learn in other ways, outside of a tiny desk and stuffy classroom. As cheesy as it sounds, I read a novel about a girl who had spent a year abroad in Europe. As soon as I closed the book, I grabbed my laptop and began researching study abroad opportunities.

Realizing shortly, that I had neither the funds for a year abroad, nor the ability to be away from home for that long, I began looking more short term options. I figured that summer would be the perfect time to try it out. When I found Summerfuel's website, I instantly knew that I had found the program for me.
I was in awe of all of the locations and activities offered. I had decided that I wanted to spend my time in England, more specifically Oxford. There, I would be able to enjoy courses, rigorous without being overwhelming, countless trips to museums, activities galore, and an opportunity to explore a new world.

The people at Summerfuel were so friendly and eager to help me with paperwork and getting me ready for my trip.

It's rather daunting putting yourself in a new environment as a newly independent teenager, yet I knew that I would be looked after, while not feeling smothered.

As soon as I submitted all of my paperwork, I began to dream of the City of Spires.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

Summerfuel provided all of the paperwork and an outline for the documents I would need. They explained how to gather all of the information and even had blog posts about what to expect and how to prepare. A reference from a teacher or other adults was needed to enter the program as well. The application process rather painless, though I knew that there were still standards of who was accepted.

When it came to living arrangements, I was told that I would be staying in Lady Margaret Hall, while in Oxford. As per the website, I knew that linens would be included in my dorm and that my basic necessities, like food, would be provided. All I had to do was pack my personal items such as toiletries, clothes, and other odds and ends.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

My advice would be to research Oxford and get to know the city. For some reason, it never crossed my mind to study the place, but then, maybe I wanted it to be a surprise. Summerfuel offers you so many great resources that are definitely worth the read. I was skeptical when told not to pack full bottles of shampoo, body wash, etc. but when there's a pharmacy, or chemist, in town with everything you could possibly need, there's no reason to overpack. Take your time to research and read up on everything and anything, but most importantly, enjoy every last moment of your time in Oxford.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

I was always so excited to start my days at Oxford. I would usually wake up at 8 A.M. and get ready for the day before heading down to the dining hall. When we first arrived, we received a day to day itinerary, so we knew what to expect for the day. My friends and I always liked to get breakfast as early as possible to maximize our time. The kitchen staff we so incredibly kind. I even had an inside joke with one of the guys because every time there were hashbrowns, I'd ask for them (and maybe a few extra). We'd all sit down in the dining hall to enjoy our meal and chat with each other. After that, we had some free time before class started, which I either spent in my dorm reading with my friends or strolling through the gardens. We had two, hour and a half morning classes with a brief break in between. I chose Shakespeare's Oxford and Oxford Authors (classes vary based on interest, though every class is amazing!) Our professors were local to Oxford which was fantastic in and of itself. Sometimes, we'd stay in the classroom, but there were also times when we'd explore the campus, walk through town, or visit the local museums. Afterward, I would meet up with my friends and walk into town for lunch. It was my favorite part of the day because I got to get out and explore the town. There are countless options for food from American classics like KFC to sit down cafes or even historic pubs. I also had a habit of stopping by Moo-Moo's for an afternoon Ovaltine milkshake. If we didn't have afternoon class, we would often stay in town until dinner. During this time, I'd most likely been found wandering the levels of Blackwell's bookshop, buying so many books that I knew it would present a problem when packing. On the days when we did have afternoon classes, we'd head back to campus for a fun seminar-style class of choice- for me, it was Adventures in Afternoon Tea. Dinner is provided in the dining hall, yet I often found myself back in town, looking for another new place to try. There were always some fun evening activities before checking in for the night. On the weekends, we had incredible activities planned, like visiting a palace or driving into London. There was never a dull moment in Oxford.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

In going away from home for three weeks, all on my own, I feared that I would be unbearably homesick. This, however, could not be farther from reality.

I decided that I would fly on the chaperoned flight to Heathrow to make things easier. We all met up in JFK and made our way through the vast airport together. Before we even got to security, I had a handful of friends already. Upon arriving at Lady Margaret Hall, we had a brief meet and greet and were shown to our dorms. I felt like I was stepping back in time when I crossed the threshold of my room. There was a small fireplace, (though I would have no need for it) a cozy little bed, and a magnificent view of the garden, just outside of the building. With the provided WiFi, and in all honesty my own cellular data, I kept up to date with everything at home. Some of my friends used it as time away from their parents (understandably), though I chose to call my mom and grandmother every night to tell them all about my adventures. Also, the handful of RA's became like a hybrid mom/ older sibling/ friend to me. I always had someone to turn to if I wanted advice or someone to bug (you'll find that some of the RA's are friends that you stay in touch with as well).

Modern technology took away all the stress of being homesick and allowed me to enjoy the wonders of independence while never feeling stranded.

What impact did your experience abroad have on your life?

My trip to England taught me to be independent and appreciate delving into other cultures. While I am normally quite reserved, being in Oxford taught me to be bold and try every opportunity that presented itself. I became a leader, not a follower. Now that I'm back home, I am thrilled to get to know the person that I've become.

When it came time for me to apply to college, I had it in mind that I didn't want to attend some University of wherever. I got out my laptop once more and began to research. While in Oxford, we had the chance to attend a seminar from a college counselor about receiving our post-secondary education in the United Kingdom. I visited UCAS.com and began looking for my next adventure.

The November after I spent my summer, I accepted a place at a top university in Scotland. My adventures are far from over and I hope that my path leads me back to Oxford once more.

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.