Setting Sail in the Olympic Port

Today (Wednesday) was another beautiful day in Barcelona so naturally we spent the afternoon by the beach! Rather than return to Barceloneta where we were yesterday, Summerfuel staff brought the group to a popular beach amongst locals, Nova Icaria.

While many students enjoyed free time at Nova Icaria, a smaller group who opted for our sailing workshop met their instructors, two local girls named Mar and Nerea. Beyond learning the basics today, sailing students practiced their Spanish as they bonded with their instructors. Did we mention the sailing school is located in the same port where the 1992 Olympic Games took place?

Seeing as our group loves free time, Summerfuel staff offered them the opportunity to have dinner in our neighborhood, Sarria. RA Matt is also organizing a pool tournament at the residence.

Tomorrow after classes, we will be visiting one of the many sites designed by a famous Catalan architect, Antoní Gaudí. We look forward to sharing more updates with you tomorrow!

A Sweet Start in Barcelona

Today was our first day at ESADE and boy was it a sweet one. In the morning, we split up into business and Spanish groups and met our teachers. After lunch in the on-campus cafeterias, ESADE surprised the students with a special activity at the chocolate museum.

The special activity was an opportunity to team build and bond while making chocolate lollipops and typical Catalan pastries. As you can see in the pictures, the students had a blast playing the role of chocolatiers!

Seeing as the museum is close to the beach, we wrapped up our day with a walk to the beach in Barceloneta so students could check out Barcelona’s beautiful coastline. That’s where we took a group photo and got afternoon snacks.

We are looking forward to returning to ESADE tomorrow and visiting the Olympic Port area in the afternoon for beach free time and the sailing workshop. ¡Buenas noches!

The Adventure Begins!

Hi friends and family! Welcome back to the Summerfuel Barcelona Business and Language blog. Now that all of our students have arrived, the adventure begins.

Today was a busy day, meeting one another and getting to know the university residence and neighborhood where we are staying. This afternoon, the students did not hesitate to take advantage of the rooftop pool, billiards, ping pong table, and other amenities available to us this summer. We also played ice breaker games to get familiar with one another and learn names quickly.

Later in the afternoon as Barcelona cooled off, staff members took the group down to the main street of our neighborhood so students could access the ATM, explore local shops, buy an afternoon treat (like gelato), and get to know the surrounding area!

After dinner at the residence, Resident Advisors Matt and Pedro met with their student groups and shared key information about the program to prepare students for the busy weeks ahead of us.

Everyone is now in their rooms resting up for tomorrow (our first day on campus at ESADE). Check back tomorrow to learn about orientation day! Hasta mañana.

A Note from the Program Director

Hi! I’m Amani, this year’s onsite Program Director for Summerfuel Barcelona. The first of the month is almost upon us, which means we finally get to meet our Barcelona Summerfuel students! Our Senior Staff and RAs are preparing for our students’ much anticipated arrival.

Before your students leave, I want to make certain that you have all of the details you need for a successful travel day.

Contact Info: For day of travel, please make certain that both you and your child have the program cellular number handy: +34 674988675

During the program, should you encounter an emergency between the hours of 10pm-8am Barcelona time, our program’s emergency line is +34 674988714. We kindly ask you only this number for serious emergencies.

ARRIVAL DAY: On arrival day, staff will be waiting to meet students at both Josep Tarradellas Barcelona – El Prat Airport (BCN) and the residence, Residencia Universitaria Sarrià.

At the Airport: Staff wearing blue Summerfuel t-shirts will be waiting in both the baggage claim (domestic flights) and just outside the Arrivals area (international flights).  They will check flight status and constantly look for arriving students.  Once students have been meet by staff, they will have a short wait before being transported to the residence.

Driving to Residence:

Residencia Universitaria Sarría is located at c/ Esports 1-7 (at Can Carralleu, exit 9 of Ronda de Dalt) Barcelona, 08017. Students driving or taking a taxi to the program may check in between 10am-5pm.

Arriving by Bus or Train: If you are arriving via bus or train and need assistance, please be in touch directly to confirm pick up details.

Any paperwork not yet submitted (medical form, rules, parent/student agreement) should be uploaded to your MySummerfuel account prior to your travel day.


  • Walk the Walk: We will be doing a great deal of walking, so be sure to have students pack comfy shoes!
  • When in Rome, errr, Barcelona…: Business students are lucky enough to be taking classes in the ESADE Executive Business building this year. This is an excellent opportunity for students to put their best foot forward and get accustomed to what it’s like to study in a semi-professional environment. Students in Barcelona dress quite sharply. While dress is by no means formal (the weather outside is a bit too warm for all that), we encourage students to pack clothing that will make them feel and look good when interacting with the professionals, professors, and locals with whom they’ll be interacting. Students can’t go wrong with “smart casual” attire!
  • Oh the places we’ll go!: The beach, the gym, the pool–unfortunately, we cannot bring towels from the residence to these places. Students are advised to pack a small gym towel and a beach towel, as well as a lightweight bag (preferably one that can be securely closed) to carry all of their excursion needs (sunglasses, magazines, bathing suits, change of clothes, sunscreen, etc.).
  • Studying Literally Pays Off!: Barcelona loves to give discounts to students! Please remember to pack Student ID’s!

Blog: We invite friends and family to follow this blog. We just recently posted introductions from each staff member. Once students arrive, you can check the blog to keep up with students’ daily happenings here in Barcelona. It is also a great place to find the aforementioned packing tips and other important info, so stay tuned.

*Special Note for Parents*

It is very common for students to take a few days to adjust to a new group situation. If we’re honest with ourselves, we’d probably agree that unfamiliar surroundings, people, and situations make most of us a bit anxious. To hasten the adjustment, we strongly suggest that you limit your contact with your child during the first few days and that you do your best to remain upbeat and positive about their summer experience.  Don’t be surprised to hear about difficulties making friends or fitting in.  And don’t be surprised if after an initial flood of troubling contacts you hear very little from your child.  Most students call frequently when they have problems but forget to call when all is well. Of course, serious concerns about the program or your child’s adjustment should be communicated directly to Summerfuel staff.  We feel strongly that good communication with Summerfuel parents is one of the best ways to ensure a successful program for our students!

Again, we look forward to a great few weeks with students. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any pressing questions you may have.

All the Best,


Meet the Barcelona Staff!

First and foremost, welcome to the Barcelona Business & Language Programs blog, where you can follow along with the students’ adventures each day! The Barcelona staff is settling into the university residence and finishing preparations for this summer. Take a moment to get to know them:

Amani Starnes, Program Director

Amani is thrilled to return to the Summerfuel Barcelona team as Program Director. She is a Summerfuel veteran, having directed the Barcelona, Stanford, Columbia, and UC Berkeley programs in the past. She is currently an actress, writer, and singer in Los Angeles, as well as a Performance Studies PhD candidate at Stanford University. She has worked as an academic consultant and managed educational service companies in Los Angeles and Manhattan. In her free time, she enjoys being outdoors, eating delicious food, dancing, singing, making art, and checking out the latest art exhibits, performances, and concerts.

Elizabeth (Liz) Stallard, Activities Director

Liz is excited to return to Summerfuel Barcelona for her fourth summer. Before taking on the Activities Director role last summer, Liz worked as a Resident Advisor. She is also an alumni of the Spain Homestay Program and will be escorting the extension trip students to Conil in late July. This past year, Liz worked for a nonprofit organization in the NYC area. Previously, she taught English as a Second Language to elementary school-aged students in Northern Spain. Having studied in Barcelona as a college student, Liz knows Barcelona like the back of her hand and enjoys sharing the study abroad experience with Summerfuel students. Liz enjoys traveling, baking, drinking iced coffees, and discovering new hobbies (like her most recent hobby, lettering). Students who consider themselves “foodies” will enjoy picking Liz’s brain for the best restaurants and cafes in Barcelona!

Now an introduction from each of our Resident Advisors:

Pedro Alemán

¡Hola! I am Pedro Alemán and I am so excited to be part of the Barcelona Staff. I am from San Diego, California where I enjoy beautiful weather, palm trees, and of course In-N-Out! I moved to Rhode Island in New England to attend college at Providence College where I received two B.A.’s in Political Science and Sociology, and a minor in Black Studies in 2017. I then moved back to California where I attended the University of San Francisco and got an M.A. in International Studies with a concentration on Latin American Human Rights in December of 2018. My career goal is to become a diplomat and a university professor teaching Human Rights and Sociology while fighting against social injustices.  Traveling, soccer, cooking, going to the gym and beach, and enjoying the city are my favorite hobbies. Fun facts about me are that I studied abroad in Buenos Aires and Argentina, can speak three languages, and was an RA for three years. This will be my 3rd summer working for Summerfuel and my 2nd with our amazing director Amani!

Matt Alrutz

Hello! My name is Matt Alrutz. I’m from Philadelphia, and I recently graduated from Penn State with a BS in Industrial Engineering and a minor in Spanish. Over the years, I’ve come to love travel and exploration, and have been fortunate enough to stay in places from the UK to Greece and down to New Zealand. This will be my third extended stay in Spain. My first was as a Summerfuel student, doing a homestay in Cádiz, and my second visit was to study abroad in Madrid for the spring semester of my junior year in college. During those two trips, I found Spain to be an incredible place, rich with culture and history, along with an abundance of exciting activities and events throughout the country. I can’t wait to get back and experience everything Barcelona has to offer with the students!

Thanks for taking a moment to meet our staff! They look forward to welcoming the students to Barcelona in just a few days.

We hope you’ll follow along with the Barcelona programs’ adventures this summer by checking back to see photos and read stories of the students’ classes, activities, weekend trips, and more. ¡Hasta pronto!

An Inside Look at a Summer in Spain

There is something about Summerfuel that always has people coming back for more.

From staff members that have worked with Summerfuel for decades to students that return for a second or third summer in a row, once you experience a Summerfuel summer your life will never be the same.

A perfect example of someone falling in love with Summerfuel and making it a major part of their life is Summerfuel Andalusia alum, Elizabeth Stallard. Elizabeth attended Summerfuel’s Spanish Immersion Homestay program in Conil, Spain as a student in 2010. During her time as a Summerfuel student, Elizabeth fell in love with the culture and language of Spain. Consequently, she was inspired to return to Spain several times to study and work. Elizabeth even lived in Northern Spain for two years working as an elementary school ESL teacher.

It wasn’t long before she was drawn back to Summerfuel, and in 2016 Elizabeth joined Summerfuel Barcelona’s staff as a Resident Advisor. Elizabeth held this position for two summers before joining the Senior Staff and becoming the Activities Director in Barcelona.

Undoubtedly, Elizabeth has experienced all aspects of a summer spent in Spain.

From being a student in Conil to a Senior Staff team member in Barcelona, Elizabeth has seen it all. She has gone through the excitement and nervousness of leaving home to travel to a far-away place; knows what it is like to make new friends from around the world; has lived in the dorms, gone on excursions, eaten in the dining hall – the list goes on and on.

Join Elizabeth for a Free Webinar to hear what she has to say about Summerfuel in Spain. From housing and dining to activities and excursions, Elizabeth will talk about her first-hand experiences in Spain, giving you personal insight into life as a Summerfuel student.

Webinar: January 31st, 4PM EST

Click here to register today and get the inside scoop on life as a Summerfuel student!

Departure Day


For many of our Summerfuel students it was an early morning as we made our way to the airport and said our good-byes. The group flight has departed for JFK and we are only waiting for a few more students to head to the airport for their next adventures. Thank you to all the students for making these 3 weeks so memorable. Adios!

Day 10: Final day celebrations!

Our busy, last day started at ESADE where students took their final tests and presented their final projects. The Summerfuel staff was invited to sit in on the classes to see business presentations and we really enjoyed seeing what the groups had been working on. They did a great job! Our morning at ESADE wrapped up with a ceremony where students received certificates for completing their classes.

For lunch and afternoon activities, we had groups in many places. There was a residence group (packing and resting), a group in Plaza Cataluña (buying souvenirs and perhaps extra suitcases), and lastly a Sagrada Familia group. The small group who went to Sagrada Familia today had a blast with RA Chito. Chito got them audio guides with headsets and let the students take turns “giving the tour”. One student was particularly knowledgeable and impressed the group with her previous research about the famous basílica.

At 9 pm, we all sat down for our final dinner celebration at a restaurant in El Born. At each table setting, there was a card with a picture of the group. During the dinner, the students had a great time passing around their cards so their friends could write them messages. As we got on the bus to head back to the residence, some students started to cry! We’ve had three really fun and fast-paced weeks, jam-packed with classes, activities, weekend trips, and countless memories made along the way. We’ll be sad to see this awesome group leave us tomorrow morning.

Now we are back at the residence and the students are enjoying their last few hours of being all together. We’ve set up karaoke in the movie theater but some students have chosen to go to their rooms or hang out with the girls or boys on their respective hallways. Hopefully they’ll catch some Z’s on their flights tomorrow!