Making the Most of Summer

It’s mid-July and we’re not in Barcelona or Oxford.  We’re not on campus at Berkeley or Stanford or Tufts.  We’re mostly staying home and we’re wearing masks and avoiding crowds or crowded places.  It’s a very different summer than the one we imagined even six months ago but we’re happy to report that in spite of all of the changes and new restrictions, we are connecting students from around the world and continuing to foster learning and growth throughout the summer.

When we first talked about virtual classes we were doubtful.  How would it work?  Sure, we have fantastic faculty but would anyone listen when they couldn’t go to a new, exciting location?  Well, as it turns out, we have quite a few students who decided that they wanted to keep learning even if they had to stay home.  And we are SO excited!  Our classes have been really well received.  Our students have been so focused and engaged and attentive.  The discussions and debates and sharing of ideas has been absolutely rejuvenating for our Summerfuel team.  SF Virtual has given us the motivation and energy to continue planning for an in-person 2021.  And it has helped US to remember to think outside the box and look beyond the immediate barriers.  Thank you to all of the students who took a leap of faith and joined us for Sessions 1 and 2.  We have two more sessions on offer this summer so if you’re looking for something to fill your day, take a look.  Session 3 begins July 20th and Session 4 starts August 3rd.  We’d love to have you!

We miss you Boston!

Thats a Wrap!

664 hours ago Jim was driving back to Berkeley from the San Francisco airport with our final student, Varya to complete our summerfuel family of 77 that would embark on the summer of their lives … it doesn’t seem possible that our 4 weeks together has come to an end. Walt Disney once said “Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children.” I am so lucky to have gotten to know and love each of our students this year. They truly are our future! We have had an incredible summer; we have learned a lot, we have stayed safe, we have respected all and most importantly we have had so much fun together! I must say it is one that I will cherish the memories of for many years to come.

Friday night we celebrated our month together at our Final Banquet. We thanked all the faculty that spent their time teaching us about their passion and sharing their knowledge with us and congratulated our outstanding students for each class:

  • Introduction to Architecture: Gabriela Sortino Herrero & Maria Mussi
  • Biology – Intro to Genetics: Izabela Junqueira Magalhaes
  • International Law: Yara Dionisi
  • Game Design: Yalcin Tur & Mitchell Wagner
  • Marketing in a Digital World: Alexa Hunn & Anna Chester
  • Public Speaking: Claudia Schmidt
  • Finance: Ali Emir Ozturk
  • Fashion Design: Pauline Laratte
  • Abnormal Psychology: Rita Dahi
  • Psychology & Social Behaviors: Tiffany Hsich
  • Robotics: Izabela Junqueira Magalhaes
  • Essay Writing: Gabriela Sortino Herrero
  • Medical Science: Constanza Marzano
  • Entrepreneurship: Maria Iordan
  • English as a Second Language: Sayo Orita
  • Computer Science & App Design: Maxime Karpik

Then it was time to stay up all night soaking in the last memories we could make with our newest friends. Goodbyes are never easy and many tears were shed – but that is just the proof of how amazing our summer was and how sad we were to have it come to an end and go on with our lives to see what the next journey holds. Congratulations to all students, staff, and faculty for an incredible summer!

Take a look at our memories some more of our memories here!


Final RA Night and the Final Banquet

The Summerfuel Berekeley program is coming to an end and it has been an exciting final few days. This Thursday was the final afternoon class and the final RA night! Most of the RA groups went out for a final dinner together as a last chance to bond together as a group.


On Friday students woke up to the final full day of the program. They attended their final class on Friday morning and following lunch, Friday was a day for packing bags, last minute shopping, and hanging out with friends.

Once the evening arrived, the entire group headed down to the Shattuck Plaza Hotel for our final awards banquet and dance. It was a lovely evening of celebrations, with students being recognized by their teachers for their outstanding work this month. The students also honored their RAs before the seats were cleared and the dance party started. It was a great night to celebrate with friends. We are sad to see the program end so soon but it was a great experience for both students and staff alike.


Final week of classes

Our students are now on the home stretch and have learned lots. Many are studying and preparing for final presentations. Medical Science, International Law, Game Design and Entrepreneurship are presenting their final projects today and tomorrow. Our International Law students visited the UN Plaza and the San Francisco Court House. Intro to Genetics are gearing up for a debate regarding Bioethics. Essay Writing are wrapping up papers using the book The Kite Runner and our English class is finalizing a brochure providing information about UC Berkeley.  Our future game designers are visiting the  Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment. Summerfuel Berkeley’s banquet and dance will take place on Friday at Hotel Shattuck which will be a celebration for a successful program. Students will be given awards and will be given a chance to demonstrate the hard work they put in from the past four weeks. Our instructors have been amazing and have offered a depth of knowledge which will be carried on after the program has ended. Study hard these next few days and get ready to celebrate!

Summerfuel Olympics 2019: Let The Games Begin…

Here we go! The Summerfuel Olympics started at 7:00 pm tonight. Eight teams battled it out for the gold medal. The prizes included an ice cream cake, a pizza party, and a Menchies trip for the entire team.

The ceremony started at North Field with bubble soccer, relays/races, and puzzles/mental challenges. After a short break, everyone headed back to campus for the second half. The teams competed in volleyball, trivia, and Heads Up. Team Red and Silver competed in a dramatic tiebreaker with rock, paper, and scissors.

Drum roll, please… Announcing the winners of the Summerfuel Olympics:

First place: Team Purple – Menchies trip

Second place: Team Green – Pizza party

Third place: Team Red – Ice cream cake

See below for photos of the event! Tomorrow’s event is a talent show. Thursday will be our final RA night, and Friday will be our final dinner.


San Francisco Trip & Casino Night

It is the last full weekend in Berkeley before our kiddos go back home, and they had a grand adventure on a beautiful Saturday! Our students went out to the city and went on various adventures. Some shopped til’ they dropped and enjoyed the beauty and amazing eateries of Union Square. Many others enjoyed some art at the MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) and put their Banksy eyes on. Other students just loved San Francisco so much, they decided to take a whole city tour to catch all the best sights and experiences the city has to offer. Their evening in SF ended with a beautiful sunset by Crissy Field.

Back in Berkeley, they came to Casino Night where they put their gambling, intellectual hats on and used their best intuitions to place some fun bets. Students made thousands (in Monopoly money, of course) and won some cool prizes!

A few of our students ready to devour a fine Italian meal – SF style!

When in the city – SELFIES!

“Do I raise my bet or not?”

Thinking, amused, and competitive faces around the poker table ready to win more money!

Heading into the Weekend!

The sun was shining on this fantastic Friday, which was a full day for the Summerfuel students. After morning classes the students headed off to lunch and had a bit of time to prepare for their afternoon workshops. There was hiking, hip-hop dance, yoga, photography, acting and more!


After the afternoon workshops ended, the students had the option of heading into San Francisco on the metro to visit either Chinatown or the Mission District, two unique neighborhoods with charming streets and wonderful food options. Our students were able to spend a nice evening with friends and enjoy some new cuisine in the city.

Now, we are gearing up for a fun weekend and an exciting final week here in Berkeley!

From the Desk of the Activities Director

There have been many fun activities that have happened at Summerfuel. There was an ice cream social, speed friending, lip sync battle, sunset hike, urban campout, paint the city and more. There have also been many fun weekend excursions Summerfuel students were able to do. Some popular excursions were trips into San Francisco, an Oakland Athletics game, 6 Flags, a trip to Stanford College and others.

There are some upcoming events that the students are excited for. These events are Trivia Night, Casino Night, Summerfuel Olympics, a Talent Show, and of course the Final Banquet.