Summerfuel Nice Says Goodbye for 2019

Today, students in Nice gave their goodbyes to staff and one another, finishing out the 2019 Summerfuel program. These full final days offered yet further memorable opportunities for students to experience their adopted city before continuing safely on to their next summer destinations.

Summerfuel Nice students share one final group dinner at the restaurant, Le Comptoir du Marché, in Nice’s Old Town.


Students share a pizza party on the second-to-last night of the Nice Summerfuel program.


Goodbyes prepare an individual to depart a space while they are still in it. Over the past 3 days, this special group of students thoroughly engaged in the “goodbye” process. They had farewell dinners (see photos above). Nice Summerfuelers also gave thoughtful and personally-tailored parting gifts as a class to their beloved language teachers, René and Nya.

“Do you see what I have to deal with?,” jokingly asks French teacher, René, as students prepare to pose for a group photo. Summerfuelers say they will deeply miss having him as an instructor.


Students can’t help but smile as their light-hearted instructor makes a joke mid-photo.


Students pose with dedicated and energetic French teacher, Nya, before giving her a final goodbye for the summer.


In addition to saying goodbye to staff and sharing final parting meals with one another, Summerfuelers had a wonderful time enjoying the family-friendly Nice Jazz Festival before leaving. The headlining artists that night? The BLACK EYED PEAS!


The high-energy performance from this American pop group included funny and relatable live moments. A student with family origins in the Philippines felt honored that one Black Eyed Peas member, Apl.De.Ap, spoke a few words in Tagalog. Further, the band’s limited and intentionally comedic attempts to speak French reminded students of how far they have progressed in their language skills. Before the night ended, Summerfuelers had fully participated in the dynamic fist-pumping and dancing that the band members encouraged. As one student punnily, but truthfully, summarized, “I had the time of my life!”


As of the writing of this final post, students from the Summerfuel Nice program have officially departed our shared residence and are now living out the finality implied in the word “goodbye.” This staff member hears the sound of their absence in the hallways. As she thinks of them, she wishes each one the very best that life has to offer.


From all of the staff and instructors at Summerfuel Nice, we send our kind thanks (see photo below). Thank you students, parents, caretakers, teachers, and agents for entrusting us with your time and confidence. It has been our pleasure to welcome and get to know each Summerfueler. Students, we sincerely hope that you continue your French studies, as well as further develop the openness to others and new experiences that you have worked on throughout your time with us in Nice. We look forward to hearing of your wonderful successes!

Summerfuel Nice 2019 staff. From left to right: Nya, Michel, Ashley, Sabrina, Ashleigh, and René.


In words inspired by our lovely Resident Advisor, Sabrina, “Go on and be free, butterflies!” Go on and do wonderful things with the opportunities that life post-Summerfuel offers each of you. We trust you will make greatness happen.

Elective Courses and Afternoon Activities Continue as Summer Comes to a Close

Though the Nice program for summer 2019 nears its final day, Summerfuel students continue to make the most of everyday French classes, but also elective courses and afternoon activities.

This week’s elective course, Cooking, provided students an opportunity to learn from local chef and instructor, Aude, for a third and final time. Students commented that this week’s 3-course menu of delicate quiche, French chicken curry, and chocolate fondant was their favorite one yet (please see photos below)!


Aude tests students’ knowledge on slicing and dicing techniques, showing them along the way how to best chop ingredients like onion, basil, and chicken to preserve flavor.

Aude tests students’ knowledge on cooking techniques before demonstrating what they are to do.


Aude quizzes students on the qualities of the ingredients used in their dishes, including this speculoos cookie for their dessert’s chantilly cream.


Students crumble speculoos cookies into their chantilly cream, a topping for the chocolate fondant.


Aude’s kitchen provides a safe and comfortable atmosphere for students to enjoy one another’s company and learn how to prepare new dishes.


Summerfuelers prepare their meal during this week’s cooking class.


The Summerfuelers are basically Master Chefs now (no, not quite yet, but, they show promise, including in their careful handling of kitchen utensils in the poised photograph below):


This week also included further culinary adventures outside of the classroom. Summerfuelers opted into a typical Niçois lunch, wherein they sampled local dishes like socca and pissaladière.

Summerfuel Nice Director, Ashleigh Sanborn, points out each of the dishes during the Niçois lunch. This one is pissaladière.


Afternoon activities further kept students engaged with local life! They went for an evening ice cream and beach stroll together last night.

Students each try 2 of the more than 50 flavors from local gelato shop, Fenocchio, before spending time relaxing on the beach together.


Students also participated in parasailing earlier this afternoon.

2 students prepare to parasail for the first time ever today. (Look at the joy on these faces!)


2 students begin their thrilling parasailing ascent on a balmy Niçois afternoon.



Tomorrow, the last day of classes, will bring Summerfuelers opportunities to thank their teachers and finalize their in-class work. Staff and teachers alike, though, are proud of what the students have accomplished thus far, including their open attitudes to trying new experiences in Nice and meeting a diverse array of people.

Bonds Deepen and Experiences Broaden for Summerfuel Nice Participants

Bonds among students, teachers, and staff deepen as the Summerfuel Nice program reaches its final, but full, week for the 2019 season.

A Summerfuel weekday trip to Monaco and its Musée océanographique.


The weekend, which ended upon France’s Bastille Day, allowed students the opportunity to slow down and enjoy their adoptive city of Nice together, a welcome change of pace given their typically active weekday schedules. Summerfuelers viewed fireworks before 11 pm check-in the night prior. On the French holiday itself, they shared meals and beach time as a large group.

Despite rain falling unexpectedly the following day, students began their final week feeling refreshed. The positive and joking attitudes of their well-equipped teachers set the standard for the learning and travel ahead.

Students, accompanied by Academic Director, Michel Remy, and French teacher, René, prepare to take on the last week of classes and sight-seeing.


Teachers Nya and René invested classroom time on diverse and novel activities this week, including hosting French karaoke and cheese tasting. The varied teaching tools expose Summerfuelers to a wide range of French cultural symbols and linguistic nuances.

French language teacher, Nya, introduces students to Vanessa Paradis’ song, “La Seine,” from the 2011 animated film, Un monstre à Paris, for an in-class karaoke session.


Students in René’s French course read short newspapers and magazine articles to discuss current events.


Afternoon classes, such as Art History, further encourage students to consider French culture from an academic perspective.

Michel Remy, who is an Emeritus Professor of Art from the University of Nice, engages students in a lecture on French impressionism. Here, he analyzes the painting Un bar aux Folies Bergère (1881-1882) by Édouard Manet.


As in previous weeks, this final week also offers students afternoon trips through which they explore the fantastic Côte d’Azur. Summerfuelers enjoyed the nearby medieval village of Èze and kingdom of Monaco.

A welcome rainy day in Nice brings a certain stillness to the usually bustling city. However, the rain does not impose upon students’ travel to nearby Èze.


The coast at Èze stands behind students, who tour the medieval city on an atypically rainy day.


The medieval village offers historic charm mixed with modern functionality. 2 Summerfuelers pose in a medieval alcove-turned resting area.


The magnificent coastal view at Èze does not cease to amaze.


The Port of Monaco shines brightly, welcoming visiting students and staff with a warm, sunny day.


After having enjoyed lunch, students pose near the center of Monaco.


Summerfuelers take a short hike, at the end of which they can see the Port of Monaco and surrounding area.


A partial view of Monaco’s Princess Palace seen along students’ hike through the kingdom.


Students visit Monaco’s oceanography museum and aquarium.


Students discuss facts on sea life, including the glow-in-the-dark capacities of jellyfish, while at the Musée océanographique de Monaco.


Staff and Summerfuelers encourage one another to make the most of this final week, not rushing through the experience, but slowly taking each day in stride. Further moments to bond await this magnificent group of people before the 2019 Nice cultural program ends.

Cities Capture Students’ Interest: Exploring the Côte d’Azur Pre-Bastille Day

The holiday, Bastille Day, is upon France; Summerfuelers in the Nice cultural program have built up their courage to use their classroom-honed French skills locally and beyond.

Before enjoying Bastille Day in their new-found Nice base, students engaged in a second week of classes, ranging from French to International Relations to cooking.

In this second week, students in the advanced French course feel much more confident exploring written and spoken texts in French (see photo below), as well as getting to know their knowledgable, Nice-based teacher.

French Teacher, René, prepares students to work in groups to understand French language articles from journals and newspapers.


Likewise, students in Nya’s French course continue to make progress, which brings joy to this veteran Summerfuel instructor.

Nya plays audio clips, testing students on their understanding of spoken French regarding time.


As one student from René’s class commented outside the classroom upon discussing Bastille Day plans with a local, “I’ve really gotten better at listening to spoken French! I understood everything [she said]!” (H.O.).

These augmented speaking and listening abilities came into play at the start of the Bastille Day weekend, wherein students visited the towns of Cannes and Antibes.

Students enjoyed the cool water and beaches of Cannes.


In addition to taking advantage of the beach, the duo-city start to the weekend included a mixture of activities, such as:

– ordering and tasting local varieties of crêpes

– riding the Cannes ferris wheel

– taking the tourist train through Cannes (and seeing the Palais de Festivals)

– shopping in Antibes

– visiting Antibes’ Picasso museum


Summerfuelers, having visited the Musée Picasso in Antibes, pose with a pop art statue in the city.


Coastal statue which marks the entrance to the Musée Picasso in Antibes.


Portico in Antibes connects the interior of the Old Town to the exterior world and beckoning coastal scene.


A student finds herself at the map of Antibes’ Old Town (Vieille Ville) and poses for a photo.


A historic hill top chapel along Cannes’ tourist train route.


A historic fortress in Cannes, with a flapping French flag pointing to France’s patrimony and upcoming Bastille Day celebrations.


Students brave new heights atop Cannes’ iconic ferris wheel.


Iconic Cannes hotels, like the Martinez, known for hosting the biggest stars in film call out prominently to students as they tour the film festival city.


Summerfuelers contemplate the journey ahead before 2019’s program comes to an end.


Students, many of whom are in France for the first time ever, expect to see the fireworks and experience Bastille-Day-Nice to finish out the holiday weekend.

Though one week remains before the program’s end, Summerfuelers find themselves wishing to have more time to explore the Côte d’Azur’s cultural richness. This final week will be one for all to remember.

MAMAC and Chagall Museums

On Tuesday, students had a tour of the MAMAC museum with our resident art historian, Michel Remy.  This modern art museum is located across the square from our residence. Wednesday, we ventured to the hills of Cimiez for another guided tour of the Chagall museum. Here are some pictures (please note: they really did enjoy these visits and appreciated having Michel there to explain each piece (despite their faces, haha)! They asked some very insightful questions!





Medieval Towns and Modern Day Music: First Weekend for the Nice Program

The first weekend for Nice program participants melded modern and medieval culture, as well as left time to hit a local beach!

On Saturday, Summerfuelers followed the Nice Academic Director, Michel Remy, on a tour of the modern Chappelle Matisse (Matisse Chapel) in the neighboring town of Vence.

Academic Director, Michel Remy, directs students’ tour to the Chapelle Matisse, constructed and designed by the late French artist Henri Matisse over the late 1940s and early 1950s, in the nearby town of Vence.


Students tour the Chapelle Matisse, considering the artist’s sketches of the current space.


Summerfuelers pose in the patio of the Chapelle Matisse.


They then visited a medieval town turned cultural space, Saint Paul de Vence, for a sense of the Côte d’Azur’s current and past histories.


Bell tower in the medieval town, Saint Paul de Vence, which students visited over the weekend.


A student poses in front of a medieval space-turned-archeological center within the town of Saint Paul de Vence.


Students cool off and consider whether the so-called “Love Fountain” in Saint Paul de Vence would actually bring true love to those who drink from it.


Students explored the medieval and modern charms of Saint Paul de Vence.


Fresh produce at a market in Saint Paul de Vence.


Students ended the first weekend night with a French-subtitled viewing of the recently released film, Yesterday, at a local movie theater, remembering their love of modern music written by the Beatles.

The weekend came to end with a visit to and swim within Ville Franche, another nearby town. Students experienced the local cafe culture before walking alongside the beach and swimming in the water.

Students dine at a cafe in Ville Franche.


Students discuss their plans whilst in Ville Franche.


Another week of French class awaits students, in addition to coursework, such as International Relations. Summerfuel staff has more in store for Summerfuelers and looks forward to facilitating further cultural exploration in and outside of Nice.

Students Continue to Try New Things: Week 1 of Classes

Nice Summerfuelers finish up Week 1 of classes with a splash!

4thof July found Summerfuelers by the waterside, donning sparklers and dipping into the cool Mediterranean waters. Even our non-American student participated in the American Independence Day fun (French-style and seaside, of course).

Studio Art and French class both brought students to examine French culture. In Studio Art, students drew sections of the Old Town (Vieille Ville) neighborhood with art teacher, Cyril. In French class, Summerfuelers discussed French film and tried a local dessert, Tourte de blettes (Swiss Chard Tart) with language teacher, René. Students in Nya’s French course also continued to polish their language skills by speaking to a local their age in the classroom setting.

Studio art students examining the yellow house (right) that they would sketch out, following teacher, Cyril’s (left), guidance.

Studio Art students begin to sketch the Old Town (Vieille Ville) neighborhood section, alongside their teacher.

Nice Summerfueler with French teacher, René, as he tries Tourte de blettes (Swiss Chard Tart).

Advanced French Summerfuelers pose with their teacher.

Summerfuelers in Nice ended their work week with team-building activities: tubing (chosen by these daring and fun-loving students!) and laser tag (as a member of the yellow team, I, your author, believe this team won for having most heart!).

Students brave the waters as they prep for tubing.

Brave students mount their tube and take off!

Students finish off the week with laser tag at Laser Game Evolution Nice. They listen attentively to instructions and await their team assignments.

Nice staff and students prepare to battle in the team-building laser tag activity to finish out the first week of classes. (Not pictured – yellow team and red team #2).

This first week still has more in store for Summerfuelers and staff alike, including weekend excursions! Summerfuelers will dive deeper into the region’s cultural history with tours of a nearby chapel and Medieval town. It’s been more than nice to be in Nice!

Class & Culture Commence

On the first 2 days of class, the Nice Summerfuelers engaged with French in ways that felt new to them; from listening to fast music and making sense of its meaning in René’s advanced class to getting to know their local ice cream server with Nya, the teacher for beginners.

Our afternoon cruise gave Summerfuelers an opportunity to work together and get around the city, following their Resident Advisor, Sabrina’s, lead.

Students got to experience the local cuisine for dinner, cooling off with a trip to the beach before check-in.

Stayed tuned for more activities to come this week, including parasailing, studio art, cooking class, laser tag, and cultural museum visits in Vence and Saint Paul de Vence.