Blogs

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!

Magical Oxford – Camille Reflects

Undoubtedly, Oxford is a magical place. Throw in authentic and exciting academics to discover, new friends from around the world, and passionate teachers and mentors, and you have the makings for a summer that can change your life.

Camille was a part of Summerfuel’s 2017 Pre-College program at Oxford and had an experience that she will carry with her into her bright future:

“I attended Summerfuel’s program at Oxford in 2017  for three weeks, and it really was one of the best times! Here’s a little something about what I’ve been up to since then:

After Oxford, Johns Hopkins University. That’s where I spent the summer a year after my Oxford program with Summerfuel. It’s thanks to Summerfuel’s amazing program and the dedicated teachers that I chose to take a physiology and disease class in an American college after my Medical Science Experience. I still use my drama skills in everyday life, but the play I acted on the stage in Lady Margaret Hall is forever in my repertoire of plays. 

But Oxford wasn’t just academics, it was so much more. I lived in a piece of history for three weeks alongside some of the best people I’ve ever met. Sitting on the field in the back of Lady Margaret Hall, with the beautiful summer weather; that afternoon sun and clouds is a scene I won’t forget and continues to be my phone background. In addition to this beautiful scenery we had the chance to visit London twice and Churchill’s childhood home, which isn’t something you get to do everyday, especially in my case.

I live in Singapore, Southeast Asia, which means I’m away from most of my international friends. The ones I made at Oxford are spread around the globe: Lebanon, UK, France, US. This summer I was lucky enough to meet up with three of those special people and I hope that it was only the beginning of our meetings!

My life after high school is starting to form as I’ve sent out my applications for Med school to the British universities and will soon be doing so for universities in the US. I just recently got an offer to UCL, and I can’t wait to study in this field. One of my floor friends from Oxford is also applying to UCL so I’m sure the people I met at Summerfuel haven’t just disappeared from my life. 

To anyone reading this because they’re hesitating about whether or not they should apply and join a Summerfuel program: it’s truly something everyone should attend, and have the opportunity to enjoy. I know I did!!”

– Camille C., 17, Singapore

Click Here to learn more about Oxford Summer 2019!

It’s Almost 2019!

Happy New Year from Summerfuel!

As 2018 comes to a close, there is so much to reflect on and even more to look forward to. This past year took us around the globe, from New York City and Boston to Northern California, Spain, and England. From programs that have been running for decades to brand new ventures, we learned so many things in 2018.

We learned about Shakespeare’s England at our Pre-College Oxford program, how to create our own business at Stanford’s Social Enterprise program, and how to cook our own gazpacho in Spain. We discovered what kind of leaders we are at the Leadership & Innovation program at Columbia University, explored NYC’s galleries and museums at our inaugural Art Now program, and prepared for the SATs and college applications at our College Admissions Edge programs at Tufts and UC Berkeley.

As does every year, 2018 brought us new friendships from all corners of the world. Students hailed from Spain, Brazil, Russia, Lebanon, France, Turkey, Italy, Canada, England, United Arab Emirates, and across the United States. We got to meet people from all walks of life that we might not have ever encountered otherwise. We value these new friendships around the globe more than anything, and we will cherish them for years to come.

Our first year partnering with Christie’s in New York City to present the Art Now program was a wonderful success. Students got an exclusive inside look at the world of auction houses, private collections, galleries, museums, street art, and more. We are so excited to offer this unique program for a second time in summer 2019. Meanwhile, our longest running program, located at Oxford University, celebrated its 34th summer!

As 2019 is arriving we look forward to introducing two fantastic new programs: MIT Design Lab and Art in Venice, Italy. We look forward to creating even more new friendships around the world, broadening our horizons, encountering new ideas, and continuing to learn. In 2019, we will strive to fuel more summers, connect more people, and always work to be our best.

What are your goals for 2019?

Happy Holidays from Summerfuel!

We would like to wish happy holidays to our Summerfuel family around the world!

 

Have you finished all of your holiday shopping yet? Still brainstorming what to get for your family? We know we all have that one person in our lives who is impossible to shop for. Yet, we always want to find a meaningful, thoughtful gift to share with our loved ones during the holiday season.

Here at Summerfuel we believe that gifting an experience is far more priceless than a physical object. An experience can change someone’s life, broaden horizons, introduce them to new people, places, and ideas – what an amazing thing to be able to give to someone you love. Gift your teen a Summerfuel summer this holiday season, for the experience of a lifetime.

The holidays are a time to spend with family, friends, and loved ones. Whatever your traditions may be, whether you celebrate where it is warm or cold, whether you throw a big party or enjoy a quiet night at home, here at Summerfuel we hope your holidays are filled with laughter, health, and happiness.

Decisions About the Future – Luis C. Reflects

Every day, students are faced with monumental decisions about their future. Do they want to go away to college or commute from home? Do they want to attend a large university in a big city or a small liberal arts school? What major should they declare, and what career path should they take? These questions can be overwhelming, but an experience such as Summerfuel can help clarify some of this.

Take a look at how Summerfuel’s Pre-College Campus Experience at Tufts University helped Luis C. figure out some of these important details:

“My name is Luis Cruz, and I took part in Summerfuel’s 2018 Pre-College Campus Experience at Tufts University. Undoubtedly, my favorite moments from my time with Summerfuel were absolutely extraordinary.

The courses I took allowed me to gain experience in the science field, which relates to the engineering major that I hope to pursue in college. I spent time outside of class with my floormates and RA, and keep in touch with the friends I made.

I am currently working towards getting my high school diploma and preparing to graduate. Soon, I will start a new chapter in my life by heading to college. Summerfuel helped me realize that I want to pursue a career in mechanical engineering, which is something I’m passionate about. Finally, Summerfuel at Tufts University has helped me decide that I want to attend a residential college campus, rather than an off-campus or commuter school.”

-Luis C., Senior High School Student of Boston Green Academy

How to Find the Perfect Summer Program for You

Choosing a summer program that will be the right fit for you can be a daunting process. There is such a wide array of programs out there to choose from – backpacking through South America, volunteering in Thailand, traditional summer camps, internships, academic programs throughout the US, and the list goes on and on. So, how do you know what type of program will benefit you the most? Everyone is different and what might be inspiring for one student, may not hit the spot for another. Here are some important things to consider as you try to find the perfect summer program:

Location, Location, Location

A quick way to narrow down your search is to decide if you want to stay close to home or if you are itching to travel abroad. Is there a certain part of the world you are curious about and have been dying to see? Do you speak a certain language that you would love to practice in another area of the globe? Perhaps you want the best of both worlds – a residential camp outside of your house, but still close enough to home that your parents can drive you there. Whatever the case may be, deciding on a location is a major step in finding your dream summer program.

What fits into your schedule?

Another easy way to hone in on the right summer program for you, is to think about your schedule. Summer can be a busy time, so it is important to map out your schedule and make sure that you are looking for programs that fit with your calendar. Whether you like to have a jam-packed summer with back to back activities, or you want to make sure you pencil in some relaxation time at home, this is important to consider when looking for a summer program.

What interests you?

Every summer program has something different to offer, and depending on your interests the right fit is out there. Think about what you like to do in your free time and what your interests are. Do you like to read? Do you enjoy science? Do you dream of creating your own business? Do you like to play sports? Do you love art? Are you curious to explore something totally new? Considering what truly excites you and sparks your fire will help you to select a summer program that is right up your alley. Undoubtedly, this will make for a fulfilling and rewarding summer experience.

Students for Social Change – Athena Reflects

In 2016, Athena M. from Florida attended Summerfuel’s Social Enterprise program, now held at Stanford University. Not only did she broaden her horizons by meeting students from all over the world, but she learned just how important social issues are to her. We know she will excel in college and make a fantastic journalist. Take a peek at what she had to say about her time with Summerfuel:

“I am currently a senior in high school, applying for colleges! I am applying mostly to schools in the Northeast, and hope to attend Tufts or Syracuse. In 2016, I attended the Summerfuel Social Entrepreneurship Program at Georgetown, and had an amazing time there. My favorite aspect of Summerfuel was probably getting the chance to meet so many international students. To this day, I still talk to some of them, including two friends from Honduras and one from New Jersey!

The program really helped me realize my passion for social issues and worldly perspectives, and that is what I want to incorporate into my future career as a journalist. I am passionate about women’s, black, and human rights, and I have even volunteered on political campaigns, raising awareness for these issues. Thank you!”

-Athena M., Florida

Happy Thanksgiving to Our Summerfuel Family!

Here at Summerfuel we have so much to be thankful for. Hard-working staff, amazing summer experiences, wonderful new friends, and so many sweet memories around the globe, are just a few of these things. Every day we feel thankful to be able to help students explore new horizons and discover different interests each summer. We are thankful to be able to carry on the Summerfuel legacy year after year, since 1984. We are thankful to all of the universities around the US and countries around the globe that welcome Summerfuel and our students with open arms every summer. More than anything, we are thankful to the community we love the most, our Summerfuel family – YOU!

We want to wish everyone that celebrates, a very Happy Thanksgiving. We hope your day is filled with loved ones, warmth, laughter, and lots of delicious food!