Meet Dr. Ed Clarke – Oxford

Lady Margaret Hall, Summerfuel OxfordEach Summerfuel program has, at its core, a team of accomplished, passionate faculty.  Our faculty work collaboratively with our residence staff to create a memorable, meaningful summer experience for all of our students.  In Oxford, the Summerfuel faculty includes Oxford University professors, practicing professionals and artists.  Most faculty return annually.  Read on to learn about a student favorite, Dr. Clarke, whose Shakespeare courses are amongst the most popular each summer.


12th Year with Summerfuel. PhD & BA in English Literature; Trinity College, Dublin & St. Catherine’s College, Oxford. Tutor at St. Catherine’s College, Oxford. Publications:The Later Affluence of W.B. Yeats and Wallace Stevens; The Vagabond Spirit of Poetry.

Hobbies and Interests

I love rambling around Oxford, cooking different cuisines, and exploring ecclesiastical medieval architecture.

Favorite Place in Oxford

Port Meadow – the common grazing land to the north of town and bordered by the Thames to the west.

Oxford’s ‘Must See’

The early 16th century spire of St. Mary’s – you must climb the tower to check out its ball-flower decoration.

Currently Reading

Kathleen Raine’s Autobiography

Currently Listening To

Dylan’s World Gone Wrong

Words of Wisdom

“Bear free and patient thoughts.”

College Admissions: Your Activities Resume

Believe it or not, an Activities Resume can play a key role in your admissions portfolio.  If it is well written and has meaningful content, your resume will enable admissions officers to determine who you really are, and will help distinguish you from other applicants with similar academic accomplishments.  An Activities Resume can highlight your sense of responsibility and leadership skills.  Ideally, it will let an admissions officer know just what you can contribute to the institution as a whole.  Admissions officers are not just looking for undergraduates who can fare well in coursework.  They’re on the look out for their next distinguished alumnae!

Start Early

Creating a draft resume will help you to think about your strengths and your interests.  This is a good way to focus your direction when you’re a young high schooler.  It’s also an excellent way to reflect on your achievements and identify some topics for your admissions essays.

The Best Resumes Will

Convey constancy and (ideally) increasing involvement.

Be short (one page), succinct and clear.  Use common terms to refer to clubs.  ‘Literacy magazine’ is easier than ‘Pegasus’ for an admissions officer to quickly recognize.

List your most important activities first.  List according to activity, not grade, or year of participation.  This format is easier for admissions officers to follow.

Include your name and relevant identifying information at the top of the page.

Do NOT Include

  • Your GPA – it will be on your transcript.
  • Your standardized test scores – these will be reported separately.
  • Any courses that will appear on your transcript (even if you did ace AP Physics)

DO Include

  • Any honors or awards you have received since the 9th grade.
  • Participation in any competition at the state, national or international level.
  • Summer activities: camps, jobs, courses, travel, community service, volunteer work
  • Extra classes you have taken that do not appear on your transcript (arts coursework, local college courses, weekend or after school language programs, music lessons)
  • If you have done well in these classes and you have a transcript or report, definitely include it.  If you do not have the transcript, at least include the course names and associated grade.

For Best Results – Share

Plan to give a copy of your activities resume to anyone you have asked to write a letter of recommendation.  Your resume will give them a better understanding of who you are.  It will enable anyone who writes about you to write a more personal letter and it may even make it easier for them to write it.

Get Started Now

So, take some time now and start your own Activities Resume.  It’s just one piece of the admissions puzzle but it’s an important one and it should be an easy one for you to own.

Social Enterprise: New Business?

Just What is Social Enterprise?

Social enterprise can be challenging to define.  The concept has been evolving rapidly in recent years and increasingly blurs the lines of the traditional business, government and nonprofit sectors. A social enterprise is an organization or initiative that marries the social mission of a non-profit or government program with the market-driven approach of a business.

WHY Social Enterprise? 

One reason for the rise of Social Enterprise is simple – people want change in the world, people want to make a difference – and people want to contribute to a better world with what they do everyday, in their job, in the products and services they buy, in where and how they get their energy. Trends in global discourse on life and business now include words like empathy and mindfulness, and people understand more than ever that their world and the people in it are increasingly interconnected.

Despite progress, big issues to fix still remain in the world – systemic issues of poverty, inequality, concentration of wealth and power, access to basic goods and services, global consumption of resources and rising population, climate change, and human rights abuses to name a few. All of these large complex problems require creative and sustainable solutions to make real progress. This is where social enterprise comes in. Social enterprise has proven a powerful force toward confronting these global challenges. One of the most interesting and exciting aspects of social enterprise’s evolution is the growing variety of issues being addressed by market-oriented solutions.

Today, social enterprises are disrupting markets across every industry and tackling social challenges throughout every corner of the world.

Recognize any of these businesses?

They’re all social enterprises.

DC Central Kitchen / w​ DC

Central Kitchen is a nationally recognized “community kitchen” that recycles food from around Washington DC and uses it as a tool to train unemployed adults to develop work skills while providing thousands of meals for local service agencies in the process.

TOMS Shoes / w​

Toms is a for-profit company that sells shoes and other products and creates social good through its “Buy One Give One” (BOGO) model. For example, when Toms sells a pair of shoes, a new pair of shoes is given to an impoverished child, and when Toms sells a pair of eyewear, part of the profit is used to save or restore the eyesight for people in developing countries.

Greyston Bakery​ ​

Greyston Bakery provides employment for the homeless in a bakery that makes brownies for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. As Greyston says, “we don’t hire people to bake brownies, we bake brownies to hire people.” It is known for its “open hiring” practices, where anyone can sign up regardless of background. All profit from the company go to the Greyston Foundation, which uses it for low-income housing, day care open to the community, a medical center for those with AIDS, and other community endeavors.

Interested in Learning More?

Here are our recommended reading picks on social entrepreneurship:

  • How to Change the World by David Bornstein
  • The Blue Sweater by Jacqueline Novogratz
  • Creating a World Without Poverty by Muhammad Yunus
  • Mission in a Bottle by Seth Goldman and Barry Nalebuff

And take a look at the Summerfuel Social Entrepreneurship programs for a hands-on venture development opportunity.  SE at Stanford / SE at Georgetown


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What Makes Summerfuel Oxford Special?

Summerfuel Oxford High Tea

1. Access

Summerfuel Oxford has taken students into the heart of Oxford University since 1984. Our aim is give students as authentic an Oxford experience as possible. All students live and study at Lady Margaret Hall College. Unlike U.S. universities Oxford is divided into 40 residential colleges and Lady Margaret Hall or LMH, has a privileged position next to the River Cherwell and is set in beautiful grounds. It has been our home since 1988.

At Summerfuel Oxford you will truly live as an Oxford undergraduate and excel inside and outside the classroom.

2. Teaching / Not School

A key difference with our Oxford program is the style of teaching. Our students benefit from very small group sessions. At Oxford, these are called tutorials. Our classes are supportive, personalized and dynamic environments that afford our students a great level of individual attention. Many seminars such as Art & Architecture are spent in the city of Oxford visiting special points of interest or your writing teacher might take you for lunch at the very place J.R.R. Tolkien wrote the Lord of The Rings

“The supervision and tutorial system ensures that students have contact with leading Oxford academics,” says Paul Saville, Director of Summerfuel Oxford since 1984. “This hands-on method of learning is at the heart of what makes the summer so special.

3. Our Students

Our students come from over 23 different U.S. states and 17 different countries. They all come together to form a summer community of learning and fun. Our students represent all interests, tastes and backgrounds. They share a common goal and that is to get a true taste of Oxford University life and gain an insight into the history and traditions of the world’s most celebrated university.

4. All work and no play….

When seminars are out we have an entire activity and extracurricular schedule planned. Students can pick and choose from a variety of different options from attending one of our guest lectures at the seminar series to sports, visits, Shakespeare performances, Movie Nights etc. or simply enjoying the city of Oxford and the college with your new friends. In addition we travel to London, Blenheim and beyond on the weekends.

5. Traditions

Idiosyncratic language and traditions are everywhere. The College is your summer residence and the Junior Common Room (JCR) is where you enjoy many group events. Each day “Scouts” will clean and tidy your room and change your linens on a weekly basis. In the afternoon you might wish to enjoy the “sunken garden” or rent a punt and try your hand at “punting.”

You will enter and leave the college through the Lodge and be assisted by LMH “porters” on a daily basis. Your seminars might take place in the LMH “coaching room” or even the Talbot “bar”.

5. History, alumni and excellence

Teaching at Oxford, dates back to 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world. Our program dates back to 1984, which makes it the oldest program for high school students in Oxford.

We have hosted over 6,000 students on our Oxford programs over the years. Our alumni have gone on to top universities in the U.S. and abroad and many have returned to Oxford as undergraduates and graduate students.

A Time of Thanks

Summer 2017 will be our 34th summer. Now more than ever the world feels far smaller than it used to, but at the same time we often feel more detached.

At times like these, when it appears that divisions may be growing deeper as a reaction to increased globalization, we at Summerfuel are reminded of why it is we do what we do and why our summer programs are more relevant than ever.

We bring students, teachers and staff together each summer to form diverse communities so that students can grow both in and outside of the classroom. By bringing people together to create shared experiences our students feel inspired to grow intellectually and socially. We are proud that our summer communities are truly global in both make-up and outlook and our programs are places where every individual is valued. Summer programs can be a powerful pathway for students to get outside of their comfort zone, learn more about the world around them and discover what is most important to them.

Our programs don’t happen by accident. We choose our program design and locations carefully and our summer communities both here and overseas help contribute to mutual understanding and self-awareness. On program, students often discover that regardless of where they come from, we all have a great deal in common. The exchange of ideas and rigorous debate helps our students to challenge prejudices and realize that there are often different solutions for the same problems and no one person’s opinion is more important than the next.

So at this time of year, during the Thanksgiving holiday, let us be thankful for the opportunities that lie ahead. We’re not going to change the world in a single summer, but hopefully each experience we have can lay the foundation to inspire our futures.

Hope to see you this summer.

David Evans, President


Save 15% Before November 15th

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To celebrate the release of our 2017 program details, we are pleased to offer the below discounts.*


15% discount off of 2017 program fees for students who apply with payment in full on or before November 15th, 2016 (one week left!). Please contact the New York office to confirm discount. Standard refund policy applies.*


$500 off 2017 program fees for students who apply for 4-week programs / $400 off 2017 program fees for students who apply for 3-week programs / $300 off 2017 program fees for students who apply for 2-week programs. The Option 2 discounts will be automatically applied to students who complete their application and submit a deposit ($1500) on or before December 15th, 2016, and who do not wish to take advantage of Option 1. Full payment will be due April 1st, 2016. Standard refund policy applies.*


Learn how to apply HERE. Start your application online HERE or download the Paper Student Application. ANY QUESTIONS? Call 1-800-752-2250 / 1-212-796-8340 or email us at

*Discounts apply to program fees only and do not include supplemental class fees or optional extras.

7 Reasons Oxford is Your Perfect Summer Destination

Oxford is more than just the ‘City of Dreaming Spires’ and the oldest university in the English-speaking world (but, of course, these attributes are pretty impressive). It is also a vibrant student-centric city, home to some of the best art, the best food, the best parks and the best people in the world. And, we’d know. We’ve been spending our summers there for the past 30 years. Here’s why we think Oxford is the best place to spend a summer:

1. Cornmarket Street

Oxford Blog_Cornmarket

Located at the center of downtown Oxford, this pedestrian-only street is the place to find the thing you’re looking for in Oxford. Whether you want to grab Oxford University souveneirs, a quick lunch, or stop into Jack Wills for an English inspired outfit, Cornmarket is where you’ll be heading. There are also street performers up and down the lane. Keep an eye out for the Bunny Bubble Machine – you’ll know it when you see it.

2. Afternoon Tea

Oxford Blog_High Tea

You’re living in England now, so there’s no excuse not to have a spot of tea in the afternoon. Summerfuel Oxford hosts afternoon every day in the student lounge or you can head out for a full service at one of the local tea houses. Even better? Join “Voyages in Afternoon Tea” to learn the history and art of tea drinking.

3. Harry Potter

Oxford Blog_Harry Potter

Many of the Harry Potter sets are based on the historic college architecture in Oxford, especially Christ Church. You’ll feel like you’re wandering Hogwarts or Hogsmeade every turn you take. Be sure to join the Harry Potter tour that Summerfuel Oxford hosts every year to get the full inside scoop.

4. English Sweets  (namely Ben’s Cookies, Moo-Moo’s Milkshakes and G&D Ice Cream)

Oxford Blog_Sweets

Along with other British “favorites” – Fish and chips, mushy peas, meat pies and bangers & mash – don’t forget to sample Oxford’s finest sweets. We’ll take you on a sweets tour twice during your time in Oxford, or you can head out on your own. Beware, lines for Ben’s Cookies and Moo-Moo’s in the Covered Market routinely snake around the aisles at lunch and can take a while to get through. Also, insiders tip, you can buy cookies at Ben’s and then take them to Moo-Moo’s and have them mix them into your milkshake. Nom nom.

5. The Covered Market

Oxford Blog_Covered Market

Speaking of the Covered Market, this is the place that has a little of everything. Wander through the stalls to grab a snack (ahem, cookies), fresh flowers, fancy tea or a pair of Hunter Wellington boots. Hint, hint: the boots will come in handy during Oxford’s occasional English downpours and you wouldn’t want to be caught off-guard!

6. Punting

Oxford Blog_Punting

On a warm, sunny summer day, there really is nothing lovelier than heading our for an afternoon of punting on the Thames (which runs through Oxford). It can be a bit tricky to get the hang of, but we promise it’s fun and an ‘only in Oxford’ experience. Plus, there’s nothing funnier than a friend tumbling in the water after a stuck pole pulls you in. At Lady Margaret Hall, we have our own boat house, so punting is a weekly activity.

7. The Lady Margaret Hall Gardens

Oxford Blog_LMH Gardens

Perhaps one of the best kept secrets is how wonderful the LMH gardens are in the summer (12 acres!). They serve as reading nook, croquet lawn, cricket pitch, soccer field, outdoor movie venue and less-than-conventional classroom. Additionally, LMH has basketball and tennis courts, so there’s always something to do out-of-doors.

Oxford Blog_LMH Gardens 2

For more insider know-how, check out the Summerfuel Oxford summer blog here: CHECK OUT THE BLOG

You can also check out interviews with last summer’s students about what makes Oxford so special: WATCH THE INTERVIEWS


2017 Pre-Season Promotions Announced

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Apply by October 15th

We are pleased to offer substantial reduction to our program fees as we prepare to announce our 2017 programs, dates & prices. Please note that all Summerfuel students may only take advantage of one discount for each program attended in a given year. Discounts apply to program fees only and do not include supplemental class fees or optional extras. Credit cards are not automatically charged. All credit cards will be charged manually after the card holder is contacted by a Summerfuel team member to confirm the student’s discount and amount due on or before October 15th.


20% discount off of 2017 program fees (contact office for confirmed fees) for students who apply with payment in full. The Option 1 discount will be applied to student applications submitted with full payment of tuition on or before October 15th, 2016. Please contact the New York office to confirm discount. Standard refund policy applies.*


$500 off 2017 program fees for students who apply for 4-week programs / $400 off 2017 program fees for students who apply for 3-week programs / $300 off 2017 program fees for students who apply for 2-week programs. The Option 2 discounts will be automatically applied to students who complete their application and submit a deposit ($1500) on or before October 15th, 2016, and who do not wish to take advantage of Option 1. Full payment will be due April 1st, 2016. Standard refund policy applies.*


Learn how to apply HERE. Start your application online HERE or download the Paper Student Application. ANY QUESTIONS? Call 1-800-752-2250 / 1-212-796-8340 or email us at

*Please note that is currently showing our offerings for summer 2016. Please contact the NYC office for 2017 dates & prices. Students may only take advantage of one discount in a given year.