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!

Classes Start Monday! SFVirtual

Do we wish we were at Stanford or Oxford or Berkeley?  Maybe.  Okay, probably.  But we are very excited that in the midst of this crazy pandemic we can make sure that you keep learning.  Session 1 starts Monday.  Sessions 2 and 3 follow in July.  Join us and make the most of your summer!  SF Virtual

Emerging Entrepreneurs Online

As Summerfuel embraces online programming for summer 2020 we would like to highlight our Emerging Entrepreneurs program recently featured in Forbes magazine. This innovative two week program is the first online business immersion program designed specifically for high school students and delivered through live, interactive content each day. Learn to think like an entrepreneur as you tackle problems, learn business fundamentals, engage with entrepreneurship experts and partner with peers to develop original business plans.

Update COVID-19

Friday 17 April 2020

Dear Summerfuel families,

With the spread of the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic, these are extraordinary and unprecedented times for us all. It’s likely that everyone reading this will have already been affected in some way and I sincerely hope that you, your families and loved ones are keeping safe and well.

Amidst so much uncertainty we are in daily contact with our partners to determine which programs can run in a safe and meaningful way. The safety of our students and staff is the overriding concern and a great deal depends upon government guidelines as well as college boards of trustees as they determine the best course of action for their particular institution. In short, our determination to run programs must be balanced by overall health and safety concerns as well as travel restrictions. Sadly, its likely that it will be necessary to cancel some or all of our on-campus programs this year.

The benefits of a Summerfuel summer and the freedom and independence that comes from living together away from home cannot be replicated. However, we strongly believe that there is compelling content we can offer in a virtual environment. We are all getting used to building a virtual community through technology and we are enthusiastic that online academic and social activities will keep Summerfuel students in contact in the coming weeks and summer.

We have an outstanding faculty who are busy adapting existing courses as well as adding new materials. We are working hard to bring you some of this exciting content virtually so that you can still benefit from a Summerfuel summer even if it means doing so from home.

We will share a lot more information in the coming days. As we go forward, we’ll be sure to keep you updated during this challenging period. While this is a ‘once in a generation’ challenge, we will stand strong and come out the other side.





A New Way to Look at Summer

On Campus AND Online

While our focus has always been in person summer experiences, in 2020 we are excited to offer our rich content online as well.  We invite you to join us on this new adventure as we expand our summer learning community.

What Will Summerfuel Online Look Like?

We are tapping into our amazingly talented faculty and wide range of courses to provide you with exciting summer learning opportunities. We will apply the same principles and priorities of a Summerfuel in person learning experience to our online coursework with small, seminar style classes with a robust exchange of ideas and focus on specific content areas rather than broad survey courses. Our online courses will be one or two week modules with a live instructor and meet from 2-4 hours daily. All students will receive a transcript.

Gain access to interesting, engaging content with dynamic, accomplished faculty in a with bright, motivated students from all over the world.  Become part of our learning community.

Look for More Details Soon!

COVID-19 and Summer 2020

Coronavirus: A Message

Updated: March 18, 2020

Dear Friends and Families of Summerfuel,

I hope this note finds your family healthy and safe. As we approach the end of March,  our team is staying busy planning all of the details of our exciting summer programs and I wanted to share some information regarding our plans, thoughts and preparations for Coronavirus, COVID-19.

Since our founding 35 years ago, we have approached each participant and staff member’s summer experience with the same unwavering attention to safety, health and security. It is and always has been our number one priority. This summer is no exception.

Having run summer programs since 1984, Read more

Summer in Oxford: A few of our favorite things…

Oxford is more than just the ‘City of Dreaming Spires’ and the oldest university in the English-speaking world. 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 would know. We’ve been spending our summers there for more than 30 years.  Some of our favorite spots:

Cornmarket Street

Oxford Blog_Cornmarket

Running through 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 souvenirs, a quick lunch, or stop into Jack Wills for an English inspired outfit, Cornmarket is where you’ll head.

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. Head out for a full service tea at one of the local tea houses or join Summerfuel’s “Voyages in Afternoon Tea” to learn the history of tea drinking.

Harry Potter

Oxford Blog_Harry Potter

Many of the Harry Potter sets are based on the historic college architecture in Oxford, especially Christ Church College.  If you’re a Potter fan you’ll feel like you’re wandering Hogwarts at almost every turn.

English Sweets

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. Join us on a sweets tour or 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. Insiders tip – buy cookies at Ben’s and take them to Moo-Moo’s where they’ll mix them into your milkshake. Nom nom nom.

The Covered Market

Oxford Blog_Covered Market

Ah, the Covered Market where you really will find a little bit of everything. Wander through the stalls to grab a snack (ahem, cookies), fresh flowers, fancy tea or a pair of Hunter Wellington boots. The boots just may come in handy during the occasional English downpour!


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 regular adventure.

The Lady Margaret Hall (LMH) Gardens

Oxford Blog_LMH Gardens

Perhaps one of the best kept secrets is how magnificent the LMH gardens are in the summer (12 acres!). The gardens serve as reading nook, croquet lawn, cricket pitch, soccer field, outdoor movie venue and less-than-conventional classroom. LMH also has basketball and tennis courts nearby, so it’s easy to stay active!

Oxford Blog_LMH Gardens 2

How to Find the Perfect 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 youthe 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.