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!

New 2019 Pre-College Courses

Here at Summerfuel we always like to keep things fresh and interesting. We believe that it is so important to expand our horizons and explore new topics that we normally wouldn’t encounter in every day life. We are beyond excited to introduce new courses at all 3 of our Pre-College programs. From Fashion and App Design to Animals and the Environment, these new additions cover it all.

Pre-College at Tufts

Animal Science
Film Study
Sports Medicine
Multimedia & Web Programming
Creative Writing
American History in Boston Workshop
Art Museums of Boston Workshop
Theater Acting Workshop

Pre-College at Oxford

Film Production
Film Studies

Pre-College at UC Berkeley

Computer Science & App Design
Pitch to Production – Film
Introduction to Environmental Science
Introduction to Fashion Design
Sketch the City Workshop
TV Acting Workshop


Contact us today to learn more about these exciting new courses!

A Summer Like No Other – Rhea Reflects

Rhea R. traveled last year to attend Summerfuel’s Pre-College Campus Experience program at Tufts University in Boston. Each year, Summerfuel students are impacted by their experiences at different universities across the U.S and around the globe. From making new lifelong friendships, to gaining invaluable insight into college life, there are so many things to take away from time with Summerfuel.

Here is what Rhea had to say about her experience:

“I attended Summerfuel’s second session Pre-College program at Tufts University and it was the most amazing two weeks of my life! I learned so much and made amazing friends that I’m still in contact with almost every day.

The teachers were great and really cared about students, the trips to Boston were a blast, and the RAs/staff were very helpful, whether they helped me learn more about what college was like by sharing their own experiences, or simply with anything I needed help with.

The Summerfuel PC program is a great program if you’re looking to get a glimpse of college like I was.  You get to live in a dorm, meet new people, and experience new things. I have attended similar programs in the past, but none of them compare to Summerfuel’s. They really care about each and every student, and want you to have the best experience possible….I look forward to attending next year!”

-Rhea R., US Virgin Islands


How to Destress During a Busy School Year

We all know that life can get stressful, especially during a busy school year. With extracurriculars, homework, midterms and finals, and maybe even college applications, there is no shortage of factors to add to the stress. It is so important to make sure that you take the time to unwind and relax. If you want to keep doing your best, getting those grades, and achieving your goals, staying focused and calm is key. Here are a few of our favorite ways to destress:

Indulge in your favorite food

When you are swamped with school work and busy studying for those exams, it is important to take time to sit down and have a meal away from the computer screen or text books. Enjoy tasting each bite of food, and take this time to give your brain a rest. Don’t be afraid to indulge in your favorite treat, but keep in mind that a balanced, healthy meal will leave you feeling most relaxed and ready to focus.

Take a study break and go for a walk

Sometimes a walk out in nature is all you need to decompress and give your mind and body that necessary recharge. Take in the sights, feel the breeze, breathe the fresh air – it doesn’t always need to be hard core exercise in order to do some good.

Watch your favorite TV show or movie

Taking some time to relax with a good flick is a great opportunity to give your brain the break it needs. Whether you like drama, thrillers, or comedy, an entertaining tv show or movie can provide a lovely escape from reality and set you up to get back to work with full concentration.

Hit the gym or take a yoga class

Beat that stress one push-up at a time! Exercise releases those feel-good endorphins that can help you clear your head and improve mood. Whether you lift weights, go for a run, do some yoga, or however else you like to get moving, exercise is not only good for your physical health, but your mental health as well.

Spend quality time with family and friends

What better way to give yourself the energy and confidence you need to tackle the work that lies ahead, than by spending quality time with your loved ones? Good relationships are a major part of a healthy lifestyle, and sometimes your friends and family can give you the boost you need to overcome challenges.


Happy Halloween from Summerfuel!

Trick or treat! Did you know that one quarter of the candy sold in the United States each year is purchased for Halloween? That’s a lot of candy. Certainly, there is much more to this fun holiday than we typically think of.

Centuries ago in what is now known as Ireland, the UK, and northern France, the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain was celebrated. People lit bonfires and wore costumes to ward off ghosts, and this tradition eventually became what we call Halloween. Undoubtedly, the holiday has evolved throughout time, meshing all sorts of different beliefs and customs. Celebrations of the harvest, fortune-telling, ghost-stories, and mischief-making of all kinds became popular. Americans dressed in costumes, going house to house asking for food or money, which borrows Irish and English traditions. This eventually became the practice of “trick-or-treating” that so many kids enjoy today.

For many, Halloween is the chance to dress up as your favorite superhero, don that crazy outfit you wouldn’t normally wear, or paint your face with vibrant makeup. For others, Halloween is an opportunity to get a good fright at a haunted house, carve jack-o-lanterns, and indulge in another sweet treat. With parades, parties, and an entire season dedicated to this spooky holiday, there is no shortage of Halloween fun. Summerfuel wishes a Happy Halloween to all those that are celebrating!

Summerfuel Sparks a Passion – Lexi Reflects

Every summer, students from around the world are united at different Summerfuel programs. People from Germany become best friends with others in Texas – the connections made are truly incredible. Not only are students meeting peers they normally would never get to encounter, but they discover subjects they never knew they loved.

Lexi attended Summerfuel’s UMASS 2016 Program, which has since moved to Tufts University. Take a look at her story:


“Running filled with laughter and adrenaline. We had just stepped out of our Psychology Class which meant the ‘Elimination’ Tag game began. I made it past the building with few twists and turns where I made it to safety. This was an extraordinarily exciting game which took place throughout the entire 2 weeks. The counselors had organized this game and even took part in it. You met so many people because of it and it was always a great conversation starter. Here we were in UMASS; so many different nationalities together in the same camp. 

This was also the camp which sparked my passion for psychology. Today is the day that I sent off my college applications to apply as a Psych major! My teachers were brilliant and made every lesson exciting. It did not feel like an obligation or school work – it felt like free time. After this camp, I signed up for psychology classes and carried out work experience in this field. Not only did the psychology class help at this camp but also the SAT course which pushed up my grade by almost 200 points!

The people I met in these 2 weeks were super friendly and outgoing. I instantly made friends who I still talk to today, even though it was 2 years ago. I have even managed to meet up with a few of them! My roommate and I met in UMASS and were able to celebrate our birthdays together. Now we always think of each other even though we celebrate halfway across the world. I celebrate in Germany and she in Texas; these are our homes. 

This was an experience I will never forget. Thank you Summerfuel!”

Lexi, 17

Düsseldorf, Germany