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Setting Up for Summerfuel Oxford 2019!

 

Hello! This is Cyle, the assistant director for Summerfuel Oxford 2019. Lindsey (the director) and I arrived on campus Sunday and have been setting up our office, meeting with university officials, brainstorming, and introducing ourselves to the wonderful museums and sights that Oxford has to offer. Our amazing (and I can’t say that clearly enough- these are some outstanding humans) staff of RAs arrive in the coming days and we can hardly wait to see them!

I’ve been anxiously awaiting June and Oxford for the last several months and so it’s hard to believe that it won’t be too long before you and 44 other students will be boarding your flights and traveling to Lady Margaret Hall to join Lindsey, the RAs, and I for three weeks full of learning, adventure, and community. I am sure that I speak for the entire staff when I say that we couldn’t be more excited to meet you!

In the coming days, we’ll be posting a little bit about ourselves and what you can expect when you arrive. Meanwhile, if you or your family have any questions, don’t hesitate to email us at: oxford@summerfuel.com.

We’ll have a phone set up shortly as well, and will update this post with that phone number as soon as we can!

 

Oxford Alum Gabriela Conquers the Dreaming Spires

A summer at Oxford is an unforgettable experience that leaves students with memories and friendships to last a lifetime. See what Gabriela has to say about her time with Summerfuel in Oxford in 2015:

Hi, my name is Gabriela and I went to Oxford in 2015. I am a sophomore in college now, living in Miami. To this day, I still have no words. The days I spent in Oxford were some of the most memorable times in my life. It’s about to be four years since my trip and I still can’t stop thinking about it. I look at picures from my trip constantly. It was the first time traveling without my parents and my first real taste of what it felt like to travel the world and be independent.

I was lucky enough to go on this trip with my best friend from middle school, Gaby. Together, we conquered Oxford one dreaming spire at a time. We got to do some many things there together, but we also got to experience many things on our own and meet such amazing people. It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with my new home for the summer. Lady Margaret Hall became home in a matter of days.

I quickly made a group of friends that I absolutely loved. Every minute of the day was spent rolling on the floor with laughter, discovering the hidden gems of Oxford, and eating at just about every food place that exists in our small town. From Ben’s cookies and G&D’s, we would never go hungry. My morning class, Oxford Art and Architecture, is what I consider to be a blessing in disguise. My morning class was changed 3 times before I finally found the perfect one for me. I never expected to be taking architecture classes as a current pre-med student, but I knew it was the perfect opportunity to do something completely different. I ended up falling in love with it and had zero regrets, and I couldn’t imagine taking any other class!

One of the best things about my Summerfuel trip was the lifelong friend that came out of it. It was one of the first couple of days when we met in the dining hall. We were in the same RA group, but it wasn’t until she stole a jug of water from another table for me at dinner that I knew we would be friends forever. From that day on, we were inseparable! We took care of each other when we were sick, took the same afternoon class, and spent just about every day together.

Cosi lived in New York and now goes to school in California. I live in Miami, but the distance never stopped us. We have met up at least once almost every year since our program ended, whether I go visit her in New York with Gaby or her coming to stay with me in Miami. I know that we’ll be friends for a long time and I’m so grateful to Summerfuel for letting us meet.

Without Summerfuel, I wouldn’t be the same person I am today. It opened so many doors for me and provided me with such amazing experiences that I still brag about to this day. It even inspired me to do another study abroad trip in college to the U.K. this upcoming summer. I wish I could go back to my days in Oxford!

P.S. To any future Summerfuel students and alumni, just know that the excitement and giddiness will never go away even for years after your program. Just take me and my friend Gaby for example. Maybe one day, this will be you! I hope you get to enjoy your program as much as I did!

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!

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

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

 

What Summerfuel has Meant to Me: A TCE Student Reflects

Claudio Colonna, 17, had not expected the amount of fun and drive he would receive from attending Summerfuel at Tufts’ Tufts College Experience (TCE). With this only being his second time in the United States (and his first time flying alone), Claudio had worried about whether he would bond with students or staff, but was pleasantly surprised when he got to do both. For Claudio, and most students who attend Summerfuel TCE, the fear of making no or very few friends could prove a source of angst. However, the reality quickly sets in that this is not the case and students ease up shortly upon arrival to the campus when they participate in orientation activities with their Resident Assistants (RA’s).

Though it was a learning curve at first, Claudio quickly recognized the benefit and took full advantage of relating to his RA. RA’s are present and easily reachable to give students guidance, leadership opportunities, mentoring, positive study habits, friendship, and so much more. They also serve as authority figures, balancing between the roles of older “sibling” and enforcer.

Academically, Claudio achieved most of his goals, but, following this challenging and enriching experience, came to accept that not all aspects of one’s academic career will turn out as one imagines. He also realized that, no matter how well high school prepares a student for college/university, it is not until one steps onto a college campus and takes coursework that one senses what university is actually like. From the bonding between residents and staff to the academic guidance the RA’s relay from their own university experiences, the students of Summerfuel, like Claudio, receive support in all manners of university life.

Claudio now recognizes the challenges he’ll face upon studying at his future alma mater and feels more prepared. As Claudio said, “To try everything at least once and get yourself into new experiences is what Summerfuel is about.” His goals are to attend a university in Turin, Italy and one day return to the United States to further his education. He aims to better his Italian homeland in a variety of manners most applicable to the education he will receive.

As Summerfuel at Tufts wraps up, Claudio and other TCE students progress through their final exams and presentations, culminating in their closing banquet and dance here at Jumbo’s home. It has been a summer fueled with fun, excitement, memories, and stories for years to come. Thank you to all Summerfuel at Tufts students for this Summerfuel session!

Trampolines Bring Us Together

As the Tufts College Experience (TCE) program moves towards its final days, it has been amazing to watch the social interaction between the students. This weekend, we went to Skyzone, an indoor trampoline park. In many ways it was a fitting culmination of the entire program. Many of the girls were taking snapchats together, covered in glow in the dark paint while the boys engaged in fierce competition, determined to claim bragging rights at any cost. One thing has become incredibly clear to me. These students, who come from all over the globe, have formed very intimate groups. These intimate groups mingle to form a larger crowd, one that is inclusive of everyone. It was strange; I saw no students struggling to find friends or fit in. It was all natural. During our final game of dodgeball, the trampoline court was full of laughter from staff and students alike. Everybody, from our director to the students, were participating in the fun. The scene was so pure and so amazing to watch. It is crazy what six weeks can do and how they bring us together. 

Sincerely,

An RA