A day of sightseeing in London!

With gorgeous weather all day, Summerfuel students headed in to see some of the iconic sights of London.  Students had the chance to witness the changing of the guard’s march up to Buckingham Palace, see Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, and hear a bit about Westminster Abbey, all led by official blue badge tour guides.  The tour guide on one of our coaches has been giving tours for 30 years and knew all kinds of fascinating details about the creation and changing face of London.

After our walking and bus tour, we spent some time in the Covent Garden Market where students had a chance to get lunch in small groups and look at some of the little shops and stores in the area.  Students and staff ate at all kinds of restaurants, from little French bistros, to specialty healthy-focused restaurants, to Nando’s.

Tonight was our annual pub trivia contest, this year hosted by RA Cameron.  Some of the categories included questions about Oxford, song lyrics, and more!

Tomorrow is our second excursion: Blenheim Palace.  Stay posted here for more updates and pictures!

– The Oxford Team

Making Summer Count

Classes are coming to a close for our Summerfuelers. Over the past two weeks, students have studied with Princeton Review tutors in over 18 hours of SAT or ACT prep as well as completed 3 diagnostic tests. Many students have seen significant jumps in their scores and we are proud of all that they have accomplished. Students are also walking away with polished and edited personal statements after working with our essay writing specialists, Nikki and Caitlin. In addition, each student has logged over 8 hours in Admissions workshops with our veteran college counselors as well as at least 2 personalized, individual meetings going over things like likely-target-reach schools, financial aid, and the general application process. Students have truly made their summer count and are ready to start their junior and senior years of high school strong.


We also went on our final two college tours this week to the University of San Francisco and Stanford University.

USF is a medium-sized, private university affiliated with the Catholic Church. Students took a tour of their beautiful campus that had great views of the city. The motto at USF is “Change the World from Here” as the university has a strong social justice component – in fact, it has been on the Higher Ed Community Service Honor Roll for 8 years in a row. USF is also ranked in the Top 20 of entrepreneurial schools – about one third of students study something in the Business and Marketing fields. Our tour guides, both USF students, explained to us why they loved USF from the diversity to living in San Francisco to the strong Nursing program to caring faculty. As student interest went from our group, this was one of the most popular tours yet.









During free time, some of the guys played soccer on the quad and some girls got manicures and pedicures with Sarah. There were also water gun and water balloon fights with everyone and a movie night at the local cinema – Finding Dory was a huge hit!




Up next was Stanford. On Friday, Summerfuelers hopped on a bus to Palo Alto for a campus tour of one of the best universities in the world. Our tour guide, Lilly, did a great job giving us the history of Stanford and fun facts about the university. Students were in awe of the gorgeous campus as well as all of the opportunities available to students at Stanford. It was a great trip to round out our college tours!







We can’t believe the program is coming to an end! This has been a great group and they have made lasting friendships. Everyone is excited to hang out tonight all together one last time during our final celebration. On the agenda is a pizza party, root beer and coke floats, and a Karaoke and dance party with a DJ.





A Day in the Life…

So, parents and friends of CAP Berkeley 2016, what exactly do Summerfuelers do in their free time? In between studying, essay writing, and college prep, students are often found…


Rockin’ their new Cal gear

Singing loud for all to hear


Taking selfies

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Playing Pokemon Go – gotta catch’em all!


Having dance parties


…and dance parties


Playing 4 square


…and other fun games


Going on Target and Walgreens excursions (Isis would like her mother to know she is keeping up with her hygiene)


Taking more selfies


Showing off their unique talents (like Go, Sophia, and Carol playing the piano!)


Exploring Berkeley’s campus and going into town


And, of course, beachin’


….honorable mention goes to late night Froyo runs (we love our ice cream and yogurt here at CAP Berkeley).

Weekend Update

CAP Berkeley Summerfuelers had a jam-packed weekend with excursions to San Francisco, essay writing workshops, and college counseling sessions. On Saturday, students shopped in Union Square and explored Fisherman’s Wharf, one of the most famous waterfront communities and a tourist hotspot.







Students returned to the city once again on Sunday for an adventure in Chinatown.  Fun fact: San Francisco Chinatown is the largest Chinatown outside of Asia as well as the oldest in North America. Go and Steve even enjoyed dim sum in the oldest dim sum restaurant in the U.S., Hang Ah Tea Room. Other students went to a restaurant that had floating sushi boats or checked out a fortune cookie factory where you could write your own fortunes.



Carol, Sophia, Alex, and Matteo pose outside Dragon Gate, the landmark gateway arch marking the entrance to Chinatown. This gate is the only authentic Chinatown Gate in North America.


These two photos were taken by Giulia, she has a great eye for capturing the beauty around her.


Summerfuelers walked away with lots of souvenirs from our weekend excursions and fun memories. Everyone turned in pretty early Sunday night in preparation for the second diagnostic SAT bright and early Monday morning. Students will take one final version of the test on Friday and will be able to see their scores from all three tests in order to look for improvement and where to focus any future studying.

What we’re looking forward to:
-Visiting the University of San Francisco on Wednesday and Stanford on Thursday.
-The final celebration on Friday night — a group of students are on the planning committee and we can’t wait to see what they come up with!

Weekend Trips in England

We’ve had a busy weekend with trips to London and Blenheim Palace, as well as a ton of activities!

First London Trip! 
Yesterday we finally got our first truly sunny day just in time for our first trip to London.  Students had the chance to see and hear about many London landmarks from our tour guides, had the opportunity to see the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, and explored the Covent Garden market area for lunch and souvenirs.  With the warmer weather, many Summerfuel students were spotted with gelato in hand as they watched street performers!
Last night we celebrated Oxford’s Annual Alice Day (of Alice in Wonderland fame) with garden games outside and a tea party inside.

Blenheim Palace

After getting to sleep in and work on their assignments, we took a short bus trip to Woodstock to visit the birthplace and boyhood home of Winston Churchill — Blenheim Palace. Besides having historical significance, it’s also a beautiful building with a splendid pleasure garden where students can get lost in a hedge maze or enjoy an ice cream cone. And there really wasn’t a better day to visit; the wind was cool and the sun was bright!

When we got back, we threw a party dedicated to notable alumni of Oxford. Quotes covered the walls and students wore the official colors of Lady Margaret Hall while dancing with their friends and singing along to some of their favorite songs. Here are some highlights:

Summerfuel Activities

Take a look at what the students will be doing outside of the classroom!  We have a ton of activities planned.  The group will be going on excursions on the weekends to learn about the San Francisco area!