Summerfuel Summer Programs: Study Abroad Programs for High School Students



July 24 - August 6, 2016
Program Fee:
Completing 10 or 11
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Summerfuel at Berkeley?

The Summerfuel College Admissions Prep (CAP) program, held on the campus of UC Berkeley in California, is an intensive and thorough preparation for high school students entering the college admissions process. Spend ten days navigating the do’s and don’ts of the application process alongside your peers. Course content focuses on SAT or ACT preparation with the Princeton Review, comprehensive writing instruction focused on the developing the personal statement, personalized one-on-one college counseling, instructive college admissions workshops and guided college tours.

The area surrounding Berkeley and San Francisco serves as a fantastic home base to visit a wide-array of colleges and universities and experience life in Northern California. In addition to a busy, curriculum-based schedule, our on-site program staff makes sure that you always have a variety of activities to choose from once class and workshops are done for the day. At CAP Berkeley, you will work-hard and play-hard and come away from the experience with an invaluable leg up in the admissions process and lifelong friends from all around the globe.

Working Together

Every CAP family will be asked to complete a detailed questionnaire about their child and the family’s goals and expectations. Our experienced college counselors will work with the information provided by parents and students to create an admissions plan uniquely suited to each student.

Lowering the Stress

When you join Summerfuel’s CAP Berkeley program, you and your family will become part of a supportive community of professionals and peers. At CAP, you are encouraged to ask questions and enter a purposeful, yet relaxed, environment where you can focus on your needs and goals.

Getting Results

In two weeks, you will return home with:

  • A detailed, carefully selected list of colleges and universities to consider applying to
  • Improved SAT or ACT results with continued support from the Princeton Review
  • A well-considered personal statement ready for submission
  • A personal and tailored academic and extracurricular resume
  • Polished college interview skills
  • An easy to follow admissions calendar, with deadlines and reminders

Check Out a Sample Schedule Here


The program is such a motivation booster…it got me extremely excited to go to college. I now know what to work on, how to prepare and how to look for a college. What I loved about the program was that all the staff were excellent and I made good friends."

Alex F., California

More Testimonials
Read the UC Berkeley blog UC Berkeley Summer Blog
Student Life
Life in a day

Cal is an ideal place to get the hang of life on a college campus.

SAT Prep Class

SAT Prep with the Princeton Review will meet every morning from 9 AM – 12PM.

SAT Prep Class

Take a break from class to grab some lunch and enjoy campus with friends.

College Counseling

Meet with your counselor one-on-one to discuss what you are looking for in a college.

Essay Writing

Essay Writing will meet every afternoon from 4:15 – 6:15 PM.

College Admissions Workshop

Every evening meet as a group to discuss a different admissions topic.

Evening Activities

There's still room for fun at CAP! Finish each day with a chance to participate in planned activities and hang out with friends.


Situated just across the bay from the magnificent city of San Francisco, UC Berkeley is one of the nation's premier public research universities. Once you have finished your coursework for the day, our dedicated residential staff helps you make the most of your time on campus. With the help of your RAs and friends, you can plan on pickup ultimate Frisbee games on the quad, coffee/ice cream runs, karaoke nights and movie nights, to name some past favorites.


Your summer home will be in the beautiful Foothill Housing Complex located on the northeast side of campus. Double and triple rooms are organized in single-gender suites with separate locked entrances and a shared common area. Roommates and suitemates are chosen based on the Summerfuel Housing Questionnaire and taking into account age and geographic diversity. Laundry facilities, TV lounges and a recreation room are on-site. Your Resident Advisor (RA) will live on your hall to create a community, provide support, plan activities and help you get the most out of your stay at Columbia. An experienced Summerfuel Senior Staff team will also live in residence and will be available to help address student concerns and emergencies, day or night.


Foothill dining commons offers traditional favorites at breakfast and a variety of options for lunch and dinner, including hot entrees, vegan/vegetarian items, 100% certified organic salad bar, made-to-order sandwiches, and desserts. Your meal card will give you access to full buffet-style dining options and Berkeley dining is able to accommodate most dietary restrictions and preferences. Summerfuel staff will provide meals during off-site campus visits and excursions.


All UC Berkeley residence halls are locked twenty-four hours a day and only students living in that hall have key access. During evening hours, a Security Monitor staffs the lobby entry. All residents are required to swipe their ID cards to enter the building and use keyed entry for their bedroom.


Our team works hard to ensure that your prep experience is balanced by a full and varied extracurricular calendar. All activities are included in the program fee, so you will have every opportunity to fully explore your new home.

San Francisco Sights

Spend a weekend afternoon exploring your home base, San Francisco. You will travel into the heart of the “City by the Bay” to visit Union Square for shopping, snap pictures of SF’s famous cable cars and steep hills and finish the day overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge.

Daily Activities

Join organized activities every afternoon, evening and weekend – or relax and hang out with your new friends – you decide.

Past favorites have included: Speed friending, glow soccer, Summerfued, fro-yo runs, movie nights, Capture the Flag, henna tattoos, no-cook cooking workshop, board game night, Frisbee golf, late night breakfast.

Each day Summerfuel CAP Berkeley students will start with SAT preparation classes by the Princeton Review. Eighteen hours of instruction will provide comprehensive SAT preparation (math, verbal and writing).  Course work will focus on the existing SAT or the new SAT depending on each student's testing plans. Three full diagnostic SATs will be administered and scored to provide students with performance feedback on live tests. All CAP students will have an online Princeton Review account to view their results and continue practicing for the fall SAT.

The Princeton Review Guarantee:

  • Continued support if you are not satisfied with your score improvement
  • Continued support if you feel you are not ’ready’ to sit for the SAT or ACT
  • Individualized score reports with detailed analysis of your performance
  • Online practice sessions, plus a live online refresher course before the October test dates
Essay Writing

YYour college application essay, also known as the personal statement, is one of the only parts of the application over which you have complete control. It is especially important that you take the time to make it meaningful and effective. A great application essay will present a personal and compelling view of who you are. It will give the admissions committee insight into how you think and empower them to look beyond the numbers.

The CAP essay-writing course is designed to help you become a stronger, more confident writer. Fourteen hours of expert writing instruction will help you work methodically through the process of creating a personal statement: formulating a thesis from the material of your life, and crafting it into a concise and engaging college application essay. Learning how to present yourself, tactfully and realistically, in a personal essay will accomplish a critical goal: allowing admission officers to learn more about you.

Writing classes meet every afternoon with the exception of scheduled college visit days.


All Summerfuel writing faculty are highly skilled writers with significant experience teaching the art of the effective personal statement. Every Summerfuel writing instructor will help students focus on the writing process by employing the use of drafts, revisions and editing. Peer workshops and individual tutoring will also be used to help students improve their writing skills.

Faculty Bio: Caitlin Kindervatter-Clark

Caitlin received an MFA in Fiction from the University of Virginia, where she taught writing as a Poe-Faulkner Fellow. Our students were fortunate to work with Caitlin as part of the CAP Berkeley program in 2014.


At CAP Berkeley, a team of experienced college counselors will guide you through your introduction and mastery of the college admissions process. On program, counselors employ varied strategies to share information you: one-on-one advisory sessions, a series of informative college admissions workshops and well-planned college visits all work together to help you form a complete picture of the application landscape. All CAP college counselors are seasoned admissions professionals whose experience provides invaluable insight to the process.


Individualized counseling sessions are designed to give you an opportunity to speak with your counselor about your unique admissions needs or challenges in a private forum. With input from your family, you will work together with your college counselor to better define your academic and extracurricular interests and college preferences. You will finish the advisory process with a clear picture of your college admissions goals and just how to reach them in the year or years of high school that remain.


Each evening, the CAP Tufts community will gather to focus on key aspects of the college admissions process. Workshops provide an excellent forum for college counselors to share information and for you and your peers to ask questions. You will be provided with a resource book to reference after the workshop for continued development and each workshop is intended to build on the next as you work towards creating a list of schools that interests you and developing the tools to successfully manage the admissions process.

Sample workshop topics include:

  • What to Expect from Higher Education: Students look at who they are now, what they feel their academic and extracurricular goals are in college and what goals they might have for graduate or professional education.
  • How to Evaluate a College: What do these fancy brochures represent? If my cousin went there, should I? How can I determine if the social environment is right for me?
  • Assembling Your Application: What are the key pieces? How can I improve on what I have now? Will admissions professionals understand the value of what I have done?
  • College Visits 101: Learn how to make the most of a college visit. Discuss the best way to ask questions of your admissions representative, your tour guide and anyone else you meet on the way. Set up a note taking system so that you will remember each visit long after the trip.

The best way to understand a college and determine if it's right for you is to visit.

While at UC Berkeley, we will take advantage of our location in Bay Area to visit our host university and several nearby colleges in order to give you a broader picture of the variety available in higher education. By visiting different types of institutions (public/private, large/small, urban/suburban) you will be able to better discern some of the typical differences between each type and get a feel for the setting that feels most comfortable to them.

Once you identify key features of a college or university setting that you prefer, the college counseling team will be able to refer you to colleges with similar settings that are academically appropriate.

Past college visits include

  • Stanford University
  • UC Santa Cruz
  • University of San Francisco
  • San Francisco State University
  • UC Berkeley

Our summer staff members are at the heart of all that we do. Supported by our New York headquarters, our program directors and resident advisors create an exciting and balanced residential, academic and extracurricular experience each summer.


Summerfuel CAP Tufts will be overseen by an experienced program director who will take full responsibility for the safety and well-being of Summerfuel students. The program director and senior staff will provide an important support system for students as they complete this intensely focused program. All members of the senior staff live in residence with students and are available to assist with any issue that arises, day or night.


RAs are an essential part of the Summerfuel experience and are hired solely to support and act as role models to our students. RAs are college upperclassmen or recent graduates with experience in residential life. They live on each floor, with one RA for every ten students. RAs will always be available to organize activities, provide appropriate resources, and answer questions and make sure our students get the most out of their summer.


The safety, security, and overall well-being of our students is our utmost priority. We implement the following measures to ensure our students are well cared for and safe at all times.

  • 1 to 8 residential staff to student ratio
  • 24-hour security at South Hall
  • Key pass required for entry into residence hall buildings
  • Regular check-ins / Daily curfew
  • Zero tolerance for drug or alcohol use
  • Read our full rules & policies here