Summerfuel Summer Programs: Study Abroad Programs for High School Students


UC Berkeley offers students a wonderful summer environment in which to live and learn about the college application process.

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July 26 - August 6, 2015
Program Fee:
Completing 10 or 11
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Summerfuel at Berkeley?

The Summerfuel College Admissions Prep Program (CAP) held on the campus of UC Berkeley is an intensive and thorough preparation for the college admissions process. Course content includes personalized college counseling, instructive college admissions workshops, SAT preparation with the Princeton Review, and comprehensive writing classes focused on the personal statement.

Each CAP program has a carefully orchestrated calendar of courses, workshops, college visits and sightseeing opportunities. Daily SAT preparation and Essay writing classes are complemented by engaging college admissions workshops, enlightening one-on-one college counseling and eye-opening visits to area universities and colleges.

Please note this program is operated by Summerfuel at UC Berkeley, one of several locations where Summerfuel operates a program. The University and its Conference Services are not responsible for the program in any way.

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 a student joins a Summerfuel CAP program he or she becomes part of a supportive community of professionals and peers. At CAP students ask questions in a relaxed environment where they can focus on their needs and goals.

Getting Results

Every student who completes a College Admissions Preparation (CAP) program will have:

  • A detailed, carefully selected list of colleges and universities to consider when applying
  • Improved SAT results with continued support from the Princeton Review
  • A polished personal statement ready for submission
  • A personal resume
  • An easy to follow admissions calendar, with deadlines and reminders


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

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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 suites with separate locked entrances and a shared common area. Laundry facilities, TV lounges and a recreation room are on-site.


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. 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.

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
  • Individualized score reports giving detailed information on strengths and weaknesses
Essay Writing

Polish Your Personal Statement

Your college application essay, or personal statement, is one of the only parts of the application over which you have complete control, so it is especially important that you take the time to make it effective and meaningful. A great application essay will present a personal and compelling view of you to the admissions committee. 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.

Our Writing Faculty

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.


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.


Finding the Best Fit

At each College Admissions Preparation program, a team of experienced college counselors will lead students in their discovery of the college admissions process. All CAP college counselors are seasoned admissions professionals whose experience provides invaluable insight to the process. On program counselors employ varied strategies to share information with students: one on one advisory sessions, a series of informative college admissions workshops and well-planned college visits.

One-on-One Counseling

Individualized counseling sessions are designed to give each student an opportunity to speak with their counselor about their unique admissions needs or challenges in a private forum. Students and counselors work together to better define student interests and college preferences. Students finish their advisory with a clear picture of their college admissions goals and just how to reach them in the year or years of high school that remain.

Admissions Workshops

Each evening students and college counselors will gather to focus on key aspects of the college admissions process. Approximately twenty hours of workshop provide an excellent forum for college counselors to share information. Every student is provided with a resource book to reference after the workshop for continued development and each workshop builds on the next as the students work towards developing a list of schools that interest them and building 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.

At CAP we will take advantage of our location 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) students 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 a student identifies key features of a college or university setting that they prefer, the college counseling team will be able to refer students 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

Senior Staff

Every CAP location will have senior staff in residence that will take full responsibility for the safety and well-being of Summerfuel students. Senior staff will provide an important support system for students as they complete this intensely focused program.


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.

Safety & Security

The safety, security, and overall well-being of our students is our utmost priority.

  • 1 to 8 residential staff to student ratio
  • 24-hour security at Foothill Housing Complex
  • Electronic key pass required for entry into residence hall buildings
  • 11pm daily curfew
  • Zero tolerance for drug or alcohol use