Summerfuel Summer Programs: Study Abroad Programs for High School Students

UMass Amherst

This summer, enjoy a taste of university life in the top college town in the US.


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Dates:
June 26 - July 09, 2016 (Session 1)
July 10 - July 23, 2016 (Session 2)
June 26 - July 23, 2016 (4 weeks)
Program Fee:
$3,795 (2 weeks)
$6,795 (4 weeks)
Housing:
Dormitory
Grades:
Completing grades 9 - 12
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Summerfuel at Amherst?

Voted a “Top 10 College Town” by The New York Times, Amherst is a beautiful and dynamic place to spend the summer and experience life on a college campus before even leaving high school. As the center of the Five College Consortium, Amherst is home to students from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Smith, Hampshire and Mount Holyoke colleges. The nearby Berkshire foothills are ideal for hiking and biking, and the proximity of Boston and greater New England make Amherst a great base for exciting weekend trips. At UMass-Amherst you will become part of a close-knit academic community, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Program Schedule

Students may join us for one or both sessions


SESSION 1 • June 26 – July 09
  • JUNE 26 • SESSION 1 MOVE-IN DAY!
  • JUNE 27 • ORIENTATION / CLASSES BEGIN
  • JULY 02 • SIX FLAGS, NEW ENGLAND
  • JULY 03 • BOSTON DAY
  • JULY 04 • FIREWORKS
  • JULY 08 • TALENT SHOW
  • JULY 09 • AMHERST AREA SIGHTS
  • JULY 09 • SESSION 1 DEPARTURE DAY

SESSION 2 • July 10 – July 23
  • JULY 10 • SESSION 2 ARRIVAL DAY
  • JULY 10 • NORTHAMPTON TRIP
  • JULY 13 • INTERNATIONAL SUMMERFEST
  • JULY 15 • HAUNTED WOODS WALK
  • JULY 16 • BOSTON DAY
  • JULY 17 • BEACH TRIP
  • JULY 22 • AWARDS BANQUET/DANCE PARTY
  • JULY 23 • GOODBYE AMHERST

Learning in Amherst

Select two courses and a workshop during each two-week period for an opportunity to explore as varied a curriculum as you would like. Whenever possible, courses use the resources at UMass and in Amherst to provide applied, practical experiences for students.

Discover Amherst

Experience the town of Amherst, where coffee shops are littered with concert flyers and notices of poetry jams, and eateries offer the latest and greatest variety. Surrounded by lush greenery, Amherst sparkles in the summer and offers opportunities for outdoor adventures and cultural endeavors. An intellectual, entrepreneurial small community, Amherst is an ideal place with which to familiarize yourself.

Experience New England

New England is filled with rich history, cultural attractions and natural beauty. We will visit Boston, enjoy the beautiful Connecticut beaches and ride all of the coasters at Six Flags New England Theme Park.

This summer was one that I will never forget. While I was scared about meeting people and being away from home, Summerfuel made it so easy to have fun. I've made friends from all over the world and friendships that will last forever. I really think that I have become a more independent individual."

Laura F., New York

More Testimonials
Read the Oxford blog Amherst Summer Blog
Life in a day

Every day is filled with opportunities to learn and discover. From formal exchanges with talented teachers to casual conversations with new friends.

Student Life 02

Enjoy a delicious meal in the UMass award-winning dining hall.

Student Life 03

Engage in rewarding classwork with knowledgeable faculty.

Student Life 04

Grab a sandwich, a salad or enjoy a hot meal in the award-winning dining hall at UMass.

Student Life 05

Extracurricular workshops will meet Monday, Wednesday and Friday and on off-days you will have time to relax or join an activity

Student Life 06

Build an advertising campaign or explore the arts during your Afternoon course - cooking, psychology, photography or film – so much to choose from

Student Life 07

Join your friends at the evening events, like Trivia Night or bowling, organized nightly by the Summerfuel team

Your Summer Home

Your home at UMass-Amherst will be the modern, fully air-conditioned North Apartments. Each summer, our on-site program staff members work to provide the best and most comprehensive residential experience available.

Housing

Every suite has four single bedrooms, two full bathrooms, a shared living room and a kitchen equipped with a full-sized refrigerator and microwave. All suites and floors are single-gender and housing is assigned based on the Summerfuel housing questionnaire, student age and geographic diversity. WiFi is available throughout the dormitory and across campus.

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 in Amherst. Summerfuel Senior Staff also live in residence and are available to help address student concerns and emergencies, day or night.

Facilities

North Apartments feature in-dorm laundry facilities, vending machines, meeting rooms and lounge space, which are all available for student use. Additionally, each afternoon, students will have access to the state-of-the-art UMass Recreation Center. The facility features exercise machines, basketball and volleyball courts, an indoor track and a smoothie bar.

Security

North Apartments have 24-hour security, with electronic key access required for entry to each building entrance, suite and bedroom. UMass security is on 24-hour patrol and available to any student that may need assistance.

Dining

A short walk from North Apartments is the Worcester Dining hall where your provided meal card will give you access to three meals a day. UMass Dining offers a wide-variety of meal options and can accommodate almost all dietary preferences and restrictions. The Campus Center is also nearby and is home to the Blue Wall Cafe, the Pita Pit and Smoothie Central and offers easy options for quick snacks between classes. When we are off campus for trips or activities, meals will be provided off-site.


Amherst Area Highlights

Amherst is located in the Pioneer Valley, one of New England’s most coveted destinations. The Valley, as it is known locally, is famous for its scenic landscape, complete with rivers, valleys, mountains and forests, and is a major hub for outdoor activity and recreation. Spend the summer exploring the Valley and discover why so many students choose to attend college in this unique region.

Amherst College

A top-tier liberal arts college with a beautiful, quaint campus, located in the heart of town.

Hampshire College

One of the nation's most alternative liberal arts colleges, where students design their own majors.

Summer Theater Festival

The Hampshire Shakespeare Company has hosted an outdoor summer theater festival since 1991. In addition to the works of William Shakespeare, the company has presented the works of Pioneer Valley playwrights, including three world premieres.

Mead Art Museum

Home to Amherst College’s extensive art collection, featuring more than 16,000 artifacts and works of art.

Beneski Museum of Natural History

Showcases fossils and minerals collected locally and abroad, with stunning displays of dinosaur fossils and the largest collection of dinosaur footprints in the world.

The Norwottuck Rail Trail

This scenic ten-mile paved trail is great for biking, jogging, roller blading, or just taking a leisurely stroll.

Mt. Holyoke Range State Park

With over 30 miles of marked trails, this park is a great destination for hikes in the summer and cross-country skiing in the winter.

Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival

Lauded as the mecca and hub of dance, Jacob's Pillow is America's longest running international dance festival and features hundreds of free performances and events from more than fifty acclaimed dance companies.

Mass MoCA

Discover one of the most innovative and daring museums in the world. It features both well-known and up and-coming artists focusing on large-scale and complex installations that would be impossible to realize at a traditional museum.

Amherst Eats

Amherst restaurants offer an incredible variety of culinary options at prices that a college student on a budget can afford. Visit Antonio's Pizza for the greatest variety of pizza toppings you have ever had. Try Pasta e Basta where pasta is plentiful, hot and fresh. In the mood for Mexican fare? Bueno y Sano is delicious and fast. Other student favorites include Amherst Coffee, Bart's ice cream and the Black Sheep for sandwiches and baked goods.

Academics 01

Classes are designed to be hands-on and engaging

Academics 02

Curricula are structured to foster critical thinking

Academics 03

Creativity, collaboration and fun are all part of the Summerfuel learning process

Academics 04

We will give you opportunities to learn by doing

Academics 05

And classes go far beyond the traditional classroom setting

Academics 06

Faculty guide students and inspire them rather than lecturing

Academics 07

Photography, cooking, psychology, entrepreneurship are just a few

Academics 08

All students finish their courses with a much clearer idea of their future interests

At Summerfuel, we believe learning should be inspiring and fun. We have worked hard to design courses, field trips, and guest lectures that reflect the strengths of the university and the greater Amherst area. Whenever possible, classes are held outdoors, on-site or in a lab-type setting to allow students as many 'hands on' opportunities as possible.

Choose a morning course (five times/week), an afternoon course (five times/week) and a workshop (five sessions) for each two-week period. Explore new interests in active, engaging classes with creative, dynamic teachers. Our faculty comprises adjunct faculty, experienced professionals and graduate students all carefully chosen because of their expertise, quality and passion. While coursework is challenging, homework is limited to ensure that students are able to make the most of their time in the greater Amherst Area.

Please note that if you choose to join us for both sessions, you will select courses for the first session and a different set of courses for the second session. There are no courses that run a full four-weeks. We hope that this encourages our students to explore a wide variety of subject areas or concentrate on academic discipline of interest.

Courses noted with (1) are offered during the first session. Courses noted with (2) are offered during the second session. Courses that are offered both sessios are identical and should not be taken sequentially.

Read Interviews with Our Faculty


Morning Seminars

Applying to College

SAT Prep the Princeton Review (1)

With 18 hours of small-group instruction and individual consultation plus 3 full-length SAT diagnostics, your Princeton Review program will provide you with the most comprehensive preparation for the SAT. All students have an online Princeton Review account to review their performance and continue practice. Princeton Review's guarantee applies to this course. Supplemental Fee

SAT Prep - the Princeton Review (2)

With 18 hours of small-group instruction and individual consultation plus 3 full-length SAT tests, your Princeton Review program will prepare you to perform at your highest level in SAT math, critical reading, and writing. All students have an online Princeton Review account to review their performance and continue practice. Princeton Review's satisfaction guarantee applies to this course. [Supplemental Fee]

Business

Launching a Business (1)

Are you a self-starter who is always looking for the next big idea? Do you want to develop your leadership skills and learn how to run your own company? This practically-based course will teach you how to create your own business from start to finish. Learn how to identify a market, attract investors and manage growth and expansion. Work with a team of your peers to develop your own original business plan and to promote your innovative idea.

Global Finance (1)

Countries of the world are linked inextricably with each other, moving the global economy either forward or backward. What factors play into this equation? How does a country's domestic policy affect the world's economy? We will look at key aspects of the world's financial systems including geopolitical tensions, stagnation, potential growth and emerging markets. Students will wear the hat of an economist as they choose a country to research and present, showcasing the risks and rewards of their country's fiscal policies to our mock International Monetary Fund.

Venture Capital (2)

Indulge your interest in finance and entrepreneurship with a foray into the world of venture capitalism. Explore how entrepreneurs attract investors to finance their start-ups, and examine the particulars of how these complex business deals are structured. Learn to think like a venture capitalist yourself, and decide which industries you think will produce the best return on investment and the most benefit to society.

ESL

English as a Second Language (1)

The goal of the course is to increase proficiency, fluency, and overall comfort level in English Composition, particularly in writing and speech. We will pay particular attention to new vocabulary and the types of words and phrases which are indicative of advanced English. Students will begin writing short responses to articles, stories, and news clips, eventually writing a longer essay as their skills increase. Advanced grammar and writing techniques will also be focused upon in the course.

English as a Second Language (2)

The goal of the course is to increase proficiency, fluency, and overall comfort level in English Composition, particularly in writing and speech. We will pay particular attention to new vocabulary and the types of words and phrases which are indicative of advanced English. Students will begin writing short responses to articles, stories, and news clips, eventually writing a longer essay as their skills increase. Advanced grammar and writing techniques will also be focused upon in the course.

Law

Foundations in American Law (1)

Together we will explore key topics in US Law including constitutional law, criminal law, contract and tort law. You will learn how to brief a legal case and will practice many of the traditional analyses of legal concepts using the Socratic Method. Finally, we will hold a simulated court proceeding including short briefs and oral arguments by student teams.

Criminal Law (2)

How can we be sure that a punishment fits a given crime? This course considers the creation of laws to prevent and address crime and the administration of criminal justice. Students will examine the nature of social control mechanisms and the role of law in a civilized society. They will also study the role of the prosecutor and defense lawyer, and will learn about the process through which criminal cases are brought to trial.

Psychology and Sociology

Introduction to Psychology (1)

Examine the behavior of yourself and others through the psychological theories of Freud, Skinner, Maslow, Erikson and Piaget. Critically evaluate the validity of these theories in light of your own experiences of physical maturation, intellectual and moral development, sensuality and sexuality, family and peer relationships, and coping with stress and problems in everyday life. View films and read relevant articles that provide an applied understanding of developmental psychology.

Writing

Short Story Writing (1)

Whether you've dreamed of publishing a best selling novel or simply want to take a stab at writing short stories, this is the class for you. Explore essential elements of creative writing, including voice, character development, dialogue, setting and narrative arc, using a variety of fictional forms. Workshop your stories, poems and plays with your peers to put together a polished portfolio of creative fiction.

Journalism and Social Media (2)

This course is designed to teach students the principles of Social Media in order to give them a more clear understanding of how it is shaping the field of journalism. Together we will look at companies like Facebook, Twitter and Google to understand how they have spurred a rise in citizen journalism and forever changed the media landscape. Students will use social media tools to create a personal brand and focused content. They will be expected to post regularly and tweet to establish themselves as journalists in their chosen specialty area.


Afternoon Seminars

Art

Digital Photography (2)

Explore your passion for photography and apply your own artistic touch in the digital darkroom. master the basics of composition including motion, lighting and depth of field. Regardless of your ability, there is always more to learn about exposure controls, shutter speed and other features of your digital camera. Showcase your best work in an end of program art show. [Supplemental Fee]

Business

Marketing Strategy (1)

Marketing can make or break the success of any product. With your classmates, dive into the complexities of consumer behavior and develop a winning marketing strategy to promote and sell a new product of your choosing.

Brand Development (2)

Great brands resonate with consumers. They generate interest, loyalty and considerable value for the organizations that own them. In this course you will learn about best practices in branding and overall brand strategy, visual identity and experiential branding. We will learn about successful (and unsuccessful) branding efforts through organizational case studies. Work will consist of branding analysis project work and a final group project rebrand of an industry underdog.

Psychology

Psychology of Personality (1)

This course will introduce you to the study of personality psychology, which seeks to understand the development of personality and the expression of character traits. Consider a range of theoretical traditions in the field, including trait theories, psychoanalytic theories and behaviorist theories, to develop your own system of beliefs about how our personalities are shaped.

Psychology of the Criminal Mind (2)

What drives people to commit crimes? Do offenders have a failed sense of morality, or, is it a biologically hard wired, unstoppable urge? Investigate psychological phenomena such as "group think" and "de-individuation" as they relate to environmental factors like poverty, drug use and social upbringing. Explore how mental illnesses like psychopathy and antisocial personality disorder can be a source of criminal behavior and study fascinating examples of how seemingly normal individuals commit serious and violent felonies.

Public Speaking

Public Speaking (1)

Does your stomach sink when you hear the words, 'Oral Presentation'? would you prefer to stay home sick rather than participate in a class debate? From speaking in front of a class to tackling the college interview, public speaking is a skill everyone should master. Develop your ability to express yourself confidently and clearly through speech writing and performance. Sharpen your skills with the aid of videos and text of famous speeches to deliver a performance for any occasion.

Speech and Debate (2)

This course is designed to develop and highlight the art of policy argument and debate. We will cover basic debate terms and strategies and we will work to become effective communicators in a variety of situations. Learning outcomes for this course include: research, organization, analysis, listening, and speaking skills.

Writing

The Personal Statement (1)

Reach higher levels of achievement by studying the elements common to all successful writing-defining an audience, developing a thesis statement, supporting your argument, and revising for grammar and style. Through peer workshops and teacher-student conferences, you will sharpen both your expository and persuasive writing abilities. Come away with polished essays for your writing portfolio.

Persuasive Writing (2)

Master one of the most important skills for success in high school, college and beyond. Reach higher levels of achievement by studying the elements common to all successful writing-defining an audience, developing a thesis statement, supporting your argument, and revising for grammar and style. Through peer workshops and teacher-student conferences, you will sharpen both your expository and persuasive writing abilities. Come away with polished essays for your writing portfolio.


Workshop offerings

Fitness

Modern Dance (1)

Introduces technique and movement vocabulary of modern dance; emphasizes dance fundamentals which may be applied to other dance styles such as jazz and ballet. Designed for students with no previous training.

Fitness and Nutrition (1)

Using both state of the art athletic facilities and outdoor challenges, learn more about optimizing cardiovascular fitness, muscular endurance, muscular strength, flexibility, and body composition. Nutrition, sleep management and guidance on overall well-being are critical to this workshop.

Fitness and Nutrition (2)

Using both state of the art athletic facilities and outdoor challenges, learn more about optimizing cardiovascular fitness, muscular endurance, muscular strength, flexibility, and body composition. Nutrition, sleep management and guidance on overall well-being are critical to this workshop.

Hip Hop (2)

This workshop will teach a fast-paced, high energy style of dance. After a short warm-up, we'll focus on learning aerobic dance combinations done to pop and hip-hop music. Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to break a sweat.

Service Learning

Leadership and Team Building (1)

Participate in ropes courses and other adventure activities to promote increased self-awareness, enhanced self-confidence, trust, cooperation, team building and group problem solving skills.

Community Service (1)

Learn more about the greater Amherst community by participating in area service projects. Hours spent will be recorded and all students will receive a certificate of service completed.

Community Service (2)

Learn more about the greater Amherst community by participating in area service projects. Hours spent will be recorded and all students will receive a certificate of service completed.

Leadership and Team Building (2)

Participate in ropes courses and other adventure activities to promote increased self-awareness, enhanced self-confidence, trust, cooperation, team building and group problem solving skills.

Sports

Basketball (1)

Enjoy an opportunity to hit the court with other interested friends for some friendly games, drills and contests. All levels are welcome - the only requirement is a desire to have fun and improve your game.

Soccer (2)

Love soccer? Make sure you get to play this summer. Head to the fields for fun games, contests and drills. Enjoy some competitive rivalry and good support for skill development. All levels welcome.

The Arts

Cooking Basics (1)

From chocolate chip cookies to tarte tatin or scallion pancakes to shrimp dumplings, you will experiment with written recipes and then create dishes of your own in this exciting introduction to culinary arts. [Supplemental Fee]

Cooking Basics (2)

From chocolate chip cookies to tarte tatin or scallion pancakes to shrimp dumplings, you will experiment with written recipes and then create dishes of your own in this exciting introduction to culinary arts. (Supplemental Fee)

Once classes are over, you will have a full and varied schedule of extra-curricular opportunities to choose from. Almost all trips and activities are included in the program fee, so you will never be at a loss for something to do.

Activities 01

Each day is filled with organized activities and opportunities to have fun

Activities 02

The UMass dorm and broader campus resources provide an excellent setting for programs

Activities 03

Trivia Night is always a favorite on program

Activities 04

A little friendly competition is never a bad thing

Activities 05

The brand new, state of the art, UMass Rec Center is a fabulous place to stay fit

Activities 06

Weekend trips into Boston and surrounding New England are an exciting end to each week

Activities 07

And casual get togethers strengthen close friendships

Activities 08

Every weekend offers organized staff led trips to area highlights

Activities 09

Boston, Six Flags and of course, relaxing at the beach!

Activities 10

Venture into town to get a snack or just hang out with friends

Included Trips

Every weekend, we will take full advantage of all that greater New England has to offer and visit some of its most exciting destinations and attractions. All weekend excursions are included in the program fee.

Best of Boston: Part 1

Sightsee, people watch, shop and eat. Great museums, fabulous restaurants and small cafés, beautiful parks and memorable architecture - Boston has it all. (Session 1)

Best of Boston: Part 2

There is so much to see and do in Boston that we will visit twice. Whether it is a special gift for someone at home or an opportunity to walk the famous Freedom Trail, Summerfuel staff will help you get there. (Session 2)

Six Flags New England

Spend a full day making new memories, laughing and overcoming your fear of rollercoasters, always in search of the perfect ride. Bring your swimsuit because we will hit the water park as well. (Session 1)

Beach Trip

We will spend a day at beautiful Misquamicut beach (RI), soaking up the sun and enjoying the water. (Session 2)

Northampton

Just fifteen minutes from Amherst, this town is a great place to spend a Sunday afternoon. Shop, eat, or challenge friends to a bowling competition. (4-Week Students)

Daily Activities

The Summerfuel staff team at UMass will work closely with students to determine their interests and fill the afternoons and evenings with varied options for summer fun and discovery. Suggestions are always welcome!

Past favorites include:

  • International Food Festival
  • Paintball
  • Soccer Tournament
  • Summerfeud
  • Sand Volleyball
  • Late Night Breakfast
  • Summerfuel Dance Club
  • Tie dye
  • Belly Dancing
  • Casino Night
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Capture the Flag
  • Jewelry Making
  • Hypnotist Show
  • Summerfuel's Got Talent!
  • Whodunit Murder Mystery
  • Water Balloon Fight

The experience was fantastic! It was a great way to get away from home and learn about different cultures and different languages. I hope to keep in touch with all of the people I met here and see them in the future. Also, I feel like I have grown as a person and will be prepared for whatever the future holds!"

Abigail R. Minnesota

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.

Senior Staff

The Senior Staff comprises a Program Director, a Residence Life Director, an Academic Director, an Activities Director and a Student Services Coordinator. At Summerfuel Amherst, all senior staff members are experienced educators with collegiate or boarding school residential experience and great familiarity with our programs. All members of the senior staff live in residence with students and are available to assist with any issue that arises. Our on-site Program Director, George Kinzel, has over seen Summerfuel Amherst for 11 years. This year will mark George’s 20th summer with Summerfuel.

Meet George

RESIDENT ADVISORS (RAs)

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 tours around Amherst, answer questions and make sure our students get the most out of their summer.

Safety & Supervision

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. Please contact us for more information or with any questions.

  • 1 to 8 full residential staff to student ratio
  • 24-hour security in the dormitory
  • Electronic key pass required for entry into North Apartments
  • Designated zone in which students can travel
  • Buddy system to ensure students never travel alone
  • 11pm daily curfew
  • Zero tolerance for drug or alcohol use
  • Read our full rules & policies here