Summerfuel Summer Programs: Study Abroad Programs for High School Students


Surround yourself with history, tradition and achievement at the oldest university in the English speaking world.

Watch Oxford Video

June 30*-July 25, 2015
*Escorted flight departs NY on June 29
Paris Extension, July 25-29
Program Fee:
$8,295 + airfare
Completing grades 9-12
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Summerfuel at Oxford?

Oxford is a magical place, loved not just for its longstanding traditions, venerable buildings and academic reputation. It is also where the first mile was run in under four minutes, where Alice in Wonderland was first told, and where Tolkien wrote The Lord of the Rings. Summerfuel at Oxford offers high school students an extraordinary opportunity to go into the heart of the world’s most celebrated university.

Surround yourself with history, tradition and achievement that dates back almost a millennium. Live as an Oxford undergraduate, take on new disciplines and challenging courses, enjoy a wide variety of extracurricular activities and experience a full schedule of exciting visits and excursions that will give you a authentic taste of English culture. Be inspired to reach new levels of achievement, discover a new land, make new friends and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Program Schedule

  • June 29 • Group Flight Departs NY
  • June 30 • Welcome to Oxford!
  • July 01 • First Day of Classes
  • July 04 • Best of London: Part 1
  • July 05 • Blenheim palace
  • July 08 • London Theatre Trip*
  • July 11 • Bath
  • July 12 • London Bike Tour*
  • July 18 • Best of London: Part 2
  • July 19 • Broughton Castle
  • July 22 • London Theatre Trip*
  • July 24 • Awards & Final Dinner
  • July 25 • Depart from Oxford
  • July 25-29 • Paris Extension

*optional extra subject to supplemental fee

An Oxford Education

Select two courses to explore a subject of interest in depth, improve academic skills and discover new passions. Learn from experienced Oxford professors and local professionals who utilize all that Oxford has to offer to enrich the learning experience.

Sample Courses

International Business, Shakespeare, The British Invasion, Digital Photography, Psychology of the Criminal Mind, Genetics, Entrepreneurship, Oxford Authors, Actor’s Workshop, Marketing & Advertising, Oxford Art & Architecture.

Oxford Adventures

Summerfuel in Oxford offers the freedom to choose options from our jam-packed activities calendar, or spend time in town with your friends. Play in a "footie" match, attend high tea, visit a museum and watch a Shakespeare performance - all in the same day.

Exploring England

Saturdays and Sundays are reserved for excursions that allow students to experience the best that England has to offer, from the beautiful countryside to exciting cities. You will visit London, Bleneheim Palace, Bath, Broughton Castle…and then London again!

The best part of the program was meeting amazing people from all over the world. My RA was absolutely fantastic and she made us feel like a family on our hall. I have definitely learned how to be more independent and how to take responsibility for myself. I was initially really nervous and homesick at the start of the program, but ended up having an unbelievably wonderful time. I know I will be prepared for life at college!"

Katie R., Beverly Hills, CA

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

There's no "typical" day at Summerfuel. You will have the freedom to choose what you want to do with your time in Oxford and select from a variety of activities that change from day to day

Student Life 02

Getting an inside look at some of Oxford’s incredible architecture

Student Life 03

Strolling to a local restaurant for an off-campus lunch

Student Life 04

Taking a break from classes on Lady Margaret Hall’s 12-acre campus

Student Life 05

Learning the art of post production in Digital Photography

Student Life 06

Sitting down to eat with friends in LMH’s traditional dining room

Student Life 07

Enjoying a walk through Oxford’s downtown area after dinner

Your Summer Home

Your summer home will be Lady Margaret Hall (LMH), one of the 39 colleges that make up Oxford University.


You will have a single room, fully outfitted with a bed, wardrobe, desk and chair - the same rooms used by Oxford undergraduates during the academic year. LMH "Scouts" will tidy your bedroom every other day and supply/replace linens and towels once a fortnight.

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 Oxford.


A team of porters staff the lodge at the gated entrance to LMH 24-hours a day to monitor the entrance, sign in visitors, assist with lost keys, answer questions, and provide first-aid response. The dormitories have secured entrances that require an electronic key pass for access to the building and a physical key for individual bedroom entry.


You'll have full access to LMH's 12-acre grounds with gardens, fields for soccer, Frisbee and volleyball, tennis courts and a boathouse on the River Cherwell, which borders the college. LMH also has common rooms with couches, a TV and DVD player, a foosball table, pool table, and a jukebox, as well as a computer lab for assignments and keeping in touch with friends and family.


Breakfast and dinner are served in LMH's traditional oak-paneled dining room. Lunch is not provided to encourage you to explore Oxford's restaurants, sandwich shops, and coffeehouses or enjoy a picnic by the river.

Oxford Highlights

All the entertainment and adventure of Oxford's city center is just a short walk away, and students are free to explore in small groups.

Christ Church

Visit the beautiful cathedral and grounds of the famous college conceived in the 1520s.

Bodlean Library

This architectural gem holds a copy of every book published in the United Kingdom.

Carfax Tower

Climb to the top to see why Oxford deserves its unofficial title, “City of Dreaming Spires.”

The Randolph

This classy hotel is an ideal spot for afternoon tea on a rainy day.

Covered Market

Explore this arcade of farmers’ stalls, small boutiques, flower shops and sandwich cafes.

Pitt-Rivers Museum

This must-see anthropology museum contains everything from shrunken heads to musical instruments.

University Parks

The perfect place to lounge, play, or watch a cricket match, the parks are just steps from the university.

Ghost Tour

Be spooked on a night tour of Oxford’s ghoulish and haunted past.

Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology

Britain’s oldest public museum is home to an impressive collection of art, historical objects and oddities.


Founded in 1458, visit the beautiful grounds and its deer park on the river Cherwell.

Eagle and Child

Have lunch at this famous public house where Tolkien first discussed The Lord of the Rings.

Radcliffe Camera

With one of the largest domes in England, this is perhaps the most magnificent building in Oxford.

Academics 01

Art & Architecture students visit Oxford’s Divinity School

Academics 02

Acting out a scene from A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Academics 03

Analyzing the human psyche in Developmental Psychology

Academics 04

Oxford Sketchbook students hard at work

Academics 05

Future entrepreneurs plot the next big idea

Academics 06

Exploring Renaissance history in Shakespeare’s England

Academics 07

PPE convenes outside for a discussion of the United Nations

Academics 08

Voyages in Afternoon Tea lives up to its name

Academics 09

Working on composition in Digital Photography

Academics 10

Courses follow the Oxford University tutorial format

Academics 11

The Oxford Seminar Series in action

Academics 12

Learning the art of branding in Marketing & Advertising

At Summerfuel we believe learning should be engaging, inspiring and fun. We have worked hard to design courses, field trips and guest lectures that provide 'only in Oxford' experiences. Whenever possible, course content is enhanced by the plentiful resources Oxford and London have to offer, so that England becomes your classroom. Visit Parliament while it is in session with your political science class, tour the medieval colleges in Oxford Art & Architecture, or visit a start-up business for Entrepreneurship.

Summerfuel courses are modeled on the Oxford tutorial format, with small class sizes and an emphasis on seminar-style discussion, for a true college experience. Courses are taught by an accomplished faculty, including Oxford University professors, practicing professionals and artists.

Seminar Series

Since its inception in 2002, the Summerfuel Oxford Seminar Series has provided an opportunity for students to explore and discuss a stimulating range of issues and ideas, and for our senior faculty members to showcase their research. The series takes place once a week throughout the program. The following are examples of past lectures, and possible topics for 2015:

  • A History of Oxford and Britain in 25 Objects
  • Philosophy: Why Bother?
  • Oxford in the Movies: from Laurel & Hardy to Harry Potter
  • Is Fair Trade Possible?

I LOVED being in Oxford. It is an amazing place, and it really came to feel like home to me. I met new people, learned some new traditions, and came in contact with history at every corner. I met and spent time with excellent people in the program, both students and staff. I know I will remember this summer as a highlight of my high school experience."

Sarah S., Rockville, MD

Morning Courses


International Business

What is global capitalism and how does it work? Examine the dynamic world of international business - supply and demand, market structure, trading, and investment - and some of the institutions that keep it in check, such as national governments, the WTO, and the IMF. With your classmates, you'll solve interesting business problems and form your own strategies for some of the world's top organizations.

Marketing & Advertising

Marketing and advertising can make or break the success of any product. Learn how the right packaging, pricing and advertising can set an idea apart from the rest. Dive into the complexities of consumerbehavior to develop a winning marketing strategy to promote and sell a new product of your choosing. From advertising on the internet, to magazines, the radio and TV, there's no limit to where your creativity can take you!

Economics & Management

How do economic theories and the management of resources and labour intersect to solve global business and social issues? Dissect the relationship between these two related areas of study to find more efficient and effective theories, models and frameworks for government economic policies and organisational functions. This course will utilize case studies and dynamic class discussion to explore this multi-disciplinary concentration and hone students’ analytical and communication skills.

SAT Prep by The Princeton Review

SAT Preparation

This course is the most thorough SAT preparation course offered by The Princeton Review. With 30 hours of small-group instruction and individual consultation plus 4 full-length SAT tests, your Princeton Review program will provide you with instruction in the math, critical reading, and writing strategies that you will need to perform at your highest level. Students are grouped by shared strengths and weaknesses to provide targeted instruction. Watch your scores rise as you strengthen your skills with teachers from the nation's leading test prep company. The Princeton Review guarantees that if you complete your program (program completion requires attending all classes, taking all practice exams, completing all homework, participating in a wrap-up session when you return home and taking the October SAT) and you are not satisfied with your score on the October SAT, you may take an SAT Refresher Course or extend membership to the online student center free of charge. (Supplemental Fee: $895)


Psychology in Film

This course will use the medium of film to present basic psychological theories involving personality, abnormal and social psychology. Students will watch two or three films per week prior to a class discussion. The main protagonists of each film will be considered in the context of existing personality or diagnostic questionnaires, or social psychology theories. The history, experimental work and main debates surrounding each film and theory will be covered. Examples of films are likely to include Rain Man (for autistic spectrum disorder), As Good As It Gets (obsessive-compulsive disorder), Little Miss Sunshine (coping strategies, extraversion, stress, depression), and Super Size Me (attitudes and beliefs, research methods). The course will allow students to develop analytical skills and will introduce the concepts of experimental methods, ethics, questionnaire design and diagnostic criteria for psychological disorders.

Medical Science

This exciting and challenging interdisciplinary course will introduce you to some of the fundamental concepts of medical science. Learn how the immune system functions, and sometimes malfunctions, with respect to disease and how health care professionals and organizations work to prevent, treat, and cure illness. Besides the scientific, you will also investigate the social, political and cultural dimensions of the experience of health and wellness. Prerequisite: Completion of a high school biology course.

Social Sciences

International Relations

Examine international relations not as abstract theory, but as events that affect the lives of ordinary people. You will study current events relating to war and terrorism, diplomacy, refugee status, human rights, and aid for the developing world in order to think critically about the arguments made in international politics. Formulate your own position on the issues, balancing moral concerns with national interests. Readings and class discussions will be augmented by guest speakers who can share their personal perspectives on events studied in the course. In past summers, speakers have include a former prisoner of war, an evacuee from the London Blitz of 1940, a Darfur activist, and the Head of the Oxford Islam and Muslim Awareness Project.

Philosophy, Politics & Economics

How do philosophers, politicians and economists aim to create a just and fair society? Explore the connections between philosophy, politics and economics in America and Britain in this course based on the famous Oxford undergraduate major. Discover the real world consequences of financial policies that aim to improve our lives. Investigate controversial issues like the redistribution of wealth through taxation and economic incentives for individuals and companies to formulate your own opinion on how the government can best provide for its people.

Visual & Performing Arts

Oxford Art & Architecture

Use Oxford as your classroom to discover its thousand years of architectural beauty and history. On daily trips to sites around the city, you will explore the civic, ecclesiastical, and collegiate architecture of Oxford and engage directly with some of the finest art collections in England. You'll fill a journal with sketches and photographs of all that you see to create a living memory of your summer experience.

Writing & Literature

English for Non-Native Speakers

Improve your reading, writing, and speaking skills in order to succeed in college and beyond. Designed for non-native speakers of English, this course will expose you to a variety of texts and writing styles. You will be taken through the entire writing process--from crafting your work to the final editing process. This course compliments your immersion in a UK college setting, while providing a supportive environment to boost confidence and achievement.


Shakespeare can change your life. Find out how this summer by exploring The Complete Works with an expert guide. Whether you are new to the Bard or already an enthusiast this course will enliven your mind. We will read several plays, acting out scenes, and discovering Renaissance England along the way. Imagine attending performances at the Globe Theater and in the exquisite grounds of Oxford colleges. Rain or shine you will be mesmerized and finish the course a genuine Shakespearean.

Creative Writing

Imagine. Compose. Inspire. Develop your unique voice as you focus on the main elements of writing short fiction. With works by well known writers as your model, learn to develop narrative point of view, effective description, characterization and dialogue. Make use of the rich resources of Oxford to turn your own experiences and impressions into finished works to share with others. Return home with a variety of revised pieces for a portfolio you can be proud of.

Afternoon Courses



Get ready to buy, sell and trade your way through the basics of financial markets. Learn to navigate the stock exchange, to balance between risk and return and to create a diversified portfolio. Discover why corporations succeed or fail and use current financial news to gain an applied understanding of the global market. Particular focus will be spent on the similarities and differences between England as part of the European Union and the United States.


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 show you how to create your own business from start to finish. Learn how to identify a market, attract investors and manage growth and expansion. Study models of both successful and unsuccessful businesses and look at the developing impact of technology. Visit local businesses to gain a greater understanding of the complexities involved in running a successful entrepreneurial venture. Then, work with a team of your peers to develop your own original business plan to promote your innovative idea.

SAT Prep by The Princeton Review

SAT Preparation

Welcome to your one-stop, all-inclusive SAT preparation course with The Princeton Review. Each class provides instruction in the math, critical reading, and writing strategies that you will need to perform at the highest level. In addition to 18 hours of small-group classroom lessons and individual consultation, you will take 3 full-length SAT tests and receive a personalized score report with your analyzed results and suggestions for further study. Students are grouped by shared strengths and weaknesses to provide targeted instruction. Watch your scores rise as you strengthen your skills with experienced teachers from the nation's leading test prep company. The Princeton Review guarantees that if you have attended all classes and practice tests, completed all homework assignments and view an online wrap-up session in the fall, and you are not satisfied with your score on the October SAT, you may take an SAT Refresher Course or extend membership to the online student center free of charge. (Supplemental Fee: $695)


Psychology of the Criminal Mind

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.


Discover recent developments on the nature and role of DNA. Learn how genetic research and advances in molecular biology are re-shaping medicine and enabling new treatments for diseases such as cancer and AIDS. You will also discuss current ethical issues in medicine such as gene therapy, genetic engineering and cloning. Prerequisite: Completion of high school biology course.

Abnormal Psychology

The inner workings of the brain are still largely a mystery, but our ability to better understand the brain function and chemistry and how they relate to human behavior has vastly improved. Investigate the ways neuropsychologists differentiate healthy human behavior from abnormal functioning. You will examine the causes and definitions of mental illness and brain disorders from schizophrenia to Parkinson's disease to dissociative identity disorder (multiple personality disorder). In addition, learn about the symptoms and effective treatments for these conditions, such as different types of therapy and medication.

Social Sciences

Voyages in Afternoon Tea

"Each cup of tea represents an imaginary voyage" - Catherine Douzel - Britain consumes around 165 million cups of tea each day. Afternoon tea is an English institution, accompanied by sandwiches, scones or cake. Explore the culture and history of this English activity through the tea rooms, collections, shops and houses in Oxford. This will be a voyage of discovery leading from a variety of taste sensations to an exploration of English customs, rituals, trade and wars.

Public Speaking

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 a college interview, public speaking is a skill everyone should master. Develop your ability to express yourself confidently and clearly by practicing a wide range of presentation styles, including motivational, persuasive and entertainment. Sharpen your skills with the aid of videos and texts of famous orations to deliver a performance for any occasion.

Visual & Performing Arts

The British Invasion

Britain has been responsible for many of the greatest acts in rock & roll and continues to produce top artists in all genres of popular music. You will study the core groups from the British rock and popular music canon including The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Sex Pistols, the Smiths and Oxford's own Radiohead. Investigate the genres of rock, psychedelic rock, punk, ska, Britpop and Hip Hop.

Actor's Workshop

Become a member of a working theatre company, led by a professional director. Stretch your imagination and develop the skills needed by all actors: movement, improvisation, characterization, voice and speech, storytelling, text interpretation, and ensemble work. Through games and exercises, you'll also learn about story telling, text interpretation and timing. At the conclusion of the course, perform for your friends and the entire Summerfuel community.

Digital Photography

Pursue your passion for photography and apply your own artistic touch in the digital darkroom. Master the fundamentals of composition through discussion of the work of well-known photographers and explore your own style taking pictures around Oxford. Learn how to use the manual features of your digital camera and Adobe Photoshop to conceive and create images with beauty, purpose, intent and meaning. Perfect your best work for display in the final ASA Art Show. You must supply your own DSLR digital camera and laptop with Adobe Photoshop. (Supplemental Fee: $75)

Writing & Literature

Creative Writing

Imagine. Compose. Inspire. Develop your unique voice as you focus on the main elements of writing short fiction. With works by well known writers as your model, learn to develop narrative point of view, effective description, characterization and dialogue. Make use of the rich resources of Oxford to turn your own experiences and impressions into finished works to share with others. Return home with a variety of revised pieces for a portfolio you can be proud of.

Oxford Authors

Experience Oxford through the writings of three famous Oxford scholars: Lewis Carroll, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. By enjoying a variety of excursions, you will explore the physical and intellectual landscape of Oxford and the influence it has had on these author's imaginative works. Consider the function of myth, allegory, symbolism and other literary forms and compare your own experiences and adventures in Oxford to those that take place in Alice's Wonderland, Narnia and the magic of the Hobbit's Middle-earth.

Shakespeare's England

Immerse yourself in the Elizabethan world of William Shakespeare, and approach 'The Complete Works' from unexpected angles. Explore the elements of life in 16th century England that contributed to the development of the world's greatest playwright and better understand Shakespeare's plays. Recreate the provincial life in Shakespeare's hometown of Stratford, focusing on religion, schooling, courtship, marriage, work and class. Opportunities to see plays at London's Globe Theatre and in Oxford give you first-hand experiences to compare and contrast with the performances and customs of Elizabethan times.

Activities 13

Getting an inside look at St. Paul’s Cathedral

Academics 14

Summerfuel students try their hand at Extreme Croquet

Activities 01

The faculty-student soccer match gets heated

Academics 02

Documenting a visit to Stonehenge

Academics 03

Enjoying a game of cricket on LMH’s grounds

Academics 04

Perfecting dance moves for the annual talent show

Academics 05

Taking in the sights at Oxford’s Natural History Museum

Academics 06

A perfect photo op in London’s Trafalgar Square

Academics 7

Exploring the River Cherwell in a punt

Academics 08

Racing to the finish line in the Summerfuel Olympics

Academics 09

Relaxing with a book on a sunny afternoon

Academics 12

Hitting the courts before afternoon classes

Academics 13

Seeing the sights in Paris on a Bateau Mouche

Academics 14

Students on the Paris Extension try out Berthillon’s famous ice cream

Included Trips

Every weekend, you will travel to historic sites to make sure you see the best that England has to offer.

Best of London: Part 1

Discover one of the world’s most exciting international cities, whose history dates back to Roman times. This trip is designed to give you an overview of all that London has to offer with a bus tour and a stop at Covent Market for shopping and food.

Best of London: Part 2

Experience London’s must-see attractions on our second visit. Explore the Tate Modern art gallery, visit the Tower of London and the Crown Jewels, tour St. Paul’s Cathedral or wander through Harrods for souvenirs.

Blenheim Palace

Explore the 18th century palace and its extensive grounds, home to the 11th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough and birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill.


Tour the famous Hot Springs and Roman Baths and take in the finest 18th century urban design at the Royal Crescent and Circus.

Broughton Castle

Discover one of England’s most beautiful castles, where the films The Scarlet Pimpernel and Shakespeare in Love were filmed.

Something Extra

Summerfuel provides the following optional trips at an extra cost to a limited number of students.

West End Theatre

Choose from a diverse line up of plays and musicals in London's famous West End. In the past, Summerfuel students have seen Wicked!, Les Miserables, Once and Matilda.

London Bike Tour

Visit Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, the Royal Parks, Kensington Palace, Big Ben and Trafalgar Square – and learn about their history. This leisurely and comfortable tour is open to bike riders of all levels.

Paris Extension: July 25-29, $1,695

What better way to complement your month abroad in Europe than to travel to one of the continent’s cultural capitals? Enjoy a five-day visit to the City of Lights, featuring organized tours and activities highlighting Paris’ greatest monuments and some of its more off-beat attractions. Climb the Eiffel Tower, visit Notre Dame and experience some of Europe’s greatest museums. In the evenings, take a cruise on the River Seine, explore Île Saint Louis or just watch the world go by from a Parisian café. The extension fee is all-inclusive and includes three meals per day.

Daily Activities

Summerfuel offers a wide variety of activities each and every day at Lady Margaret Hall and around Oxford.

Past favorites include:

  • High tea
  • Croquet
  • Cricket
  • Shakespeare performances
  • Formal dinners
  • Harry Potter Tour
  • Soccer
  • Basketball
  • Tennis
  • Punting
  • College Admissions Workshops
  • Rugby
  • Cricket
  • Dodge ball tournament
  • Talent Show
  • Karaoke
  • Outdoor movies
  • Spa night
  • Casino night
  • Hypnotist
  • Ice skating
  • Trivia contests
  • 80s Dance

Senior Staff

At Summerfuel, we are particularly proud of our exceptional program directors, staff and faculty. We believe that strong, nurturing and experienced leadership sets the tone for a successful program.

The senior staff is composed of two Co-Directors, a Residence Life Director, an Academic Director, an Activities Director, and a Student Services Coordinator. Our Co-Director, Paul Saville, has led the Oxford Experience program for over 25 years. He is an Oxford professor and artist and resides in the city year-round. The second Co-Director, Emily Osborne, has been with Summerfuel for 8 years and works as an AP/Honors high school teacher during the academic year.


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 to eleven students. RAs will always be available to organize activities, provide tours around Oxford, 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.

  • 1 to 8 student to residential staff ratio
  • 24 hour security with a team of porters on staff at Lady Margaret Hall
  • Electronic key pass required for entry into residence hall buildings
  • 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