Explore Summerfuel ⬇︎
Leadership at columbia

Learn cutting edge business, communication and leadership skills in the heart of the world's most dynamic city.

June 28- July 18, 2020
Program Fee:
University Residence Hall
Ages 14-17
Program Fee includes:
Tuition, room, 2 meals per day, use of select campus facilities, included excursions and daily activities, bed linens, pillow and towels, 24-hour residential care and support, staff accompanied airport transfer during specified windows.
Not Included:
Airfare/transportation to and from home city, courses and activities shown to have an extra fee, laundry, spending money, souvenirs, meals eaten away from program, airport transfers outside of specified windows, trip cancellation insurance, medical insurance, medical and dental expenses.

Summerfuel’s Business & Leadership Program offers an exciting introduction to the business, leadership and innovation skills required to succeed in today's rapidly changing business world. Problem-solving and communication skills learned can be applied to wider academic study and provide excellent preparation for careers in business, politics and law. The program draws an international community of future leaders, combining engaging instruction with hands-on learning opportunities, challenging students to collaborate, debate and think critically.

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09.00am • BREAKFAST
12.00am • LUNCH
06.00pm • DINNER
11.00pm • CHECK-IN
Nyc learning


Over the course of the summer program, students will have increased their knowledge of current affairs while learning skills for life.
By the end of the program the students will:

Gain a Global Perspective

Class time will examine and discuss real-world case studies to illustrate the social, political and economic issues facing the world today, and our international student body introduces students to others with a wide range of personal perspectives and experiences. 

Learn to Think Creatively

Hands-on projects will hone students’ ability to think critically and collaboratively to find innovative solutions to global problems.

Become Innovative Problem-Solvers

Students will utilize key research tools such as primary texts, documentaries, firsthand accounts and survey responses to delve below the surface of an issue to find innovative solutions.

Maximize Communication Skills

Roundtable discussions and personal reflections are built into the curriculum to help students organize their ideas and improve both verbal and written communication skills.

Debate with Confidence  

Students will learn how to develop an articulate voice, improving their comfort with and ability to speak publically and pitch their ideas with confidence.

Tap into their Leadership Potential

Students will gain a greater knowledge of themselves, their leadership style and their strengths or weaknesses as a team member. Consistent goal setting and self-reflection will help students strive towards both their short-term and long-term aspirations. 

Who is Business and Leadership for?

This program is designed for teens who wish to empower themselves with the knowledge, skills and perspective necessary to maximize their effectiveness as future business leaders. Whether interested in pursuing a career in business and politics, or improving communication skills, problem solving abilities and self-confidence, this program is for anyone with the ambition and drive to find a deeper understanding of both themselves and the globalized world in which we live.


Curriculum is designed and taught by an accomplished and passionate faculty from the Washington, DC based consulting firm, Strategic Good. Experts in their field, Strategic Good faculty have backgrounds in public education, project and program design, sustainable livelihood, social enterprise and business, and design thinking. Faculty engage closely with students not only as professors, but as mentors as well.


Dynamic faculty will take the learning beyond the classroom, utilizing all that New York has to offer to enrich the student’s experience. By engaging in debates, site visits, interactive workshops, and hands-on projects, students will increase critical and design thinking skills in real-world settings.

Self-Reflection & Goal Setting

Students will be asked to regularly reflect on their performance, identifying their goals for both the short-term and the long-term, and discussing action plans to meet those goals. These skills are essential for effective leadership, but also translate to all aspects of life.

Communication & Debate

Learning to communicate effectively in speaking, listening and presenting an argument are important for any professional or academic pursuit. Students will gain the confidence to make their voice heard, but also the collaborative skills to listen and respect other points of view.

Design Thinking

Thinking through a problem from all sides, examining its multiple facets and considering all stakeholders is necessary for finding innovative solutions. Design thinking projects will challenge students to think collaboratively and creatively in order to come up with ideas that mitigate the complex, multilateral issues which every global leader faces.

Global Perspective

This program gives students the opportunity to explore international issues in depth. It also brings students from across the United States and from around the world together to learn, cooperate, and think creatively. Beyond simply studying together, the experience of living alongside one another and forming lifelong friendships will be hugely impactful for any student’s leadership journey.
Nyc living


Columbia University is an oasis in the midst of Manhattan’s bustling city blocks. Set apart from the surrounding neighborhood, the clearly defined campus center has lush green lawns for sunbathing, kicking a soccer ball, or just connecting with friends.  The focused coursework of the Leadership program will be balanced with games on the quad, movie nights, ice cream and coffee runs, sightseeing, and shopping. 


The University's, fully air-conditioned bedrooms are shared doubles on a single-gender hallway with bathrooms just down the hall.  Housing is within easy walking distance of dining and classrooms. Summerfuel will use student responses to the housing questionnaire to pair roommates and group students in gender specific residence groups.  Senior Staff will also live in residence and are available to help with any issues 24/7.


Summerfuel students enjoy 2 meals a day throughout the program. While at Columbia, meals will be at Ferris Booth Commons where food stations offer varied options, including vegetarian and vegan fare, an omelet station, deli bar, salad stations, pizza, and more. Columbia dining is able to accommodate most dietary restrictions and preferences.  Meals will be provided off-site during excursions.  Please advise Summerfuel of dietary needs during the application process. 

Neighborhood Highlights

Students have access to the surrounding Morningside Heights neighborhood, which offers a plethora of cafes, restaurants, and shops, as well as the local subway station, connecting you to the rest of New York City.
Nyc exploring


When not in class, students enjoy a full and varied schedule of extracurricular activities to choose from. All excursions and activities are included in the program fee, so students are never at a loss for something to do.


The city of New York provides a vibrant background for exploration and discovery, and every weekend, we take full advantage of all that it has to offer. Immerse yourself in the local culture as you explore the city, visit historic landmarks, and indulge in every cuisine imaginable. New York sightseeing will be customized to include additional options based on student interest and current events in the city.

Times Square

There is nothing quite like the flashing lights and neon signs of Times Square. Filled with stores, restaurants, costumed characters, and musicians, it is a must-see of NYC.

Museum Mile

This stretch of NYC offers the finest collections of art, history, design, and culture from around the world. Visit everything from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim Museum, to the Museum of the City of New York and the National Design Museum.

Central Park

At the center of it all, Manhattan’s largest and most famous park boasts acres of open fields and woodlands, a zoo, concert venue, and restaurants. This is a fantastic spot to lounge in the sun, play sports with friends, and explore an oasis in the middle of the bustling city. 

Soho Shopping

This famously artsy neighborhood is one of New York City’s prime shopping districts. Explore the charming streets and hit all the best boutiques and designer outposts. Take a break for a bite in a street-side café.

Beach Day

Summer is not complete without a trip to the beach. New York offers a number of beaches to explore, boasting sun, sand, and the classic American boardwalk.



Every afternoon and evening students will have the opportunity to join an activity organized by Summerfuel staff, or spend time relaxing on campus or exploring Manhattan neighborhoods. 

Past Favorites Include:

Movie Night
Fro-Yo Runs
Glow Soccer
Quad Kick-Ball
Lip Sync Battles
Frisbee Golf
Capture the Flag
Jewelry Making
Talent Night Coffee House
Murder Mystery Night
Water Balloon Fights
Late Night Breakfast
Casino Night
Summerfuel Olympics

Nyc safety & security


The safety and well-being of our students is of paramount importance to us. Each program has two distinct specialist teams – one to manage residence life and one to manage academic success. Each staff member is carefully vetted using a written application, personal interview, professional reference check, and required background check.


Residential staff includes a director, senior staff, and one resident advisor (RA) for every twelve students. RAs live on each hall and work to create an inclusive and supportive residential community. RAs serve as mentors and active leaders to aid students in every aspect of their Columbia summer program experience. Senior Staff also live in residence and are available to address student safety, concerns, conflicts, and emergencies, at any time.


Summerfuel students are required to attend all classes each day, and attendance is taken at every class. During free time, students may choose between an organized activity or an individual pursuit such as classwork, laundry, or relaxing in the dorm. Students have freedom to explore with friends within an area surrounding campus defined by the program director. In the evenings, students check in with residence staff who will also use that time to catch up on the day’s events. Students are honor bound to follow safety protocols both on and off campus, and are required to use the buddy system during free time. 
Read our full code of conduct here


While the Columbia University facilities and surrounding area are quite safe, students and staff will take typical precautions of living in a large, active city.  All Columbia dormitories, academic buildings, and dining hall require a swipe card to enter.  Dormitories will have public safety personnel in the lobby area, and both bedrooms and bathrooms require a key for access.


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