23rd Feb 2023
Over the February half term, a group of our students had an incredible opportunity to go to New York; a brilliant chance for them to travel more independently, see the sights and make new friends.
The trip was coordinated by Nikkie Almond, our Head of Student Engagement and Elizabeth Frost, Head of Campus Experience at our Witney Campus who shared their experience below. This is the 7th year they have coordinated the trip, and this year eleven students from across the College joined Nikkie and Elizbeth for the exciting adventure.
The group had an early start, meeting at the College at 6am on Tuesday 14th February before heading to Heathrow to catch their flight. Once they landed, they wasted no time, heading straight from the airport to Times Square and Bryant Park.
“What I love about taking students to New York is watching the students grow over the short period of time we’re there. Many of them had not met each other before the trip, so the flight out is their first opportunity to gel and gosh did they gel! By the end of the outward-bound flight, we had a little second family developing. I have never seen a group gel as quick.”
After unpacking their bags and getting a quick night’s sleep, the group got straight into sightseeing; spending Wednesday visiting the Statue of Liberty, going on a tour of Ellis Island, seeing the Brooklyn Bridge, and enjoying dinner at the famous Hard Rock Café all before admiring New York at night from the Empire State Building.
On the Thursday, the group headed to Jersey Garden Shopping Mall before heading to SUMMIT One Vanderbilt; a multi-sensory experience which uses immersive art to show off a unique side of New York. The skyscraper is famous for its all-glass elevator which offers breath-taking views as it rises 1,210 feet above ground.
On their last full day the group visited Ground Zero, the memorial for 9/11 before going to the National September 11 Museum in the afternoon. Nikkie proudly shared the following about the groups conduct:
“None of our students had been born when 9/11 happened, upon entering the museum I was just so proud of how they took the time and compassion to fully understand and appreciate how this act of terrorism changed history completely.”
To finish off their trip, the group found time for one last celebration in Ellen’s dinner, celebrating the birthday of one of our students who had turned 19.
“There were so many highlights from the trip, but my favourite had to be our evening at Ellen’s Diner; it is just such a hive of energy. I had students who usually suffer from a lack of confidence singing along at the top of their voice to a Mamma Mia medley and Happy Birthday.”
We are delighted to hear and share that our students had such a great trip to New York. If you would like to learn more about the student experience at Abingdon & Witney College, please click here.