New York Trip

Thursday 10th January 2013

On Friday 14 December 2012 Dr Vincent, Miss Coombs and 12 members of Upper 5, Lower 6 and Upper 6 left from Heathrow for a trip to New York. The idea was to look at three universities: New York University (NYU), Columbia and Cornell Medical School. Around these tours we arranged some cultural and sightseeing trips and some shopping!

We stayed in the Pennsylvania Hotel on Seventh Avenue which was ideally situated for all of our planned activities. On our first day we took a self-guided tour of NYU, as the university students were all taking examinations. The rest of the day was spent shopping and we went up the Empire State Building after dinner that evening. What an amazing way to see all the landmarks in New York! Luckily there was a really clear sky and we could see for 25 miles in all directions.

The following day was Sunday and all of the universities were closed so we took a river cruise around The Statue of Liberty. Sadly, this day it poured with rain all day so the photographs of this famous statue and the Brooklyn Bridge are somewhat lacking. In the evening we went to Times Square and the Hard Rock Café for dinner.

On our third day we had an admissions talk and tour of Columbia University. We were all very impressed and at least one of the girls in the group is fairly certain that is where she would like to go to university. In common with all American Universities, students at Columbia undertake a Liberal Arts Programme covering Humanities, Social Sciences and Science in their first year and then choose there are of speciality in the second (sophomore year). The difference is that students are also required to take a ‘core curriculum’ which has five strands: creativity, art and architecture, music, literature and philosophy. All of the students live onsite for the 4 year duration of their course. The tour guides were perfectly complementary to each other- the male Maths student had a very droll sense of humour while the female Politics student was bubbly and exuberant.

In the afternoon we did a tour of Radio City where we met a ‘rockette’ and heard about the gruelling training they have to endure to keep up their stamina and flexibility. That evening we went to see Phantom of the Opera. How exciting- not just seeing Broadway but actually going to a show! It was fantastic.

On Tuesday we toured Cornell Medical School. Our guide was a first year (postgraduate) medical student who had studied Business Studies and taken a Masters in Cognitive Psychology at the main, Ithaka, campus of Cornell. He gave a fascinating talk about the training and then took us on an excellent tour which included seeing a training manikin which had the most incredible, lifelike, features. Along with a pulse, heartbeat and pupils which were able to dilate, it had interchangeable body parts so could be male, female or a pregnant female who was able to give birth. The medical students can also practice doing a ‘lumbar puncture’ on the manikin. We were so impressed! We were also shown the dissection room which fascinated the girls.

On our last day we went to see ‘ground zero’ where the Twin Towers used to be before 9/11. It was very sad, and deeply moving, to see the many names of men, women and children who lost their lives on that fateful day.

This was followed by a last, frantic bout of shopping before heading back to JFK airport for the night flight back to the UK.


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