Tag Archives: school trips new york city

For Student Travel Groups, Broadway is the Lights of American Musical History

For more than a century Broadway has been making musical theater come to life in New York City. There has never been a better time to engage the musical than now, and there is no better place for the musical than Broadway. Start the day with your student travel group in New York City in Lower Manhattan at The Theater Museum on 40 Worth Street: http://www.thetheatremuseum.org. See the history of the famous Playbills show time magazine, the history of the showboat and other exhibitions on display. Later the student tour group can head uptown for lunch and a show.

Currently there are many award-winning Broadway musicals around Times Square. The Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder not only won the 2014 Tony for Best Musical, but Darko Tresnjak won Best Director and Linda Cho won for Best Costume Design. This new musical is taking Broadway by storm. Set in England’s elegant Edwardian era, it shows just how low some will go to make it to the top. Latest news on the cast is available at this link: http://www.agentlemansguidebroadway.com.

Jessie Mueller won Best Actress in the 2014 Tony Awards for her leading role in BEAUTIFUL: The Carole King Musical. This musical is a story of true Americana, tracing the history of writer and singer Carole King, whose voice helped shape the sound of a generation. Mueller’s performance leaves the audience wanting more. Standing ovations after every show make it one of the best experiences today on the street of lights. For more details on the musical The Wall Street Journal calls “OUT OF CONTROL AMAZING!” please see this link: http://beautifulonbroadway.com

Disney has been bringing their magic to Broadway for over two decades. Aladdin is the latest hot ticket with the amazing James Monroe Iglehart winning a 2014 Tony for Best Actor. Aladdin brings the historic New Amsterdam Theater into a new century, with special effects and lighting that dazzle viewers. There is also the ongoing Lion King for the true Disney and Elton John fan. Few musicals have had a better selling soundtrack in history than The Lion King, which also won many awards for singing, acting, set design, writing and directing.

Les Miserables, the musical adaptation of Victor Hugo’s famous novel is an ongoing classic at The Imperial Theater, continuing to wow and educate audiences from around the world with the epic tale of the French Revolution. Another longtime popular Broadway musical is now in its tenth anniversary on Broadway, and of course that means the musical WICKED. WICKED is a retelling of the classic American epic Wizard of Oz, a prequel to the original Wizard. This is the story of the Wicked Witch of the West and Glenda the Good Witch.
Another new musical getting attention is MATILDA. Based on the book by beloved children’s author Roald Dahl, Matilda is a precocious child equipped with psychic abilities and telekinetic powers that help her battle the wicked adults around her.

For fans of Frankie Valli, Jersey Boys is one more important musical on Broadway that is garnering a lot of attention. Jersey Boys is the true but classic story of rags to riches, tracing the American story of bestselling music sensation Frankie Valli and his band, The Four Seasons. Such chart topping songs as “Sherry,” “Rag Doll” and many others have become part of the American soundtrack.

Student tour groups visit New York City for a one of a kind experience at 42nd and Broadway, the place millions have journeyed to for more than a century to be entertained. Trip leaders, do not forget to take student groups on a visit to the Theater Museum and ask a travel professional to plan the trip around other art or historic museums in the city. To create an itinerary for a student trip to New York City, visit http://www.educationaltravelconsultants.com.

9-11 Museum Slated to Open in New York City Fall of 2013

by Howard Clemens

Thousands of student travel groups have visited the 9-11 Memorial since it opened on September 11, 2011. Now, the 9-11 Museum—tentatively slated to open in September of 2013—promises to offer an even more comprehensive and significant experience for students and teachers.

The 110,000 square foot museum will be housed in the ‘heart’ of the former site of the World Trade Center. It will contain a vast amount of archives and material related to 9-11, as well as to the World Trade Center attack of February 23, 1993. Students will be able to learn about this pivotal point in American and World history in a fully integrated, instructive, and—in many respects—‘hands on’ environment.

Displays of Personal Artifacts Provide a New Perspective for Student Travel Groups

Displays will include personal items and memorabilia found in the aftermath of the attacks, such as clothing and photographs. In the Museum’s oral history collection, students will be able to listen to recorded interviews given by survivors, first responders, witnesses, and the families and loved ones of victims. They will also be able to watch videotapes and view documents and personal emails, many of them donated and provided by the families of those who lost their lives. All of this will be presented in respectful ways that educate and enlighten students of all ages and cultural backgrounds.

The museum will also offer a full digital timeline of the tragedies and the heroism so many demonstrated in response to them, right up to recovery efforts and the construction of the Memorial itself.  Some of the larger displays will include FDNY ambulances and fire trucks, as well as beams and other building structures recovered from Ground Zero.  Some student travel group leaders may want to schedule detailed, comprehensive guided tours to provide students with an opportunity to ask questions and have them answered.  There will also be a gallery showcasing the work of artists addressing the tragedy through a variety of mediums, from music to visual art.

Visiting the 9-11 Museum and the 9-11 Memorial

Over the years, many teachers have attested to how profound the experience of visiting the 9-11 Memorial was for their students. And many students have said that actually being at the site has afforded them a perspective they could not have gotten in a classroom.  Despite the tragedy of 9-11, the Memorial is presented in the spirit of hope, so student groups have almost always described their experience there as being as life-changing and enlightening.  A trip to the corresponding museum will surely be a way to enhance that experience, and bring it full circle.

Though it has only been open for a little over a year, the 9-11 Memorial is now one of the most visited sites in the world. Student groups have come from across the United States and beyond to understand what happened that day. The tragedy affected people on a personal and international scale. In the words of Joe Daniels, the 9-11 Foundation president,  “The museum will be a place for education and inspiration” that will “commemorate the lives lost, preserve the history of what happened that terrible day, and tell the stories of courage and compassion that were so much a part of the response to 9/11.”

Teachers wanting to give their students a full portrait of the historic significance of 9-11 should consider including a trip to the Memorial and Museum in any NYC-based student travel trip planned for the coming year. To synchronize the opening of the Museum with student travel dates, find updates here on the Memorial and Museum website.

To learn more about student trips to New York City, visit http://www.educationaltravelconsultants.com.

Student Travel Tour to NYC Introduces Foreign Exchange Students to American Culture

by Howard Clemens

Recently, Tim Dougherty, Director of Admissions at Cathedral Preparatory School and Villa Maria Academy, took his international and foreign exchange students on a tour of New York City.

The tour was included as part of a package designed to encourage international students to enroll in both schools. It was also an attempt to introduce students to American culture, by exposing them to historical American landmarks like the Empire State Building and the United Nations.

With the help of his student travel company, Dougherty worked out a tour that turned out to be a great success, and a wonderful way for his students to make the transition into the United States. I interviewed him about his experience recently, and he went over some of the details of the trip.

Q. What is your official position at Cathedral Prep?

A.  My title is Director of Admissions at Cathedral Preparatory School and Villa Maria Academy.  Cathedral Prep is an all-male school of approximately 600 students and Villa is an all-female school of over 300 students.  We have one common administration, one curriculum, one school calendar, but we have two campuses…one for boys and one for girls.  Both Cathedral Prep and Villa belong to the Catholic Diocese of Erie in Pennsylvania.

Q. When you planned this student trip to New York City, what was your vision? How does the trip tie into studies?

A.  The trip was purely for entertainment and sightseeing for the students, many who had never been to New York City.  We were not covering New York City in the classroom, and it was not tied into any educational program we have.  When planning the trip I envisioned seeing all the famous sights in the city and allowing the students to have a real “New York” experience.

Q. Many of the students traveling were foreign exchange students. Can you explain how this came about? Give me some background on your school and families and their relationship to foreign exchange students.

A.  We have recently initiated an international program (consisting of mostly Chinese students) at Prep and Villa.  The students are exceptional in the classroom and pay top-dollar to study in the USA, so in order to entice them to enroll at our schools we included a yearly trip to New York City as part of the tuition package.  All of the 28 students on the trip were international students, mostly from China.  We had one student from Denmark and one other from Slovakia.

Q. The Empire State Building was on your itinerary. Why did you think it was important to bring the group here? What was their experience like?

A. The Empire State Building is one of the most recognizable images of New York City, and in America.  All of our international students were familiar with it—they’d seen it on television and in movies.  When we told the students we would not only be visiting the building, but would also be going to the top of it, they were more than thrilled.  I thought it would be a once in a lifetime opportunity for them to visit the building that has been a symbol of NYC for so long. It allowed for several awesome photo opportunities, and an excellent view of the entire city.  We went at night, and the view was breathtaking!  The students, many of whom live in large cities in China, agreed that it was one of the most beautiful city landscapes they’ve ever seen.  The fact that we saw the city lit up at night made it extra special.

Q. The United Nations Audio Tour must have been interesting.  Was this narrated on a mobile device?  If so, how did it enhance the tour? Did students get to see people in the UN at work? I imagine UN sessions are closed to the public, but please describe what you saw and learned in detail.

A. The United Nations tour was interesting, and the students and chaperones were both moved by what they saw.  The work that the UN does in order to provide children and the under-privileged with school and medical supplies is amazing, and unknown to many people.  Many of the students and chaperones were teary-eyed at the end of the tour when they saw the images of the people in need, and how grateful they were for the hard work of the UN.  The fact that the tour was given with the assistance of an audio device was immensely helpful considering that the international students were able to listen in their native language. Unfortunately there were no ambassadors working and nothing in session during our visit.  But we were able to visit the main room in the UN that everyone always sees on television.

Q. How did students like the visit to Central Park?

A. Our trip to Central Park was brief, but a lot of fun. There were still a lot of leaves on the trees, and the weather was comfortable considering the time of year. We stopped at the Alice in Wonderland statute, and got some group photos.  There was a woman playing the guitar and singing beautifully while we were there, which added to the ambiance.

Q. The 911 Memorial is a site most student groups visit.  Why was it important to you to bring the group to this site? Also, what were their reactions?

A. The students were anxious to visit the 911 Memorial because they are all familiar with the importance of that day to Americans.  On 9/11 the entire world was impacted, so the memorial is special for everyone around the globe.  The students were very impressed with the beautiful memorial, and took time to reflect on the tragedy that changed America and the rest of the world forever.  For the most part, the students were reverent and respectful during the visit, and asked the chaperones several questions, which showed they were sincerely interested in learning more about what they were witnessing.

Q. Did you give any post trip writing or oral presentations projects to students?

A. The students were not given any assignments to do for this trip.  They’re very scholarly and have plenty of other homework to do, so we did not require them to do anything on this trip.  Most of them used their free time at the hotel to catch up on the work they were missing while they were out of school.

Q. What was your overall impression of the tour guide and your experience of traveling with your particular tour guides?

A. Our tour guide was excellent!  She knew the city very well and took great care of us during the entire trip. She always had a good attitude, and when we had to make slight changes to our itinerary, she did an outstanding job of getting us all set.  Not only was she knowledgeable about the landmarks and sightseeing hotspots, but very helpful with guiding us through the best traffic routes. Our travel company definitely had the best itinerary, services, and overall plan for our trip to New York City.  Every detail was planned and taken care of.  It was reassuring, and each night at the hotel I slept a little better knowing we had the support of the night time security worker that had been arranged. I can honestly say that I’m thrilled with our experience, and that we plan on taking more trips in the future.

Student travel can help facilitate innovative and imaginative ways to incorporate students into American culture. Itineraries may be designed to accommodate a variety of backgrounds and educational goals, and are by no means limited to American students alone. With a little ingenuity and planning, teachers can create travel tours that can open doors for students and help ease their transition into exciting new academic environments that will open doors for them.

Request a Quote for a student trip to NYC or other locations in the U.S. Canada, Puerto Rico and other locations.

Student Trip to NYC Opens Up New Horizons for a School Group from Texas

By Howard Clemens

Students from Byron Nelson High School in Texas pose in front of the NYC skyline.

Lori Imrecke, a popular teacher whose approach to her profession is innovative and fun, is an Economics instructor at Byron Nelson High School in Texas. She’s also a sponsor of the school’s Snow, Ski, and Snowboard Club, and an avid proponent and organizer of student travel.

Students Travel From Different Schools

Recently, she took her students on a tour of New York City. “I like to take the kids on trips that expose them to things they wouldn’t normally see,” Imrecke says. “They leave suburban Texas and enter into a whole new world.” This particular excursion was unique because students from other area schools were involved. Imrecke put the word out about the trip, and got a great response from other teachers who wanted their students to be involved. “A lot of the kids didn’t really know each other, so they made a lot of new friends on this trip,” Imrecke says. “There was a lot of great conversation and sharing of individual experiences.”

Students explore the vivid street life in NYC.

Visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC

The group’s objective as a whole was to see as many sites in NYC as possible. “We visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art,” says Imrecke. “I had gone before, but seeing it through the students’ eyes made it a whole new experience for me.” Many of the exhibits correlated with the students’ particular fields of study or interest. “Some of the kids were studying photography,” Imrecke says, “So they were interested in those displays. Others wanted to see the Egyptian exhibit. One student was in a state of culture shock everywhere he went. Everything we saw was amazing to him!”

A Visit to the 911 Memorial

One of the most important visits the group made was to the 9/11 Memorial. “For the kids, it was eye-opening,” Imrecke says. “They all remembered 9/11 happening, but they were too young at the time to really grasp the significance of it. The visit to the site made it real for them.” The tour guide, who had lived in the city at the time, also shared her stories with the group. “One of the students took a photo of the memorial, and it was entered into a contest to be displayed at the Capitol,” Imrecke says.  “It didn’t ultimately make it in to the exhibit, but it was a very powerful experience for her.”

Wall Street, the Federal Reserve Bank and the Statue of Liberty

The group also visited Wall Street, and took the boat over to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. This segment was of particular interest to the American History students. “The cool thing about Ellis Island was that they already had a background knowledge of it,” says Imrecke. “They were in awe of the statue, and seeing it really brought it to life. It was a perfect day.” The group toured NYC’s financial district and the Federal Reserve Bank. “I wanted the students to get some insights on the Federal Reserve and how it works,” says Imrecke. The students had a lot of questions for the tour guide, and appeared to be learning from other students’ questions. “They took us down into the vaults,” says Imrecke. “Getting to see all that gold in one room was astonishing to them.”

Visits to Other Sites of Interest to Student Groups in NYC

The itinerary had a lot of cultural variety. “We spent time in places like Chinatown, and went to Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. The museum was a blast! The kids loved it because they could be goofy and take pictures of the wax celebrities. It fed right into their views on pop culture.” The tour also featured a Broadway musical, The Lion King, which was thrilling for the music students in the group. “They found it so fascinating,” Imrecke says. “This was really the number one iconic New York experience I wanted them to have. In fact, it was so great that we’re in the process of working out the logistics of another trip to NYC.”

Imrecke loved watching the students’ faces as they experienced Times Square and other NYC landmarks for the first time. “I wanted the kids to get as comprehensive an idea of NYC as possible, to experience the hustle and bustle of New York,” she said, “and I really feel that was accomplished. It’s a lot of work to organize a tour, but it’s so worth it. I would recommend it to every teacher.”

Education is not what it used to be. No longer does learning need to be confined solely to the classroom. Supplemental curriculum like student travel can open up new horizons and introduce students to a brand new world of interactive learning. When they can experience the world hands-on, their knowledge of subject matter is enriched and expanded.

Request a quote for a student trip to New York City.