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US Trip of a Lifetime!

On the 9th February, the Business and Economics department took 33 students to the United States of America. We flew into Washington and visited the iconic sites of the US Capitol, the White House, the Smythsonian museums and the Lincoln Memorial. We then took a coach to Philadelphia, where we were able to view the Liberty Bell and the famous Rocky steps and statue before heading off to New York. There we walked around Manhattan, took a ferry to the Statue of Liberty, went to the top of the Empire State Building, toured the Financial District and ground zero and battled through a snowstorm to visit the United Nations Headquarters. We also ate our weight in chocolate at the Hershey’s Chocolate World tour, listened to the 9/11 stories from firefighters at the FDNY store, posed with police officers at the Brooklyn 99 HQ in Brooklyn, rode the carousel at Central Park, cheered for players at the Brooklyn Nets basketball game and hung out with minor celebrities in Times Square. To be able to travel with this group was an absolute pleasure - they were inquisitive, excitable, friendly and incredibly well-behaved. They did their research and made sure they experienced everything these cities had to offer - I’ve never had a group want to retire to their beds so early, ready for the array of activities of the next day. This was a trip to remember for a lifetime!

Mrs Harris, Head of Business and Economics

After an 8-hour flight, we landed in Washington where we rested our heads before heading off to the Capitol Building.  We were given an incredibly detailed and interesting tour, learning the basis of the US Justice and Government system. We also walked along The Mall, seeing the Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr's Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial and the White House to name a few. My friend and I also had time to look around the American History Museum, seeing Dorothy's red shoes and Jonny Coltrane's saxophone!

Soon enough, we were driving to New York and on the way we made a quick pit-stop in Philadelphia, where we ran up the Rocky Steps and saw the Liberty Bell. Mrs Harris then let us eat lunch in this amazing food market and many of us tried a 'Philly' cheese steak, which was delicious. As we drove into Manhattan, we all screamed the lyrics to Empire State Mind, and we were so excited to start exploring New York City. The organised activities included a guided tour of the United Nations and the Hershey Store, as well as an evening trip up to the top of the Empire State Building. We also visited The Statue of Liberty and the Immigration Museums and got very cold on the ferries to and from the Islands! One evening, we saw an American basketball game, which was such a cool experience that I'll never forget. The trip was amazing as we were given enough freedom to do our own things, with Beth and I seeing 'Six' the Musical on Broadway and trying out New York's fast food and restaurants. Overall, the trip was an incredible experience and I can't wait to go back soon!

Rosie Barnwell, Year 13

The US trip was nothing short of amazing. I had no idea what to expect, having never been to America before, but I was very impressed with the tall skyscrapers and the rich history of a country that is so young in comparison to our own. I was, however, less impressed with the price of everything over there. I was shocked when the cashier at McDonald’s told me my meal would cost $22! I was very invested in the visit to the Capitol building and Ellis Island as it felt so surreal to step foot into places I’d only ever seen on TV, as well as enjoying the hospitality of the American people, which is an accurate stereotype as everyone is so friendly and helpful over there.

While I did enjoy my time in Washington and Philadelphia, I would have to say New York was the best part of the trip. Visiting Times Square and the Empire State Building were lifetime experiences that I will definitely always remember, but a special mention has to go to my trip to Little Italy with Sophie. Unfortunately, we were unable to find authentic Italian food or people (sorry Ms Martucci and Mrs Giglione, we really tried!) However, it was a very telling experience about how America has developed as an immigrant nation and how it really is a melting pot of different cultures.

Overall, I really liked my experience in the US and am very grateful to the Business and Economics department for organising such a spectacular and special experience, especially thankful to Mrs Harris for spearheading the trip (and Mr Cheuk for joining at the last minute and being exceptionally talented at locating lost items).

Dionis Zaimaj, Year 13