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After months of planning, conversations about ESTAs and passports, risk assessments and meetings, the day finally arrived for our eagerly awaited trip to New York.
We arrived at Manchester airport with plenty of time. We boarded our flight to JFK full of anticipation and excitement. Few of us slept on the way. We arrived to a packed JFK airport and that seemed to set the tone for the rest of our visit – everywhere was busy!
We eventually left JFK with cases and headed for the air train, we navigated our way onto the subway through the crowds of commuters making their way home at rush hour looking puzzled as to what these crazy Brits were up to with huge suitcases in tow.
Our hotel was in a fantastic location, ideally located between Central Park and Times Square. We unpacked and quickly headed out for a bite to eat and our visit first. Typically we had flown thousands of miles, taken planes, trains and walked through New York only to eat MacDonalds for tea!!!
We made it to the Empire State Building and made our way up. The view was spectacular. We were taking in the atmosphere when we realised we were witnessing a marriage proposal right in front of us!
The next day we did a historic walking tour of Greenwich Village and the financial district including Wall Street. We saw lots of famous landmarks and learnt a lot about the history of the city and it’s people. In the afternoon we moved onto Ground Zero and the 9/11 Museum. Most of our students weren’t born when this event occurred so visiting the memorial really made us all stop, think and reflect. The museum was a very fitting tribute to the many people, various nationalities and various ages all of whom were affected by the terror attack.
In the evening we visited 5th Avenue and did a lot of window shopping!! We had a lovely Italian meal that night and everyone went back to the hotel exhausted from all the walking that day and full of Italian food.
The next day we made our way to Macy’s flagship store for a business tour. We learnt about their product placement, their marketing mix, the refurbishment of the store and their strategy going forward. I personally think the students were more interested in the discount voucher that gave them money off their purchases!
In the afternoon we headed to NBC studios for our next visit. They showed us around The different studios, how they made and produced their shows and the careers people could have. They then let us lose in our own studio to make our very own talk show. I think it’s fair to say that Jeremy Paxman is safe! The students were brilliant, they threw them selves into everything, they threw caution to the wind and embraced every opportunity.
That evening we went ice skating in Central Park – it was a wonderfully evening in a lovely setting. Not sure the pictures do it justice, suffice to say it was very funny. There were lots of bruises and blisters following this!
The final day included a tour of the United Nation’s headquarters. As expected security was tight and we were eventually allowed into the vast building. We were escorted round the various assembly rooms. The foundations of the UN were explained along with criteria to join, how the UN is funded, who is allowed into various councils and how members get to Veto a decision and the Impact these decisions can have. We were told how Greta Thunburg had made her appearance here and shown the assembly room in which she made her famous speech to assembled members. We left after an insightful, thought provoking and interesting visit to make our way back to our hotel to check out and head home.
We boarded the return flight, fastened our seatbelts and several members promptly fell fast asleep to only wake up moments before we landed in a chilly Manchester airport.
Overall, I think it’s fair to say the students got much more than just a Business and Media education during their visit.
They were a joy to spend time with and it was delightful seeing the wonder and amazement on their faces during our trip. I hope everyone enjoyed themselves but my goodness I won’t be wearing my high heels in school for a while. My feet need some serious TLC after all that walking! I think one of the pupils calculated the distance we covered at 32 miles!
Hopefully the students made some lasting memories during this visit and also learnt a lot about themselves too. I’d like to thank each and every one of them for making it what it was. Certainly One to remember!
Mrs Ashworth, Business Education