A ~toast~ to all the great memories!

We have had an absolute whirlwind of a weekend, and we are finally back here to share it with all of you! Though we know many of you parents have already had the opportunity to hear — live and in-person! — about the incredible adventures your children have had throughout the past three weeks, we wanted to make sure to document every detail for any sentimental kids, parents, or staff who may want to look back on these memories in the future. 🙂

Yesterday afternoon, we held a showcase which displayed the work each of our students have produced throughout the program. For the past three weeks, each of them have been working diligently in both their major and minor classes, and we are incredibly impressed with the breadth and quality of work these students have managed to produce within such a short period of time. It is so clear to us that each of the students who participated in Oxbridge at UCLA Prep are extremely hardworking and determined individuals who have the capacity to accomplish truly incredible things — such as those they shared with us yesterday!

At the final showcase, students from the creative writing major read aloud the script they wrote for the pilot episode of a television series centered around the mysteries of the afterlife. The same subject’s minor class shared some of the most creative and expressive haikus and short stories we have ever heard. We feel so grateful that these students felt able to share their personal written works with us and their peers!

Next, Kelli and Annie had the opportunity to judge a student-led debate regarding the morality and legality of animal testing. The winning team ended up in the lead by an absolutely astounding one point! However, we both agree that each of the two teams were extremely skillful in their argumentation and highly professional in their delivery. We are so proud!

Psychology students in both the major and minor classes developed, created, and presented to us their psychological research studies, which, respectively, regarded the habits of successful studiers and the floor-plans of psychologically successful museum spaces. We can’t believe how much they have learned, and are thrilled to know that they will be able to apply this learning in their daily lives!

Our tech and society minor students each gave presentations on a number of topics relevant to our current technological age, including the harmful effects of cyberbullying, as well as the pros and cons of social media usage. It was great to hear young people thinking so critically about something that effects all of our lives, nearly everyday.

Finally, we broke the group apart for a museum-style exhibition: first, we all got to have some fun by playing the highly creative and innovative video games that our game design students designed and coded! Second, we had time to wander around the room and admire the gorgeous, thought-provoking pictures the photography major and minor students captured. We were so impressed by the extremely professional quality of both the video games and the photographs!

After our very academic afternoon, we took the kids on one last surprise adventure to Dockweiller Beach — famous for allowing beachgoers to light bonfires on the sand! While there, the kids got to enjoy some cheesy pizza and tons of s’mores made fresh above the fire (a first for many!). They also got to spend some final moments together chilling in the water, taking pictures during golden hour, and playing games with each other as the sun set. When fireworks began lighting up the sky above the water as we headed out to leave, we all began feeling a bit emotional.

When we got back to campus later that night, staff tried to make sure that all students were packed up and off to bed as quickly as possible in order to be ready for their flights early the next morning… but we were soon convinced to allow the kids to stay up a bit past their bedtimes to talk, laugh, and even cry a little bit in the hallway before parting ways, likely forever, in the morning.

When staff woke up this morning, entirely prepared to pull kids out of bed by their ears and drag them to the airport still half asleep, we realized something that made all of us staff tear up a bit… almost every single kid had woken up by themselves before seven in the morning — completely on their own accord — just to have a little bit more time together before their flights took off.

As kids began to leave one by one as the day went on, we all began feeling a lot more emotional. As it turns out, when you spend three weeks by each others’ sides every second of every day — learning and growing and laughing and crying and eating and dreaming together — it is pretty much absolutely impossible to avoid coming to love each other. Our final day together, spent crying on each others’ shoulders and singing our favorite songs and making promises to keep in touch and waving goodbye until we could barely make each other out in the distance, was so full of love it was palpable.

Students, if you’re reading this… we love you!!!! And we miss you already. — Annie and Kelli

P.S. We had to add in one more bread pun to bring it all full circle!

Just a quick note…

…to let you know that we’ll give you our final blog update tomorrow afternoon — complete with all the details of our last days together. In the meantime, please enjoy this short video we made to thank our wonderful, wonderful kids for everything they’ve done for us these past couple of weeks. ❤️

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZ-MsPBnZSs&feature=youtu.be

Signing off from Oxbridge at UCLA!

One last group photo, this time from Dockweiler Beach

We can’t believe that today marked the last day of Oxbridge at UCLA, summer 2019. We’re truly grateful to have learned so much from every student, even if we were supposed to be the ones teaching them! In all seriousness, our students, faculty, and staff all worked so hard this summer to make this program the best it could possibly be, and the result was an unforgettable month celebrating academic excellence in one of the best cities in the world.

We began our last morning together with an awards presentation recognizing all our students, and a few in particular chosen by each of our faculty members for special dedication to their subjects.

Here are all our award winners with their hard-earned prizes!

Thank you, faculty, for always putting so much work and heart into your classes and helping provide the immersive academic experiences Oxbridge promises. Filmmaking, movie business, acting, screenwriting, psychology, sports medicine, photography, business and finance, building your brand for college, and communications: all these classes did incredible things this summer! Check out a few more moments from the emotional ceremony below.

After our awards ceremony and enough time to pack, our students got one last surprise activity: an evening at Dockweiler Beach! Located in Marina Del Rey on the coast south of UCLA and Santa Monica, Dockweiler is the only beach in LA County that allows oceanside bonfires. Our amazing activities director Camila snagged us a prime spot near a fire pit early in the day, so we were ready to tear into our feast of pizza and s’mores from the moment the bus arrived.

Below are some of our favorite photos of the evening – the beach couldn’t have been more beautiful, especially as the sun started to set, and the mood was more excited than bittersweet: what a lovely evening to say such happy goodbyes.

It’s been so hot lately that even in the late evening, the water was warm enough for some brave students to break in the program boogie boards.
The sunset was unreal – such beautiful colors in the sky for hours

That’s all for this summer! It’s been an absolute pleasure chronicling all our adventures here at Oxbridge at UCLA, and we hope you’ve enjoyed following along with our classes and travels through Los Angeles. To the students we’ve had the joy of teaching this summer: we hope you have some pretty amazing memories of your own, too. Until next year…

Better late than never: 7/24, a final day of outings- Silverlake and Melrose, pt. 2

With only two days left in our program, so many things are drawing to a close here at Oxbridge at UCLA. We only have one full day of classes remaining and today was our last full afternoon of trips around Los Angeles, so the end of our month together feels very near indeed. Our acting majors gave their wonderful teachers, LJ and Amanda, miniature Oscar statuettes to celebrate their last day all together. It’s such a sweet example of the strong relationship between all our students and faculty at this point in the program.

After class in the morning, we split into two groups to visit two of Los Angeles’ hippest shopping areas: Silverlake and Melrose! Both feature so many coffee shops, vintage clothing stores, brand name merchandise, and delicious food.

#Mirrorshades!

It was our second trip to Melrose, but we went back due to overwhelming popular demand! Our students especially loved the Glossier store, Urban Outfitters, Golf, and another round of food at Sweet Chick.

The sky has been gorgeous lately – even if the sun is a little too hot for our liking, we still appreciate the blue backdrop nonetheless.

Our Silverlake group visited a farmers’ market and thrift stores, and had a delicious lunch of Thai food at Night+Market Soong.

A much smaller group at Silverlake – but that just makes it easier to sit together at one table!

This evening, our students are continuing to write each other’s farewell notes.

Studying, more studying, packing, and… surprise dance party!

This morning, students departed early for their last major class field trips of the session. Both photography and speech and debate students visited the gourmet French pastry shop, Bottega Louie, in Downtown LA. While photography students took photos of the beautiful latte art made by the baristas, the speech and debate students walked over to The Last Bookstore, an absolutely iconic destination for all book lovers. Meanwhile, creative writing students explored the vast script library at the Writer’s Guild of America, psychology students visited the thought-provoking Museum of Tolerance, and game design students took a tour of the mega-famous AR design studio, Trigger Global.

When students arrived back on campus, they took a quick lunch before continuing to add finishing touches on their final projects before their exhibitions tomorrow. We are getting so excited to see what they’ve put together — and we’ll make sure to share it with you, too!

We then spent the rest of our afternoon doing laundry, packing up our suitcases, cleaning our rooms, and ultimately getting ready to leave. It made every single one of us sad to finally have to think about our departures either tomorrow night or Saturday — we’ve come to think of each other as family, and our dorms as home. It is going to be so hard to leave!

During dinner, the kids showed us how close they’ve gotten with each other by playing pranks on one another and cracking up together. It made us smile to see them act like true brothers and sisters. Make sure to check out the photos below for more details! 😉

After dinner, we walked everybody down the street to the Hammer Art Museum for a surprise outdoor concert and dance party! After a week of hard work — and three weeks’ worth of jam-packed adventure — everybody was so happy to fully relax, let go, and dance their little hearts out. If you’re thinking to yourself, “my kid would never dance in public!” think again! Everybody had an absolute blast moving to the music, and were truly the stars of the show! Throughout the night, many circles opened up to let our students show off their dance moves and have fun with each other. When it was time to leave, many even begged to stay longer. We are so happy to have this incredible night as one of our final memories with each other. I don’t think we’ll ever forget it!!!

Final Presentations

The kids met with the majored minor classes for the last full class period yesterday. Though the goodbyes are going to be sad, we had very successful and fun presentations from each class!

During the day, the acting major went on a field trip to the Warner Brothers production company. They got to see the Ellen set, sit on the Central Perk couch from Friends, sit in the living from the The Big Bang Theory, see the real costumes from Aquaman and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and even more! They got to learn all of the history of Warner Brothers and some insider secrets too; and even filmed their own Harry Potter scenes on broomsticks in front of a green screen!

We then got to see what all of the students have been up to all month when they presented final projects to everybody.

After great day of presentations, many of the kids went out to dinner in their formal-wear and we ended with a casino night and dance party where the kids all got very invested in their poker game with one of our deans, Josh, dealing.

A Quiet Day at Home

As the final week winds down, students are spending much of their time and energy preparing for their final presentations. Instead of taking a field trip, we decided to spend a quiet time at home in order to allow them to do so.

On Friday, psychology students will present their research findings on ideal study habits and museum layouts. Those in the photography class will prepare an exhibition of their own photos for their classmates to admire. Game design students have been busy working on their very own video games, which they will allow us all to test out and play! Creative writing students will share the scripts they have written with us, and, as mentioned yesterday, the speech and debate students will perform a debate on animal testing.

After a morning of hard work in their classrooms, we took our kids out to the pool area for some relaxing fun and games. Everyone enjoyed taking a good break from their studies by swimming in the pool, playing an intense game of ninja, or lounging on the deck chairs. One of us — Kelli — even took an unexpected swim (thanks Lu!).

After dinner, we took a little bit more time to finish up some schoolwork. Students were given an hour to complete unfinished work, add finishing touches, or read their favorite books.

Finally, we ended the night with one more round of trivia, which has proved to be a camp-wide favorite. Questions included:

Q: What was Sara forced to remove from her dorm room floor?
A: 3 M&Ms

Q: How many packages of fruit snacks did Kate purchase from Costco?
A: 42

Q: What did Hinano spend all afternoon looking for at Disneyland?
A: French fries!

After trivia, a couple students chose to stay downstairs and play a couple rounds of Uno with Annie and Kelli. Others went upstairs to rest up before their classes tomorrow morning. Goodnight!