Stop the presses! We had a talent show. On the evening of July 17th, the incredible students of Oxbridge showed that they are truly a special group of teens. We had everything from Alicia Keys covers, ukulele trios, magic tricks, dance-offs, drumming, and even some juggling. All of Oxbridge at UCLA packed into our program office and enjoyed a night full of talent! It was an awesome night to showcase the qualities and abilities of all of our students. Loved it!
Earlier in the day, we visited the heralded Museum of Death, an odd but popular attraction in Hollywood. It was definitely a day of enjoying the good life in California!
The Oxbridge kids have been as busy as ever this last weekend and we thought they needed a break. Today, we decided not to jam-pack the day full of events but instead, let them take a breather. The students went about their normal routines, attended their major and minor classes, and started to work towards their final projects. After classes had ended, we arranged for a special guest speaker to come: Dr. Robert Klapper!
Klapper is a world-renowned orthopedic surgeon who has developed and invented numerous surgical tools. He runs his own talk show on ESPN Radio and is an established sculptor on the side. He has worked with many of the top athletes in the world, including golfers, NBA stars, and MLB players. The first words out of Klapper’s mouth were not about medicine, sports, or even business though. He started his presentation by telling all of the students that they needed to take an art history course in college, because that is how you learn to think creatively, and creativity is the key to his success and so many others’ success.
The students loved Dr. Klapper! They asked question after questions as it seemed their arms just kept shooting up from the audience, with each question being a great one. He was an incredible and inspiring guest speaker, and we were lucky to have him!
Yesterday was important to many of our students, not because of any particular activity or field trip or even birthday. Yesterday was the World Cup final! About half of our students woke up around 7:30 AM, settled into the chairs and couches of the program office, and watched the match. We picked up some donuts for everyone and projected the France vs. Croatia finale on a huge wall in the office. It was so fun!
Later in the day, a group of students headed up to the Griffith Observatory, one of the best spots to see all of Los Angeles. We took in the views of the City of Angels, but decided that it wasn’t enough. In the distance, the Hollywood sign sat perched up on a mountain. A group of ambitious high schoolers hiked up to the sign, earning a spectacular view of the city.
Meanwhile, the rest of the Oxbridge team traveled to a local gem, the Melrose Flea Market. It is one of the biggest, best, and just coolest flea markets in Los Angeles and our students absolutely had a blast. Another busy but productive day for the entire Oxbridge family!
On another sunny Saturday under the California sun, our students took a breather and went on more relaxing trips today! A group of students traveled to the Getty Museum, which is very close to UCLA, and were given a private, guided tour by one of the expert art historians in the area. It was incredible for each student to learn more about impressionist paintings, ancient Egyptian culture, LA architecture, and old French furniture. We even got to see some works from Vincent Van Gogh and Claude Monet! Best of all, the students were able to get a jaw-dropping view of the city from the hilltop location of the Getty.
After the museum, our students decided to unwind with a movie in the park. We piled onto a bus and headed over to Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles for a free screening of Wes Anderson’s new animated film Isle of Dogs. Students played cards, laid on their blankets, and grabbed refreshing ice cream from a local food truck. It was a night full of rest, relaxation, and most of all, dogs! The students even left with a souvenir poster!
At 10 PM last night, something incredible happened! About a dozen of us met Mamie Gummer, Meryl Streep’s daughter! Gummer was one of the lead actresses in a new play at the historic Geffen Playhouse in Westwood. The play was absolutely incredible and the students loved it, and they even got to sit in the front row!
Some of our other students have been going on field trip after field trip! Students in different classes have visited the Museum of Tolerance, LA Press Pass, and ESPN Radio in the last two days. All of these experiences have given them a closer look into internships and jobs in California, specifically Los Angeles!
After today, our students will have to answer the ultimate question about Los Angeles: Bruins or Trojans? The Oxbridge teenagers paid a visit to UCLA’s crosstown rival, the University of Southern California (USC). USC is a private institution based in Los Angeles that boasts an almost 25% international student population and some of the country’s biggest and best sports programs. It has a beautiful campus and the mascot is, of course, a Trojan warrior. All of our students took a tour of several buildings and attended an information session to learn more about the application process of USC and most American universities.
It was also a special day in many of the students’ classes! Students from the filmmaking, screenwriting, and acting courses gathered together to create their first short movie. They began to film one-minute shorts based on screenplays that other students had written. Here are some great snapshots from the day of production!
As many of you have seen, Oxbridge at UCLA is a jam-packed program in the best way imaginable. Some days, we just want our students to relax. Like the rest of us, students need a break from the craziness that is Los Angeles!
To help with the relaxation, we planned a few super fun activities that our students seemed to love. After their major and minor classes, the students got to attend a college panel orchestrated by our staff. Several of our staff members are current, or recently graduated, college students in the United States. Several of the high schoolers attended the panel, and asked great questions that sure will help them in the months to come. Most importantly, Oxbridge at UCLA students learned how to apply and attend an American University, an opportunity that is both exciting and challenging.
Afterward, students had the option to have a stress-less night filled with cookies, warm drinks, and cleansing face masks, or to sing their hearts out at a karaoke night. Some students decided to do both! The karaoke turned into a dance party within minutes, much to the delight of all the students. Each activity gave our students a much needed breather before a busy day tomorrow.