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.


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.

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.

Class Trips and a Shopping Spree!

Today the movie business class got to visit Oprah Winfrey’s studio Harpo and experience a real film studio! They even got shirts as a “party favor”!

Meanwhile, the acting class went to a self taping studio to learn about how to do it themselves– a vital skill for an actor!

Due to many requests from the kids, we brought them to the Westfield Century City mall, via public bus. They all had a blast going to the wide variety of stores the mall has to offer and made some great purchases– including souvenirs for friends and family!

Our day concluded with “36 Questions to get to Know Each Other” –though the kids could not have bonded more during this month, why not learn even more about each other!

Hike to the Hollywood Sign, and then to Venice!

Today, we wanted to make the very most out of our last Sunday together. It’s hard to believe that we’ve already had three weeks with our amazing students, and it’s bittersweet that we’ve got just one more week to say goodbye.

This morning, 18 students braved a 7:15 am departure time to hike from just below the Hollywood Sign, to above the sign, and all the way to the Griffith Observatory. In total, it was about 5.5 miles- and wow, was it hilly sometimes! But everyone made excellent time, and we arrived at the beautiful Observatory tired but proud.

A new angle on an old classic – the Hollywood Sign viewed from behind!
The beautiful Griffith Observatory – we remember seeing it for the first time in La La Land three weeks ago!

After the morning hike, almost our entire program went to Venice Beach! We had been to the area before when we went to First Fridays at Abbot Kinney, but this time, we were there during the day, and had access to the beach as well.

There are so many cool murals on the streets of Venice!

The food on and around Venice Beach is one of the best parts of the area – students dispersed to so many restaurants and enjoyed coffee shops, plant-based meals, and more.

Check out these students’ cool new purchases from some of Abbot Kinney’s beachfront shops!

In our assembly tonight, our students got to sign up for the next week’s activities for the very last time. As time winds down, they’re already writing each other farewell notes and putting in work on their final class projects. We know we’ll miss them already!

A long-awaited catch-up: it’s been an amazing week!

Thank you all for bearing with us during our brief hiatus from the blog – all our students, staff, and faculty at Oxbridge at UCLA have had a jam-packed end to our third full week here in Los Angeles, and we’re just starting to catch our breath!

On our way!

Following the students’ major classes on Thursday, we piled onto a bus bound for just about the most unapologetically fun spot in Los Angeles: Universal Studios Hollywood! It’s an iconic piece of living movie history, and the star of it all is a tour of the studio’s back lot. We saw the original shark from Jaws (his name is Bruce) jump out of the lake on Amity Island, a massive plane crash set from Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds, a realistic simulation of a flash flood in an old Mexican town, and so much more. Our students were also among the first to experience the newly reopened Jurassic World ride, as well as other attractions like Harry Potter’s Hogsmeade Village and a convincing replica of the Simpson family’s Springfield. We were at the park for eight glorious hours. The mood on the bus on the way home was electric – we were so lucky to have had a day there.

Check out the beautiful views of the city from the hill Universal Studios sits atop! And see below for two highlights from the Studio Tour – the New York City street sets on the back lot, and Bruce the shark jumping out at the tram.

Our group especially loved the Harry Potter merchandise!
The gang’s all here!

On Friday, we had a slightly calmer schedule to account for the students’ busy workdays in their major and minor classes. In the evening, our students split into groups to explore The Broad, a new contemporary art museum located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, or to see an improv comedy show right here in Westwood!

The group at The Broad got to experience Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Room and sculpture by Jeff Koons, alongside the work of so many other modern artists.
Check out the museum’s inventive honeycomb exterior!

Saturday was possibly our busiest day yet, with a full schedule starting after the students’ morning major classes. We left Westwood and headed straight for Hollywood Boulevard, home to Grauman’s Chinese Theater, the El Capitan, Madame Tussaud’s, Ripley’s Believe it or Not – and, of course, the Walk of Fame. When you think of Hollywood, those stars are perhaps the first imagery to come to mind after the Hollywood sign itself, and for good reason. They’re an iconic part of the city, honoring everyone from Aretha Franklin and Marilyn Monroe to Jeff Goldblum and Motley Crue.

Campy fun!

Our filmmaking students were plenty busy Saturday morning as well, with a visit to Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank. They took the studio tour of the lot, where they saw lots of movie magic – including this massive spider from the Harry Potter films!

Even after the Walk of Fame, though, we weren’t quite done with Hollywood! Later that evening, the whole program took our seats in the iconic Hollywood Bowl to see a wonderful new show led by our favorite Australian songman – “Hugh Jackman – The Man. The Music. The Show.” Singing for his full audience of 17,000 people in LA’s premier outdoor summer concert spot, Jackman brought so much energy and excitement to the stage with his Broadway chops.

Can’t beat that view!

Later tonight, we’ll bring you many more pictures and stories from our two group trips today. Thank you for reading along, and we hope you’ve enjoyed these updates!

Updates on the way!

Hi, everyone! We’d like to apologize for our absence from this page for the past couple days – all is well, our students are happy and healthy, and we’ve only missed posting because of all the amazing activities we’ve packed into the last couple days!

We have a much more substantial post in the works that will go live later this evening, and we’ll be sure to include many photos of all our most recent adventures. We’ve missed posting them, too! For the moment, though, here’s a group photo from Universal Studios on Thursday night – we had such a blast, and you’ll hear about that trip and more this evening.

Class trips and a very sweet evening

Today was a busy day in academics for our hardworking students, especially as they begin to piece together their final projects. For example, our seventh floor lounge, which serves as the filmmakers’ classroom during the day, was transformed into a hospital set for a scene in a student-produced short film. Several major and minor classes also took advantage of Los Angeles’ unique resources to plan exciting field trips. This afternoon, the movie and TV business minors visited Lionsgate Studios for a personal meeting with two Lionsgate executives, who discussed their roles at the company and offered valuable advice based on their personal experiences of working in the film industry.

Meanwhile, communications minors visited the offices of Dublab, an LA-based nonprofit online radio station. They got to look in on the business side of producing radio content, as well as checking out a live recording happening in their studios this afternoon.

In the evening, we split our students into smaller groups to visit two of Los Angeles’ most exciting dessert spots: Sweet Rose, a creamery in Santa Monica, and Mateo’s, an ice cream and paleta specialty store in Culver City.

We took advantage of LA’s vast bus network to leave Westwood for our desserts!
Just a few of the dozen students who joined us for Sweet Rose’s delicious confections in Brentwood
Meanwhile at Mateo’s, students tried authentic paleta fruit bars and ice cream flavors.

We can’t believe we’re already halfway through our third week together, and it’s even more unbelievable to think of how much both work and play we still have in store.

Exposition Park: California ScienCenter, the Rose Garden…and USC!

Today, many of our students able to join us after their morning major classes for a trip to Exposition Park, a huge complex in Downtown Los Angeles that houses the Natural History Museum, California ScienCenter, the Rose Garden, and more. It just so happens that the University of Southern California is right next door, too! It was amazing to have a tour of UCLA’s across-town rivals, if only to get a sense of how different the two campuses are despite their shared home base.

Outside the California ScienCenter – check out that solar system model up above!

Many of our wonderful Oxbridge students opted to explore the California ScienCenter before our tour of USC, including the amazing gardens behind it. They ate in the food court, checked out the new exhibit on human-canine relationships, and stopped to smell the roses- literally!

Another group took off for a visit to the Englekirk Engineering firm, based near Exposition Park in Downtown. These students got an inside, in-depth look at the workings of an engineering company, from the big-picture concepts to the day-to-day logistics of running a firm in real time.

Then, we were all off to USC for a tour of their sprawling campus. The sun was certainly present, but the tour was worth the heat – it was a beautiful day to explore all that the prestigious university has to offer.

Fight on, Trojans!

We ended the day with a panel on the college experience, led by our very own Oxbridge at UCLA staff! From current students, to recent graduates, to current high school teachers, we offered a wide breadth of experiences from which to offer our own perspectives on everything from admissions to student life.

We have a busy week still ahead, and are so excited for what’s in store.

Talent Show!

The psych major got to go on an eery field trip today– The Museum of Death! They learned plenty of crazy stories and had fun doing it!

After the major and minor classes, all of the students gathered to listen to our guest speaker Javed Siddiqi, a neurosurgeon who also dabbles in photography! They got a peek at his photography book and learned the ins and outs of brain surgery. 

In the evening the kids had the chance to showcase their skills to their peers in our talent show. We had many “contortionists” and musical acts, and even some of the staff joined in on the fun (yoga moves from activities director Perren and opera from our program director Peter)! Some other talents included reciting the preamble of the constitution and an inspirational speech.