Oxbridge at UCLA…and field trips everywhere else!

It was a busy day at Oxbridge at UCLA, with so many majors and minors embarking on exciting field trips this afternoon. Thanks to our amazing faculty, students have many opportunities to extend their learning beyond the classroom.

The movie business minor, for example, went to the rooftop lounge of a ritzy Beverly Hills hotel to practice pitching their script ideas – it wasn’t too unlike what most writers lucky enough to be pitching can hope to experience!

Yes, those are the Hollywood Hills in the background!

Meanwhile, psychology students took in the Museum of Tolerance in Century City. The moving exhibits and commentary helped give more dimension to their classroom discussions.

Finally, our acting students had the incredible opportunity to see a live taping of an episode of the hit Disney Channel series “Raven’s Home”! They waited in line outside the studio on Sunset Boulevard until it was time for the audience to be seated, and were happily surprised to learn that it was one of the show’s star’s birthdays! Everyone left with an autographed memento of the day. We’re so excited that our students got to see professional sitcom actors in, well, action!

But we weren’t done yet! After their classes, students met in our lounge to welcome guest speaker Joe Twist, a successful composer with experience scoring films. They loved hearing his unique perspective as an industry professional with a job that holds so much interest for the budding musicians and filmmakers in our program.

Finally, we ended the night with a high-energy karaoke and dance party in our office! So many students ventured out to sing favorites old and new, from The Eagles’ “Hotel California” to Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the USA”! We interspersed the music with dance breaks to songs like Shakira’s “Hips Don’t Lie” and They Might Be Giants’ “Istanbul, not Constantinople”. It was exhausting, but in the most fun way imaginable. We were so excited to see our students sharing their talents and enthusiasm!

Pardon the low quality of this screengrab from a video we recorded – we just had to give a nod to our students’ incredible dancing!

Busy Thursday!

Today was a big day full of fun field trips!

Part of the group went to The Marciano Art Foundation plus lunch on Larchmont and in Koreatown (including all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ!). A few got to stop at 7/11 for free slushie day too!

The Marciano Art Foundation was filled with Yayoi Kusama and other iconic works.

At the same time, another group got to tour the beautiful campus of Pepperdine University in Malibu. Not to mention that Zoey 101 was filmed there!

In the evening the kids got to dance and listen to live music at the Summer Nights at the Hammer Museum.

An LAFC Game…and ice cream!

Dusk over the Banc of California Stadium

Our Oxbridge students continue to balance their workload in major and minor classes with amazing extracurricular experiences all over Los Angeles. They spend their morning creating shot lists for short films, learning how to properly wrap injured legs with kinesiology tape, and discussing how the script of The Godfather helps make it such a powerful film. Our faculty are keeping them busy! But in the evenings, we encourage them to explore beyond the classroom.

The communications majors explore the Hammer Museum, near UCLA’s campus

Tonight, twenty-one students got to attend an LAFC home game! The Los Angeles Football Club took on the Portland Timbers at Banc of California Stadium, and we were there to watch from the moment the game began (despite the best efforts of some freeway traffic!). Even though the LAFC lost in a nail-biter, 1-0, students loved the energy in the stadium, particularly coming from the LA cheering section. We’re so proud of our home team!

Our students who opted against the soccer game were also in for a treat…literally! They walked to Sweet Rose, a hip ice cream spot located just next to UCLA in Westwood. We loved seeing them experience a local favorite.

Two Los Angeles Classics: The Grove and LACMA

The whole afternoon activity group together at Urban Light!

Today, Oxbridge at UCLA used Los Angeles public transit to work our way five miles down Wilshire Boulevard, all the way to LACMA! LACMA, or the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, is the largest art museum in the western United States. It’s especially famous for its Urban Light installation, a series of different-sized lampposts arrayed next to busy Wilshire Boulevard, and Levitated Mass, a massive boulder suspended over a concrete walkway. Students also stayed to explore the La Brea Tar Pits next door, an incredible archaeological site where tar has preserved the skeletons of animals that roamed the area long before humans, including mammoths, sabertooth cats, and dire wolves.

Levitated Mass? Or just some really strong students!?
Special outdoor exhibit at the La Brea Tar Pits!

Another group made their way on foot from the museum towards The Grove, an incredible outdoor mall connected to the historic Old Farmers’ Market. A green trolley runs from one end to the other, passing shops from Barnes and Noble to Nike.

It was such a full afternoon, and we hope our students are ready for a busy evening tomorrow, when the Los Angeles Football Club plays the Portland Timbers. We’ll be there cheering them on!

Brunch, Yoga, and a Movie at Hollywood Forever!

Today was a busy Saturday for the students at Oxbridge at UCLA! Marking the first full week since everyone arrived, most of the program dispersed in the morning to different brunch places around Los Angeles with our staff, seeking some delicious food and the chance to explore the neighborhoods around it.

Our activities directors Mila and Perrin teamed up to take a larger group of students to Mexican restaurant Gracias Madre, an LA mainstay with an incredible menu of vegan delights. After brunch, the group headed down Melrose Boulevard to experience the Los Angeles Glossier store, sampling makeup most people outside Los Angeles only ever browse online, and the famous “pink wall” outside Paul Smith. We even managed to time our visit at the same time as a bride and groom taking photos for their big day!

Meanwhile, our program assistant Arameh took his group to The Henry, an upscale spot near The Grove, an amazing outdoor mall with a trolley running between stores and a choreographed fountain to boot. It was the perfect double-header for the afternoon.

Our program dean Yael took her group to Sweet Chick, a chicken-and-waffle mainstay that offers so much more than even its name or this picture suggests – some of the chicken is even vegetarian! They certainly didn’t arrive back to campus hungry!

Our activities director Camila took a small group to Botanica, a local hotspot specializing in great coffee and seasonal California cuisine. As you can see, they nabbed a table outside in the beautiful sunshine! Finally, our executive coordinator Michael took his group of students to Clementine, an amazing bakery and sandwich spot. They were too busy with their food to snap a picture, but if it was anywhere near as good as they make it sound, that’s an easy one to forgive!

After brunch, many students made their way to Sunset Recreation Center, where they enjoyed the pool and other amenities. A few students even joined our activities director, Perrin, for an hour of Vinyasa yoga! (This blogger couldn’t keep up as well as all everyone else in attendance – well done all!)

Students in the pool at Sunset Recreation Center

Finally, to end the day, several students seized the opportunity to see an outdoor screening of Bring It On! The cheerleading cult classic was screened on the side of the mausoleum at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, an amazing piece of LA history tucked in behind Paramount Studios. As a special surprise, star Gabrielle Union was there to introduce the film. It was a moment that could only have happened in Los Angeles!

First Fridays – welcoming July at Abbot Kinney!

Students begin to make their way down Abbot Kinney Boulevard, towards food and a fun night

This evening, students and staff made their way to Abbot Kinney Boulevard, one of the trendiest destinations in Southern California. Just minutes from Venice Beach, on the first Friday of every month, this street hosts dozens of food trucks convening from all across the city. From authentic Nashville chicken sandwiches done vegan to artful funnel cakes, from mango sticky rice to more mac and cheese than we could count, there was no shortage of excellent food to choose from.

Students spent their evening sampling the amazing food trucks as well as shopping at the permanent storefronts and restaurants of Abbot Kinney, and just taking in the incredible energy of one of the hottest events in the city. Lively and fun, this really was the place to be.

We’d like to conclude tonight with another acknowledgement of a second sizable earthquake to rock Southern California. Most students did feel the earthquake that hit this evening during our visit to Abbot Kinney, a 6.7-magnitude quake with its epicenter in the same town of Ridgecrest that was affected yesterday. It still hit well over a hundred miles away from where we are, and our students and campus are safe. We’d most like to reassure you that our priority is always the safety of our campers, and that we will absolutely notify you if we are ever concerned that that security may be threatened by these earthquakes or anything else. As it stands, all is well here at UCLA, and we look forward to a weekend of more fun activities in our beautiful city, which has mostly weathered these shocks without a scratch.

The sun begins to set over Abbot Kinney, just a few blocks from the ocean at Venice Beach
Sporting their new UCLA gear to keep warm at First Fridays!
Shopping at Abbot Kinney
The light turns golden as the sun begins to set in storefront windows
Crazy loaded funnel cakes – just one example of the amazing food available up and down the street!

Let’s Go Dodgers, Let’s Go!

Today, for July 4th, we wanted to make sure that our students had a chance to experience a grand celebration of American Independence Day – and what better place to go in Los Angeles than Dodger Stadium?

After their major classes in the morning, students braved three freeways to watch the Dodgers take on their National League West rivals, the San Diego Padres. The Dodgers are having an incredible season, so we went hoping for an exciting game. We weren’t disappointed! The Dodgers came away with a 5-1 win in what was the first baseball game many students had ever seen in person. Perched above right field, students had a wonderful view down to the players on the field, sampled stadium food, and bought lots of LA Dodger merchandise! If that weren’t enough, the game was followed by a beautiful fireworks display set to patriotic American tunes. We may well be tired tomorrow, but it was an unforgettable evening.

We’d like to include a brief postscript for parents who may be concerned: the earthquake that hit Southern California this morning had its epicenter over 150 miles away from our campus. We did feel some shaking down here, but it lasted less than a minute and caused no damage to us or our campus.

Happy 4th of July!

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Field Trips Galore!

The finance class started our morning off with going to the Amazon Fulfillment Center in San Bernardino, California. They even got party favors– water bottles!

The screenwriting class got to go to Union Station to be inspired by the city’s landscape.

The minor classes got to go on some trips too! The sports medicine class had a blast at Life Gym.

The photography minor went to the The Annenberg Center for Photography where there was an exhibit about the photography of hip hop.

We ended the night with a trip to the movie theaters to see the new Spiderman movie and Toy Story 4.

Tomorrow will be a big day of 4th of July festivities, plus it is our instagram takeover so check out the instagram– @oxbridgeprograms !

Oxbridge takes Rodeo Drive!

The gang’s all here! Oxbridge UCLA in front of the sign at Beverly Hills Garden Park

Our students got off to a busy start today in their major classes, with some students already headed off campus for field trips! The communications class made their way to Westwood, while business and finance majors joined a campus tour at Loyola Marymount University, a private school just north of UCLA.

New campus, same palm trees!

Students had the opportunity to explore a new campus, and see how it differs from a huge university like UCLA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After their morning classes, the entire Oxbridge program drove down Santa Monica Boulevard to Rodeo Drive, a world-famous luxury shopping destination and the heart of Beverly Hills. Students explored the free Louis Vuitton exhibit, sampled Sprinkles cupcakes, and peeked into the rows and rows of designer stores lining the streets.

As if!

So many students ended up at Sephora and Sprinkles Cupcakes for facials and sweet treats!

Our camera couldn’t handle the insane designs on the walls of the Louis Vuitton exhibit!

After so many hours in the sunshine, students spent the evening relaxing with a spa/game night – many used our face masks or their own to nurture their skin, and our lovely activities director Camila read tarot cards. The evening came together with a massive card game, which they managed using two decks put together.

Friends share a clay mask

Sticky masks and big smiles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our very own Camila reads tarot cards

After a busy day outside, it’s nice to unwind…with an incredibly competitive card game!

We were so glad to be able to introduce our students to Beverly Hills this afternoon, and they loved getting to explore a new part of Los Angeles – it feels so different from UCLA and Westwood, but it’s only a few minutes away. That’s the beauty of being based in such a large city: there’s always something new to appreciate, and chances are, you’ve already seen it in the movies.

Games, Indoors and Out!

Today our students explored all UCLA has to offer, from the many sports facilities to the campus at large. Students had their first full-length major and minor classes, where they began to explore their subjects in earnest. To name just a few activities – our moviemakers learned about how to build a script around what their characters want, and the psychology majors got an inside look at the UCLA psychiatry labs!

After class, it was time for fun in the sun! Many students opted to take our swim test (and they all passed!), and are now able to use the amazing UCLA pool facilities at any time.

A glimpse of the campus as the students make their way to the pool

It was a beautiful day to use the pool!

Our activities directors were on hand to show students around the facilities

After their time in the pool, many students opted to move over to the beach volleyball courts in the recreation center. Their game may not have been standard volleyball, but it sure looked like fun!

A volleyball action shot!

Running to catch the ball – not as easy as they made it look

No hard feelings after the game – all in good fun!

 

 

 

 

Students relaxing by the volleyball courts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After swimming and volleyball, students dispersed to tour the sprawling UCLA campus, eat at De Neve dining hall, and even to explore the city of Westwood. Many students also joined us for a game night in the lounge later on!

Dinner together at De Neve Commons!

Students take a break from the campus tour to pose on the iconic Janss steps

Some late-night bananagrams in the lounge

It was a beautiful day in sunny Southern California, and we can’t wait for another one tomorrow.