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.

Getty Round 2 – and all the way to Zuma Beach!

Our group poses for a picture on the Getty Villa’s incredible amphitheater!

Yesterday was an incredibly full but enjoyable day for our entire program. All our students and many staff members took advantage of the beautiful summer Sunday weather to visit the Getty Villa, Malibu, and Zuma Beach. Our first stop was the Getty Villa, former home of mega-rich oil tycoon J. Paul Getty – yes, that’s the same Getty of the Getty Center, which we visited Saturday! Built in the style of a Greco-Roman villa, the house now features a collection of statues and other antiquities, plus gorgeous Mediterranean-inspired gardens.

Some of our students explored the villa through the lens of the Percy Jackson series – this bust of Apollo is featured in one of the films!

After the Getty Villa and a quick lunch in Malibu, we headed down the Pacific Coast Highway to Zuma Beach. We had so much fun playing in the strong waves and on the sand, and no one seems too sunburnt!

After our busy day, it was good to reconnect for our weekly assembly, where students had the chance to sign up for next week’s activities. The resulting scramble was hilariously chaotic, but rest assured that everyone will have the chance to explore more of Los Angeles next week!

Visiting the Getty Center

Today our students got to visit one of UCLA’s most impressive next-door neighbors: the Getty Center! Our week of exploring Los Angeles’ array of art museums would’ve been incomplete without a trip to the Getty Center, located just across the 405 freeway from our campus. Perched high on a hill that museum visitors use a tram to access, the Getty offers stunning views of the city and impeccable gardens in addition to its permanent and rotating art collections. Students took in mega-famous paintings like Vincent Van Gogh’s “Irises” and religious art, including a new exhibit on medieval bestiary.

The gorgeous central garden at the Getty Museum certainly holds its own with the art inside the building!

After the Getty Center trip, our students beat the heat with a trip to the UCLA Sunset Recreation Center – lots of water sports, resting in the shallow end, and, of course, beach volleyball!

It was certainly a warm day, but nothing a nice pool and a little air conditioning couldn’t fix. Many students also ended their day with board games in our office and Disney movies in the lounge. Tomorrow, we’ll see more of the Getty collection at another amazing LA treasure, the Getty Villa. We’ll keep you posted!

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.