Directors Update: Final Week

Program Photo

Parents and Guardians,

The Final Banquet and the Awards Ceremony are over. The final dance took place shortly afterwards, followed by pizza and movies as students continued to bid each other farewell. Tears of goodbye were shed today, as students said adieu to their new friends from the four corners of the world.


The Thursday night coffeehouse, with its public speakers, journalists, and creative writers; the Friday afternoon class exhibitions of CPR demonstrations, business and sports business pitches in a “Shark Tank” fashion, and Math and Engineering students bridges, and then the fashion class runway and the musical theater/motion picture extravaganza – these were all impressive examples of what these students have accomplished in their four short weeks here in New York City. They are an exceptionally talented group of young men and women, and the faculty and staff have been honored to be able to get to know them.


Here is a gallery with a sample of the art work presented by the Fine Arts classes:

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Click here to view the Musical Theater Performance or Journalism Class’ Website.


Thank you for sharing the summer with us. I hope that each and every student of NYCE 2016 brings the same energy that they felt here to their respective schools at home, as well as further afield. It was refreshing and inspiring for me, as an educator, to spend a month learning alongside them. I am sure that the friendships and connections formed this summer will have a memorable, lasting impact on all the students, as they will have on all of us here.

With warm regards,

Kevin B. Held

NYCE Director



Coffee House

Coffee House

Last night our students had the chance to share their stories with the program in our annual Coffee House. While enjoying cups of coffee, desserts, and pastries, classes were able to show their peers what they had been hard at work on during the course of the summer.

The Psychology class presented two videos of social experiments they conducted on their friends while explaining how and why people react to the questions they are asked. The Speech and Debate minor presented their final speeches that touched the room as they spoke about life experiences that had changed who they are as a person. The creative writing major and minor class read their original pieces including poems, short stories, and fictional dialog they had created based on real world events. Finally, the journalism class presented their website to the program and explained the interviewing process and research they had conducted to obtain their feature stories.

When the classes finished presenting, the floor became an open mic for students to give their final sentiments and any last words they wanted to share with the program. Overall, it was a warm and heart felt night full of amazing original pieces and encouragement from the students and faculty for the hard work our students put into their classwork over the course of the month.

Here is a video showing just a handful of the 40+ readings that were shared during the night:

NYCE Final Exhibitions Tomorrow

Tonight’s coffeehouse will be a opportunity for the Creative Writers to share with their peers, the Psychology students to display their knowledge, and the Speech and Debate students to put into practice their skills in front of an audience. The Journalism students created a website:  All the other classes will have a chance to share tomorrow afternoon during the Final Exhibitions in the Diana Center:

NYCE Exhibitions2016

Advertising & Media
1:30-2:15 pm in Room 501

Prepare for Virtual Reality

Students will be hosting an experiential and multimedia advertising concept called #Spaceality. Guests are invited to browse the exhibit and join us for an out of this world launch.

Art History/Photography/Fine Arts
McCagg Gallery 1:30 pm to 4:45 pm


Odyssey: a long journey full of adventures; a series of experiences that give knowledge or understanding to someone. Yet, when we travel, our experience is transient. We belong to a certain time and place, but not for long. Our experiences while traveling quickly turn into memories. Whenever and wherever we travel, we bring with us the baggage of our past memories and experiences. Beyond the physicality of the grid lays the city as experience: sight, sound, taste and touch; memory mixed with imagination. Within this exhibition, various works from both the Fine Art Major & Minor classes allow the viewer to experience the sensuality of the city through an immersive experience, where they may travel through unbounded spaces of memory, creativity and imagination to create a new reality for themselves. With the Art History students as your docents, come explore the Odyssey.

There will be refreshments for all served at the Art Gallery lobby from 3:30 pm to 4:00 pm.


1:30-2:20 pm in the Oval

Shark Tank I

Step into the Shark Tank! Come watch aspiring entrepreneurs from the Finance class seek investments for the growth of their business models or product line from the tycoon investor sharks.  Experience the drama of pitch meetings! Welcome to the Tank! Watch the feeding frenzy!


Computer Science
1:30-1:40 pm in the Student Dining Room

Code, Secret Messages, and a Little Bit of History!

Come learn how one of the earliest encryption techniques, the Caesar cipher, works. Roman biographer Suetonius told us the secret code Julius Caesar used for secret military messages and we will share the secret with you!


1:45-2:15 pm in the Room 502

CSI: Oxbridge Experience

Do you have what it takes to solve a murder? As the latest recruit in the world of criminology and forensic science, guests will be challenged to play the role of a crime scene investigator in this multi-sensory, interactive exhibit and solve one true-to-life mystery. The hands-on experience includes everything from forensic anthropology to toxicology to immerse exhibit goers deep into the science of solving crimes. Hopefully you’ll solve the murder before time runs out


1:45-2:15 pm in the Student Dining Room

How to be a Millionaire!

Come and learn the importance of saving early in life for your retirement.  You will be surprised just how easy it is to become a millionaire.


4:00-4:20 pm in the Student Dining Room

Genetic Engineering and Drug Discovery

The students will be presenting two projects related to genetic disorders: 1) creating a website for a mock non-profit organization for a disease to increase public awareness 2) a presentation describing a preclinical drug discovery program, starting with the selection of a therapeutically relevant disease target through in vivo evaluation in a genetically engineered mouse model.



International Business: Wall Street and the World
2:50-3:40 pm in the Oval

Shark Tank II: International Edition

ROCKET PITCH!!   Four teams – each with a different business idea – will pitch investors in a fast paced and lively environment hoping to get them to invest in their billion dollar business idea. If they fail to get an investor onboard they will have dentition for life.


Math and Engineering
2:20-2:45 pm in the Student Dining Room

Bridging Math and Engineering

Students will be displaying their designs for scale models of various types of bridges. They will be speaking about the process by which they designed and created their structures and the inspirations for their models.


Medical Science
2:25-2:45 pm in the Oval

Future Physicians

Watch these future physicians demonstrate CPR and other skills they learned over the course of the summer. You might even learn how to save a life! Free blood pressure tests available for program participants!


Physics and the Future
4:30-4:45 in the Student Dining Room

Step into the World of Science!

Come play with the cool science experiments and learn how stuff works. We have fun circuits, crystals, windmills, magnetism and Virtual Reality projects on display.


Politics and Human Rights
2:50-3:10 pm in the Student Dining Room



Students of the Politics & Human Rights course compiled and edited a magazine entitled “RISE,” which includes articles on human rights issues ranging from the repression of environmental activists in Honduras to the Black Lives Matter movement. Each student selected a topic to carefully research and write about, giving readers insight into the history, political context, and potential solutions for these challenging human rights issues.


Sports Business
4:00-4:20 pm in the Oval

Shark Tank III: Sports Style

Students of Sports Business major and minor will present their final projects in teams with 3 students in each team. Each sports business project will be pitched to the potential investors and judges for 3 minutes similar in style and substance to the famous TV show “Shark Tank.” Each team will focus on the “value of their product,” “marketing campaign,” and “sales.”


Fashion, Filmmaking, and Musical Theater
7:30 pm in the Oval

“Styled By Me” and “A Month as a New York Fashion Student”

Come see the fashion courses’ video & runway shows as the fashion major students model their very own looks and the fashion minor students model ensembles designed by their class mates.

Musical Theater and Motion Picture Extravaganza!

After the Fashion runway clears, true to the New York Experience, stick around for the musical performances and short films on the big screen!

Brooklyn Bridge

Yesterday students hung up their ear-phones, stowed their aversion to rain-drops, and, equipped with rain-jackets and umbrellas, set out for the Brooklyn Bridge in defiance of the rainy weather. By the time we made it to Clark Street in Brooklyn Heights, the last of the rain had fallen, the suffocating humidity had weakened its hold on the city, and a skittish breeze frolicked across sidewalks and the East River. Before crossing the iconic bridge, we headed to the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory for a refreshing treat and to take a few pictures of the city and this historic landmark from below. As we walked along the wooden planks of the bridge, the breeze picked up and the clouds parted to let the sky and sun come into view. It was a perfect day to defy the rain and cross the Brooklyn Bridge.

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More Fantastic Field Trips

Who has not pondered how to get to Sesame Street, whether it is possible to see the stars in the city, where budding writers find their reading materials, how to use flex-fill reflectors in photography or the beauty and history of a tomb? These are some of the questions that occupied our students.

Art History students visited Grant’s Tomb to study and examine the monument.

Art History at Grant's Tomb

Photography students learned how to use flex-fill reflectors to manipulate sunlight.

Photography with flex fill reflectors

Creative Writing majors made their way to the Strand to procure reading materials.

Creative Writing Majors at Strand

Physics found out that you can see the stars in the city when majors went star-gazing at Columbia.

Physics Star Gazing at Columbia

Psychology students discovered that Sesame Street is not far from Lincoln Center, when they visited the studio to learn the role that psychology plays in the show.

Psych majors at Sesame Street

NYCE’s Got Talent

Last night was the NYCE talent show, the first event in a series of many culminating our final week together, and it was phenomenal. More than a score of students took the stage to awe  audience and judges with performances ranging from classical and jazz piano, dancing, singing accompanied by ukulele, piano, and sun-glass-sporting back-up dancers,  electrifying B-boxing, to a meta-theatrical skit and poem on performing in the talent show. The stars of the talent show, however, were not just the ones that graced the stage but also the ones that clapped, cheered, laughed, and sang along from their seats.  NYCE’s got talent but, more than that, in less than four weeks it has developed from a group of strangers to a supportive and loving community. Encore!








NYCE Director’s Update: Week Three

Parents and Guardians,

Three weeks have flown by here at the New York College Experience. Students have had the opportunity to visit Columbia University, NYU, Haverford, Yale, Princeton, Brown and UPenn. At each school, they encountered current students and explored the campus. All of the students also had the opportunity to meet Professor James Basker, who founded Oxbridge Academic Programs, at the Thursday Ice Cream Social. This third week was filled with fun-filled events, from the Tuesday afternoon at Coney Island to the Friday evening exploring of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). After tonight’s Under the Sea Dance, I am sure that many people will sleep late on Sunday morning.

Major and Minor classes continue to delve into their subjects using NYC as their classroom. The Medical Science students went to Liberty Science Center and watched an open heart surgical procedure performed in real time. The Art History students were guided through the textile conservation lab in the labyrinthine vaults under the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The International Business students and the Business and Finance students sat in the boardroom of Citibank and heard about the banking business. All of the students have had the opportunity to experience New York with their teachers as mentors.

This upcoming final week together is full of special events to celebrate the students’ accomplishments during the summer. A Talent Show on Sunday evening and an open-mic coffee house on Thursday will showcase student performances, where creative writers, public speakers, and others will share their work. On Friday afternoon, the Art Gallery in the Diana Center will feature the creations that our Fine Arts students and budding photographers have produced over the course of the month, and each floor will feature class presentations where students will have the opportunity to share their knowledge with their peers. Student performances continue on Friday evening with the Musical Theater, Filmmaking, and Fashion classes showcasing what they learned. The Final Banquet, Awards Ceremony, and Dance will take place on Saturday night, and, in the wee hours of Sunday morning, the first buses will depart Barnard College, and the tearful goodbyes will commence.

By this time next Sunday, all students will be on their way home to all four corners of the world.  We have been in contact with you if there were any questions about departure flights or details, but if there is a change of plan, please contact the program office. Please be sure to alert us if your child is traveling as an unaccompanied minor so that we can make appropriate arrangements.

We still have one last week to share the magical experience that is NYCE 2016. I know everyone will make the most of it.

Kevin B. Held

NYCE Director

Faciendo Discimus

The old Latin adage faciendo discimus, “by doing we learn”, beautifully describes NYCE’s learning philosophy. At NYCE learning doesn’t just occur in the classroom, but in Grand Central, on a sidewalk, in a museum, at BuzzFeed or in a boardroom, and in all of these spaces students were learning by doing.

Donning their business attire, Finance and Business majors and International Business majors gathered around the conference table at Citibank, where they learned more about banking and made connections for their future careers in finance.

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Creative Writing minors toured the portrait gallery of the Whitney Museum and did some ekphrastic writing, while Sports Business majors visited Madison Square Garden.

creative writing minors at Whitney

Fine Art Majors tried their hand at gesture drawing and architectural drawing at Grand Central Terminal,  Journalism and Human Rights took a trip to BuzzFeed, and Photography students made their way to the Columbia overpass to shoot cars and pigeons, utilizing fast shutter to freeze motion.

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art majors at grand central 2photo at overpass 2

Guest Speaker: Professor James Basker

As the students carryout the final weeks of the program, it was appropriate for them to have a chance to speak with Professor James Basker, founder of Oxbridge Academic Programs.

James Basker is President of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and Oxbridge Academic Programs, and Richard Gilder Professor of Literary History at Barnard College, Columbia University. He was educated at Harvard, Cambridge, and as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford. He has published several books, including Amazing Grace: An Anthology of Poems about Slavery 1660-1810 (2002), Early American Abolitionists: A Collection of Anti-Slavery Writings 1760-1820 (2005), and American Antislavery Writings: Colonial Beginnings to Emancipation (2012).

Today he spoke to our students about the importance of literature by using examples of poems and essays published by slaves that helped fuel the events that led up to the Civil War. Many of the works shared by Professor Basker explained the feelings of those that were enslaved during the time and gave insight as to how their bold actions caused massive change in American society. Professor Basker’s goal by the end of the presentation was too inspire students to appreciate literary work while understanding how the work they will create  in the future can help solve the problems they view around them.

Many students stayed afterwards to ask Professor Basker about his research and what drove him to creating Oxbridge Academic Programs. Students will have a chance to speak with him again on Thursday during the Ice Cream Social being held in the evening!

NYCE at Coney Island


Coney Island, a peninsula located in the Lower Bay of Brooklyn, has undergone many transformations since the first hotel opened in 1829, the switchback railway, the first roller coaster in America, welcomed crowds in 1884, and the first hotdog was invented and sold there by Charles Feltman in 1867. Today Coney Island boasts of residences rather than hotels, the switchback railway has been replaced by the Cyclone, and the hotdogs are not Feltman’s but Nathan’s. This golden Tuesday was the perfect day for students to take the subway to enjoy Coney Island’s rides, games, and boardwalk, just as New Yorkers have been doing since before the turn of the century.


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