The week before February half term, 80 students and eight members of staff embarked on an adventure to New York City as part of a joint Sociology & Business trip.

Jack Brockless, Head of Sociology, reports.

Student With Bull

Having survived the travails of manoeuvring 80 excited students on to the flight at Heathrow, we were treated to an Esher themed limerick over the tannoy from the pilot as we taxi-ed down the runway.

Following a smooth flight, the group settled into their plush hotel in the Theatre District of Midtown, then headed out for their first Times Square experience before grabbing some dinner and settling in for an early night.

Day One saw both cohorts jump on the famous subway to Battery Park catch the ferry to Liberty Island and Ellis Island, where students learnt about the history of immigration to the United States. Following this, the tour bifurcated, with Sociology students visiting the 9/11 Memorial Museum to learn more about global crime and then on to a moving lecture by Civil Rights Movement veteran, Dorothy Zellner. They discovered the history of racism, segregation, and religiously inspired movements for social change. Meanwhile, Business students were treated to a visit to the Hershey’s Chocolate Experience, to learn of the history of the business and the marketing secrets to their success.

Day Two saw Sociology students visit the United Nations for a whirlwind tour of the various chambers where international relations and politics played out before our very eyes. The Business students went backstage at Madison Square Gardens to learn more about the commercial dimension of one of the world’s most famous sports and music venues.

Day Three saw Sociology making one final trip to the Tenement Museum to experience tours of this historical location and learn more about how ethnicity and social class has impacted the lives of New Yorkers. The Business students enjoyed a final sojourn as part of a walking tour through New York’s Financial District, the beating heart of global capitalism. Amidst all of this, students and staff found free time to visit galleries and museums, restaurants and diners, churches and theatres and ice-skating rinks – providing a perfect balance of the educational and the recreational.

Finally, it was time to gather bags, catch our transfers, and jump on the ‘red eye’ back to Blighty. Exhausted, full of stories and smiles, students and staff bid each other farewell and settled into their deserved half term break – thankful and gleeful to have had shared such a marvellous experience together. It was a pleasure to organise and provide this opportunity, and the glowing praise staff received on the conduct and manners of our students was abundant. As an Esher community, we should feel very proud of our young people and our staff!

Read more stories from our Spring Newsletter.

Student Group
National Museum
United Nations
Ground Zero