August Enews: Friends, Food & the Ivy League

Friends, Food & the Ivy League
By Grace Meigs, Class of 2016

EF Tours (Education First), the company that offers tours of Europe to students, also offers tours of Universities. For the first time, OLP was extended the offer to visit Universities in the Northeast United States through EF Explore America. During this past Spring Break, I boarded an airplane bound for Boston and took a six day bus tour of 12 Colleges and Universities. This tour started in Boston and ended in New York City.

The tour consisted of visiting M.I.T., Harvard University, Boston College, Boston University, Northeastern University, Stonehill College, Providence College, Yale University, Columbia University, Barnard College, Fordham University, and New York University. About 50 students and 10 adult counselors from various Catholic High Schools in California were on my tour. Most of the students were from La Reina High School and from Ms. Lek’s previous school, Moreau Catholic High School. We spent about two hours on each campus, usually guided by a college student. Our guides told us about campus life, the faculty, and the best places to meet other students. We saw dorm rooms, ate lunch at popular places on campus, explored classrooms and buildings, and walked the grounds. We were always on the move, but had time to shop for college sweatshirts and other knick knacks.

We stayed in quality hotels that included a hot breakfast each morning, 3 or 4 people to a room. We’d wake up about 8am and be on the bus about 9:30. For lunch, we were given either a food voucher for various places to eat or bought out own food. We always had sufficient time to eat and shop in the area. In the evenings, the group would have sit down dinners together at trendy local restaurants. We usually got back to the hotel around 10 pm, exhausted and ready to sleep. The EF Tour directors were experienced and handled everything. The bus company provided touring buses with friendly drivers. Traffic was so heavy in the New York City area. It was good having someone else drive and know where they were going.

From my perspective, the students were given a lot of freedom. Being the only student from the San Diego area, I made many new friends that I still keep in touch with. We went on walking tours in some cities, viewing the city life and observing typical weather and the people of that city. We went to the Broadway play, “Rocky,” which was very interesting and entertaining. Overall I didn’t feel controlled or pushed. It was a great way to spend my Spring Break and a good way to see the life outside of the West Coast.

I’ll always have great memories of food, friends, and the Ivy League. I recommend this tour for all students at OLP. Get more info at: