To kick off the first, and last, full day in Boston SEI staff and students started off the morning with a tour of the oldest university in America – Harvard University. After touring Harvard, the group headed to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for a campus tour and lunch. Following the university tours, the group met together to explore the Boston Commons and walk a portion of the Freedom Trail. Afterwards they visited the Faneuil Hall Marketplace for shopping and free time. The evening concluded with two different activities: The Boston Harbor Sunset Cruise and the Broadway Tour of Finding Neverland.
Often referred to as the higher education capital of the world, Boston is a wonderful city to learn about the history of American universities and the impact these institutions have made, and continue to make, on the world. With seven universities located in the Boston area, it’s no surprise that nearly 20% of American presidents graduated from a university in Boston.
Opened in 1636, Harvard University is the oldest university in America. It is also the most popular institution among U.S. Presidents. With a 5.4% acceptance rate, the school is known for being one of the best research schools in the world. Harvard University is a large, residential school housing approximately 6,700 undergraduate students. Additionally, more than 14,500 students attend in pursuit of a post-graduate degree. The SEI students were amazed at the beauty of the historic campus. While on the tour, every SEI student had the chance to touch the John Harvard statue (one of the most famous statues on the campus). The statue’s left foot is subjected to almost incessant rubbing by tourists who believe that the act brings good luck. While walking through campus and learning about each of the programs and buildings, many students shared their dreams and ambitions to attend a school like Harvard (or maybe even Harvard itself) someday.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Similar to Harvard, MIT is known for producing some of the best graduates in America. Slightly different from Harvard, is the science and technology focus at MIT. With a 7.9% acceptance rate and over 19,000 applications each year, MIT is quickly becoming one of the most sought after institutions in America – especially if you are interested in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM). Known for their exceptional performance in STEM, MIT continues to produce graduates that make a difference in the world. In fact, MIT graduates and current students have won a combined total of 58 National Medals of Science and 29 National Technology and Innovation awards. SEI students enjoyed learning about this exceptional technological institution and the impact their students are having on the world.
After learning about the amazing institutions surrounding the Boston area, students and staff enjoyed visiting downtown Boston and exploring many famous and local spots around the city. In the Boston Common and the Boston Gardens, students learned about much of the American history that has taken place in Boston – stories such as the journey’s of Samuel Adams and Paul Revere. Additionally, students enjoyed the amazing Boston weather (much cooler than California), which was perfect for taking pictures in the gardens and resting at the park. After exploring the gardens, the group walked a portion of The Freedom Trail (a famous 2.5-mile trail that passes by 16 significant locations in United States history). After visiting various American landmarks, the students were given three hours of free time at Faneuil Hall Marketplace to shop, eat dinner, and enjoy street performances.
River Cruise & Broadway Show
To end a wonderful day in Boston, students were given the choice to attend Finding Neverland (a Broadway show) or to take a sunset river cruise through the Boston harbor.
Finding Neverland is a new Broadway show that mimics the academy award winning movie, starring Johnny Depp. The upbeat musical follows the story of J.M. Barrie, the author of the famous children’s book – Peter Pan. Being exposed to a theatrical performance in English is a great way for students to work on their listening skills, and to have a fun time while doing it.
The 90 minute Boston Harbor Sunset Cruise offered SEI students a chance to not only see the beautiful Boston skyline, but to also learn about the history of the city from an English speaking tour guide. Students saw Boston from a new point of view, while enjoying the spectacular evening sunset. Additionally, the students were able to watch the USS Constitution’s traditional ritual of firing a vintage cannon and lowering the American flag to signal the day’s end.
Tomorrow, SEI staff and students will arise early to head to the New York City – also known as The Big Apple.
Staff Highlight: RTA, Mr. Peterson
Green team RTA, Mr. Pederson, is returning to SEI for the fourth year. He recently graduated from Wheaton College in Chicago, has four siblings, and his favorite color is dark green. During SEI, he loves playing Uno, catching students in tag, and getting beaten in Chinese chess. When not at SEI, he enjoys traveling, mountain climbing, fitness training, and reading. In the future, he hopes to move to China in order to teach English. He also aspires to someday direct or act in Hollywood movies. SEI is Mr. Pederson’s favorite month of the year and he hopes to return again.
Fun Fact: He has studied Mandarin Chinese for three years both in China and the United States.
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