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America's more than a dream for Bucks students on exchange visit


Buckinghamshire New University students have enjoyed a slice of life in the United States on an exchange trip to Philadelphia and even taken a run up the city's famous steps made famous by Sylvester Stallone in the 1970s film Rocky.

Students in group photo, visiting Philidelphia
Students in the Departments of Criminal Justice & Social Studies and Sport Management have spent a week on an exchange visit at Penn State University in Philadelphia.

Students made the trip over the pond to take part in a programme of lectures and seminars based around the American justice system and collegiate sports administration.

It is the fourth year the trip has taken place, with the American students also visiting Bucks New University’s Campus in High Wycombe on alternate years.

The trip included a visit to the Office of the District Attorney for Philadelphia; Abington Police Department and sites of historical significance between the UK and US including Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed, and Eastern State Penitentiary.

Students also visited the steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art which Stallone escalated in the Rocky film; visited The Liberty Bell Centre; watched the Philadelphia Flyers ice hockey team; and went to a Philadelphia Phillies baseball match.

The trip was topped off with a visit to New York City, but Bucks New University sadly lost the annual ten-pin bowling event between the universities.

Trip to Philidelphia, New York visit

Peter Eley, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, who led the trip, said: "The special relationship Bucks has with Penn State has been active since 2008 and plans are already underway for Penn State to visit High Wycombe in March 2015 and a return visit is to be organised for April 2015 for students from Bucks. It provides a wonderful experience and a great learning opportunity for students."

Second-year BSc (Hons) Psychology & Criminology student Ana Garcia said the trip provided 'memories that will stay with me forever'. 

She said: "As well as all the extra events organised that were great, such as the sports games, The Liberty Bell, and tour of Philadelphia; the academic programme put on by Penn State University was absolutely fantastic. I was able to experience how an American university works and sit in on actual classes that were interesting, informative and gave me a chance to meet and work with other Penn State students. The people at the university were wonderful, friendly and welcoming as well. They tailored fun, interesting and relevant classes that enabled me to learn from them about American justice systems and see the differences between ours as well. Another aspect of the trip that I found invaluable was a visit to the Abington Police Department and District Attorney’s Office where I learnt more about how systems operate in America and more specifically, Philadelphia. The whole trip was a wonderful and unforgettable experience and a massive thank you goes to Peter Eley for taking time out to organise such a rewarding trip."