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Students get a glimpse behind the scenes at the White House

Politics and Law students from Collyer’s have returned from a five-day trip to Washington DC.

The group embarked on a packed schedule, which included visits to the Supreme Court, the National Archives, the Lincoln Memorial and the Arlington Cemetery. They then enjoyed a behind-the-scenes guided tour of the Capitol, America’s parliament, before hearing a debate in the Senate.

However, the highlight of the Washington experience was a visit to the White House, arranged for the group by Senator John Boozman of Arkansas, who is Senator for the home state of Collyer’s Politics teacher, Nick Cowell.

Nick Cowell was thrilled: “We are incredibly grateful to Senator John Boozman. The students had privileged access to all the rooms of state, which is an extremely rare honour, particularly for visitors from outside of the United States. An interesting moment occurred as we came into contact with a runaway ‘Bo’, the president’s dog. He was pursued by his own security agent, and was a great hit with the students!”

Politics student Ben Brewer was thrilled: “It was an amazing experience to be able to visit inside the White House. It’s not the sort of thing you would ever get to do except on a special trip like this.”

Fellow Politics student, Sam Cook added: “My most amazing moment was standing outside the White House after our tour and watching President Obama leave in his helicopter from the South Lawn!”

Other highlights of the trip were a tour of Washington, which included a lift ride to the top of the Washington monument and a visit to Ford’s Theatre, where the assassination of President Lincoln took place.

Law student Kathryn Grzegorzek said:  “The memories from this trip will stay with me forever and the awesome staff made for an incredibly enjoyable trip. It was a once in a lifetime experience.”

The group also visited the Newseum which houses exhibitions on how the media have reported major political and legal world events. Exhibits on 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and the work of the FBI were the main areas of interest for the group.

George Lear, who is Subject Leader for Politics at Collyer’s, was delighted: “What a wonderful opportunity! The students were able to get a valuable insight into the American justice system and political landscape. This kind of trip is extremely beneficial to their AS and A2 studies. We owe huge thanks to our very own Nick Cowell for kindly getting in touch with Senator John Boozman of Arkansas to organise our visit to the White House, which was a tremendous experience for us all!”

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