The New York College Experience

Grades 9-12
June 25-July 22, 2018
Tuition: $8295

The New York College Experience is housed in Barnard College, Columbia University. Students live in the same rooms as undergraduates during the year, and work with leading academics, business practitioners, and creative professionals. They choose two courses - a major and a workshop - from a myriad of offerings that include Advertising and Media, International Business, and Medical Science. Outside class they go on field trips to some of the great colleges and towns of the north-east while making the most of everything the world’s most vibrant city has to offer. Scroll down to read course descriptions, faculty biographies, and apply now!


Students on The New York College Experience can choose from over 25 academic and creative courses that have been designed to use New York as a teaching laboratory. All our courses are experiential.  They involve daily outings to museums, businesses, and relevant sites. Classes meet with experts in their fields of study, hear from eminent guest speakers, and conduct their own project-work. Our most popular courses include Advertising and Media, Criminology, Finance and Business, and International Relations. Descriptions for these are below, and you can follow the link to read more about all our courses.

Advertising and Media

In the home of Mad Men and Times Square’s neon lights, students discover the power of suggestion, persuasion, and product placement. Scouring New York for case studies and creative examples, they explore different types of advertising, and find out how new media are transforming the game. Using their creative skills, they study a range of design techniques and, having settled on a product, grow and run their own campaigns. Lab fee of $100 US for the Major.


Working in the city that famously developed its own variety of strong policing in order to defeat a rampant crime problem, and drawing on aspects of criminology, law, psychology, and forensics, students seek to understand what turns people into criminals and what society does in response to the challenges of criminal behavior. They spend time with the NYPD officers who fight crime on the streets, discover how society deals with criminals by meeting with lawyers and visiting courthouses, and learn how the authorities are adapting to challenges such as cybercrime and Terrorism.

Finance and Business

Exploiting the resources of the world’s financial capital – Wall Street, the NYSE – students discover the instruments and institutions that make up modern finance and are vital to budding entrepreneurs.  From principles of finance, such as compound interest, time value of money, and portfolio theory, they move on to how finance and financial markets actually work. They address the main business principles of strategic planning, marketing, economics, finance, and accounting. Concepts covered include SWOT analysis, developing a marketing strategy, as well as working through how to create a product centered company and draft a business plan. For their final project, they create a mock company that they present in a “Shark Tank”, mirroring the high pressure, quick tempo presentations used at colleges, business schools, and startup incubators around the world.

International Relations

In the city that is home to the United Nations, students delve into the theories and mechanisms that govern relations between states and blocs. They supplement their exposure to the international context by examining a variety of current issues. They learn how and why policy decisions are made, how they are enforced, and how their repercussions affect us. At the end of the course, students select a country to represent in a model UN project.

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Our teachers are academics and researchers drawn from Columbia, NYU, and Yale, among others, and established creative professionals. A few biographies are listed below, and you can follow the link to meet all our faculty.

Dr. C. Aaron Lawry

BA University of Arizona, MA Columbia University, PhD University of Arizona

Dr. Lawry is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at Champlain University. He has several years of college-level teaching experience in Marketing, Fashion, and Music. His clients in the industry include Dockers, L’OrĂ©al Paris For Men, Tylenol, and Mini USA. He has published extensively on fashion and advertising, most recently with C. Helms in "Curating the Creative Genius in Luxury Firms." He has received numerous awards and honors for his work, including the Steinfeldt Fellowship in Arts and Material Culture from the Texas State Historical Association.

Dr. Francesco Lotti

BS Sapienza University of Rome, PhD San Raffaele Scientific Institute

Dr. Lotti is an Assistant Professor of Pathology and Cell Biology at Columbia University, where he is based in the College of Physicians and Surgeons. His current research utilizes the modeling of human disease to better understand pathological mechanisms. This involves close examination of the basic mechanisms that regulate eukaryotic gene expression and RNA metabolism. The end goal is to identify and design new therapeutic interventions that will help to overcome dysfunctions in gene expression.

Michael Edward McGuire

BS Babson College, BA Columbia University, MIA Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs

Michael has worked for over twenty years in international business. His career began with a banking position at Manufacturers Hanover Trust Company. He left this to begin building companies independently. His early projects included a commodity trading and structured finance company, an offshore software development company, and an asset management company. Michael was recognized as a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2004, and went on to serve on the boards of two publicly-traded enterprises: Stillwater Mining Company and Plug Power. Today he spends much of his time negotiating and making transactions for businesses based in Russia, China, India, and Europe.

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Our Residence

Barnard College is an independent liberal arts college established in 1889 and has been affiliated with Columbia University since 1900. Columbia University, an Ivy League institution, was founded by Royal Charter as King’s College in 1754 and is the oldest university in New York. Barnard was named after Frederick Augustus Porter Barnard, the President of Columbia University, in 1889.

Barnard College sits in Morningside Heights, a neighborhood just north of the Upper West Side, minutes from the bustle of Midtown, and a short walk from the Hudson River, Riverside Park, and the urban oasis of Central Park. On campus students can enjoy a picnic on the lawns, exercise in the gym at Columbia University, and relax with friends while taking in the breathtaking views of the New York skyline. The surrounding neighborhood features a diverse selection of shops, restaurants, and cafes, as well as notable sites such as Tom's Restaurant, the diner used in the TV show Seinfeld, and the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, one of the largest cathedrals in the world.

Students are housed in the College in singles or doubles.  All rooms have air-conditioning. 


Students may choose to participate in structured activities or take advantage of the hundreds of other opportunities that New York City provides. Our team also takes students to tour the campuses of Columbia University, NYU, Brown, UPENN, Yale, Vassar, and other local colleges in the City.

Our sports program includes opportunities to play softball, basketball, volleyball, Ultimate Frisbee, and soccer. Students might run a lap of the reservoir in Central Park, jog along the Hudson River pathway, walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, explore local farmers markets, play speed chess in the open air, or participate in games and tournaments with fellow students. Other options might include joining a member of staff for a walking tour of Greenwich Village, Soho, Little Italy, Chinatown, or Times Square or visiting the top of the Empire State Building or Rockefeller Center for truly spectacular views of Manhattan.

Our activities program also ensures that whenever students are not in the classroom they have a range of cultural opportunities available. With summer festivals, concerts, theater performances, gallery exhibitions, and museum exhibits, New York offers unsurpassed cultural exploration and adventure. Students marvel at the city’s iconic architectural masterpieces, explore open spaces, parks, and gardens, see a Broadway show, and discover a world of opportunity under the guidance, advice, and care of our on-site staff.

Useful Info for Parents


Every student is met personally at any of New York’s main airports upon arrival and escorted to the program. At the end of the program, they are accompanied back to the airport, where we oversee check-in and departure. A representative stays at the airport until every flight has departed.


Barnard College, Columbia University, is situated in a safe neighborhood, with controlled access and twenty-four hour security. Day-to-day life is overseen by teams of Deans - professional educators drawn from leading schools in the US, Canada, and Australia. The College has a program office, in a central location, which is open and permanently staffed by Deans from before 8am until well past midnight. Every student checks in personally, twice, every evening, with the Deans on duty. The Program Director, Deans, residential staff, and some members of faculty live in the residences, ensuring round-the-clock care and supervision.

Student Safety, Rules, and Behavior

Program Blog

Every summer, students and teachers on The New York College Experience maintain a blog, which provides unparalleled insight into daily life, classes, and activities.  Last summer’s blog is available here!

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