One of the greatest parts of being an ILCer is that we're often lucky enough to get some funding to visit other great schools that most students in the WCCUSD wouldn't even think about. This year the goal for the Vanderbilt cohort is visiting UPenn, and if the funding is enough Columbia as well. Typically, the UPenn cohort would also see Columbia because it's so easy to get to NYC on the train.
Not only do we get to see these campuses though, there are a variety of other things we get to do. Usually, we all get to agree on what we're going to visit while we're back East or in this case as well, in the South.
|A little mom and pop kind of place|
First and foremost, what I believe is a must-have while in Philadephia is an authentic Philly Cheesesteak, sort of like like getting deep dish pizza in Chicago. One of the top places to get a Philly Cheesesteak from is apparently John's Roast Pork, just 15 minutes away from the University of Pennsylvania campus.
Philadephia also has a Historic District, which I think would be incredible for the cohort to see. I wouldn't consider myself the most nationalist person, but I do have an appreciation for many historic landmarks and history itself. There are marvelous sites we could see such as the Liberty Bell and the Independence Hall. Both sites are free, the Liberty Bell doesn't require tickets and Independence Hall tickets can be acquired in advance.
|The beautiful and historic Independence Hall|
The options in Philadephia seem almost endless, and personally, I love being a tourist. Another spot that seems to be a favorite is the Spruce Street Harbor Park. I can't point out a major thing to do there, as it varies by the month of the year and what events may be going on. Yet, it looks pretty beautiful in pictures so I figure we could find some time to walk through there and take some photographs. It also has some hammock gardens, so if we wanted to take a break throughout the day I think this park would be the place to go!
|Spruce Street Harbor Park as it starts getting dark|
Now, in the hopes that we can somehow get to see Columbia, this also means we'd possibly spend some time in NYC doing some sightseeing as well! I cannot stress how much I have my fingers crossed for this possibility, although even without it I'd be one happy ILCer. One of the reasons we even do the site visits is because atmosphere matters a lot when deciding on a college and taking in a lot of the little details and places to visit can make a tremendous difference.
Columbia University has a campus in Morningside Heights, New York which is in close proximity to the great NYC attractions such as Times Square, Central Park, and the Empire State Building. I think if we got a chance to go there, those sites would be the top priority since they're the essentials for tourists in New York. I won't go into too much detail about those three places, but I'm pretty sure when people think of New York City those names ring a bell. They're mostly for picture taking, walking, and gawking. If there is the time the Metropolitan Museum of Art would also be a place I'd love to see, although it is $20 per adult.
|The busy steps of the Met|
I apparently went in reverse order because the sightseeing will be after our time at Vanderbilt, but according to Michelle Berge, one of the lovely people that I had dinner with just 2 weeks ago, Nashville is basically the "It" city right now. There's Centennial Park, which is just across from the Vanderbilt campus. There are many food places that people have recommended, but what I really want to try is the coffee shop where everyone seems to spot a celebrity. I believe it is called the Bongo Java. Not only are there things year round, but there's so much going on during the summer. Since it is also known as the Music City, there will be free concerts to enjoy as well! I know VSA has a number of things planned for us to interact with our peers, but I'm really looking forward to exploring the city with my cohort and chaperone.
|The Parthenon in Nashville, look at that architecture!|