By Dr. David Fitzgerald, Dean of Students
On August 6th, our new students from all over the world moved into their new home. As an introduction, three days of action packed festivities were planned to welcome them into the LA community. The events were planned according to the theme “LA Summer”. In Los Angeles, there are certain things that every teenager should experience that capitalizes on the urban and natural resources of Los Angeles.
The orientation began with an “Amazing Race” style scavenger hunt through downtown. New students were challenged to visit key locations that define downtown. These include the beautiful Central Library, trendy Last Bookstore, and the iconic Bonaventure Hotel. The hunt ended with lunch in the Grand Central Market (even Gourmet Magazine named this one of the best new restaurants in the country!).
Every Angeleno teenager must experience a beach bonfire. LA is known worldwide for its beaches. There is nothing better than staring at the setting sun over the Pacific Ocean. Once the sun sets over the horizon the bonfire on the beach begins. At the bonfire, new students tasted their first “Smore” (a tradition at California beach bonfires). The night ended with student leaders explaining the importance of community at AUP.
The last day of the orientation ended up in Long Beach. Students rented kayaks and paddled their way through the Naples canals. After the kayak trip students had the opportunity to simply spend time on soaking up rays on the beach.
The Orientation week provided opportunities for new students to experience what AUP and Los Angeles is all about. It was a great way to end the summer. The next day, classes began and the work begins.