7 days

Program Overview

The New York City Heritage program is designed to introduce students to the nation’s origins through the stories of immigrants. Catholic and Jewish heritage is highlighted on this trip through a thoughtfully-curated series of activities and site visits, each adding a critical piece to the narrative. In Lower Manhattan, learn about the early history of the city when Catholics were a marginalized minority. On Liberty Island and Ellis Island, experience the spaces that stand as testament to the great waves of immigration that forged New York City as a multicultural metropolis. Learn about the Jewish immigrant experience in the U.S. through an exploration of the Lower East Side, a densely packed district of tenements, factories and docklands. On this unparalleled New York City learning journey, students are encouraged to draw new insights, ask challenging questions and continue these lessons at home, creating opportunities for further discovery.


Destination Highlights

Learn about the city of immigrants, New York City, firsthand on a Catholic, Jewish and U.S. heritage tour. Immigration through Ellis Island accounts for nearly half of the current U.S. population, as the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration chronicles in the stories of 12-million immigrants. In Lower East Side neighborhood, the Tenement Museum still holds the stories of immigrants who lived there. Immigrants in New York City, especially Irish immigrants, were supported by the efforts of Tammany Hall in the 1800s to receive basic social services.

Experience the Catholic heritage of New York City from cathedral to church to cathedral. A mass service at St. Peter's Cathedral gives students an opportunity to meet the local Catholic community. St. Peter's Church is a journey back in time to its humble beginnings in 1785. The Basilica of St. Patrick's Old Cathedral was the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York until the current Saint Patrick's Cathedral opened in 1879.

Jewish heritage is prevalent in New York City. The Lower East Side served as the historic gateway to New York City for its Jewish immigrants. Discover more at the Museum at Eldridge Street, housed in the Eldridge Street Synagogue, a National Historic Landmark that opened in 1887. Cross the Brooklyn Bridge to a Jewish Matzah Bakery, and taste traditional Jewish baked goods.

Service learning activities with Immigration NGO and City Meals gives students a chance to interact with the everyday challenges faced by both immigrant and native-born residents. In addition, students get to engage directly with average people in the city today.

New York City has a heritage that connects back to nearly everyone in one way or another. Overlooking the city from the Empire State Building, everything looks so connected, yet so far away. The National 9/11 Memorial provides an essential moment of reflection. The Statue of Liberty is a bright and shining role model of how the U.S. is connected to the rest of the world. For a view above it all, students go all the way to the top of the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere to explore the One World Observatory. Stepping into the main oasis of nature in New York City, Central Park, students get a little game time before heading home.

Daily Itinerary

Learning Outcomes

In this New York City Heritage program, experience curriculum-focused discussions, a lecture, tours of noteworthy locations, site visits to landmarks and community service learning. Explore the famous sights of the city and come away with a deeper understanding of how immigrants from different nations and eras came to New York City to build a new life.

Services Included


Private transportation provided throughout the program.


All scheduled activities and experiences are included in the cost.


Local hotel (quad occupancy) accommodations, with a night chaperone to ensure security.


Two meals are provided daily: breakfast and dinner.


Interactive learning experiences designed to expand educational and career goals.


Advanced student security software that integrates geofencing, logistics, communication and more optimized safety features.


Dedicated 24/7 staff availability, supporting students every step of the way.


Tour Directors create a fun and engaging learning experience for students.