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Political History & Civil Rights School Trip to New York

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A politics school trip to New York will allow your students to witness firsthand the effects of mass immigration on a city’s makeup!

Explore the range of diverse neighbourhoods, from Harlem to Chinatown. And visit the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, where the journey for most American arrivals originally began. You may also like to take the opportunity to explore the financial district and Wall Street, where the crash of 1929 led to the Great Depression, which lasted 10 long years.

Want to give more students the opportunity to visit New York? Make your school trip cross-curricular - New York offers incredible opportunities for art, business studies, maths and religious studies among many more

Suggested Itinerary (Based on 5 days/3 nights )

Ellis Island, New York

Visit Ellis Island!

With around 40% of Americans able to trace their history back to at least one ancestor who passed through the immigration centre at Ellis Island, where better to learn about America’s history of immigration?

The federal government took over the regulation of immigration to New York and opened the centre at Ellis Island on 1st January 1892. Over the following 6 decades, 12 million immigrants would pass through the centre to a new life in the New World.

If you were in relatively good health and your papers were in good order, you could expect to spend around 3-5 hours at the centre being processed. And, although the island was known as the ‘Island of Tears’, only 2% of immigrants were turned away, usually because it was thought they had a contagious disease or there was reason to believe that the person was likely to become a burden on the state or an illegal contract labourer.

Did you know?

First and second class passengers who arrived into New York by ship did not have to go through processing at the immigration centre on Ellis Island (unless they were already sick or undergoing legal issues), instead being subject to a short, cursory inspection on board, as it was considered that those who were able to afford those tickets were unlikely to become a financial burden for the state.

Financial District Walking Tour, New York

Take a Walking Tour of the Financial District!

This walking tour focuses on the birth of New York City and its establishment as a globally important finance centre.

The Financial District is where the city of New York was born in 1624 and also overlaps the New Amsterdam settlement, making this the oldest part of the city.

It’s now the beating heart of the American economy – as well as Wall Street, the world’s largest stock exchange (by total market capitalisation) and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the area was also home to the World Trade Center and now its successor, the One World Trade Center.

Did you know?

The One World Trade Center is not only the tallest building in New York – it’s the tallest in the Western Hemisphere! It’s 1,776 feet high – a nod to the year in which the United States Declaration of Independence was signed.

Harlem, New York

Take a civil rights-themed tour of Harlem!

Visit the sites in Harlem associated with the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, guided by a local!

African-Americans began to move into Harlem during the Great Migration of the 20th century. Later, in the 1920s and 1930s, the area was the centre of the Harlem Renaissance, the first major outpouring of artistic works from the African-American community.

With its status as an important centre for African-American culture in New York now well established, Harlem became a focal point for the civil rights movement in the city. This tour will help your students understand both the importance and the timeline of this.

Did you know?

Harlem was named after the Dutch city of Haarlem and once formed part of New Amsterdam.

Day 1


Flight from UK to New York


Transfer to accommodation on arrival


Optional evening meal at local restaurant

Day 2


Take a Civil Rights Tour of Harlem


Visit the American Museum of Natural History or the Tenement Museum


Visit the Empire State Building for evening views across the city

Optional evening meal at local restaurant

Day 3


Travel down to Battery Park and take the ferry for views across the city and the Statue of Liberty

Visit the Immigration Museum on Ellis Island


Take a walking tour of the Financial District, guided or self-guided, and learn the Wall Street story


Optional evening meal at a Times Square restaurant

Chance to enjoy a Broadway show

Day 4


Visit the United Nations for a tour of the building and to learn about the organisation


Transfer to the airport


Overnight flight back to the UK

Day 5


Arrive back in the UK





  • tick icon3 nights' bed and breakfast accommodation
  • tick iconAirport transfers in resort
  • tick iconAll flights including tax
  • tick iconComprehensive travel and medical insurance
  • tick iconDetailed information pack
  • tick iconFree staff place ratio 1:10
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Educational activities and visits

Civil Rights and Social Justice Tour of Harlem

Civil Rights and Social Justice Tour of Harlem

Learn more about the northern Civil Rights movement and the continued struggle for social… Read more

Ellis Island

Ellis Island

Between 1892 and 1954, twelve million immigrants first set foot on American soil at the… Read more

Harlem Civil Rights Tour

Harlem Civil Rights Tour

The Harlem Civil Rights Tour visits sites in Harlem associated with the Civil Rights… Read more

Tenement Museum

Tenement Museum

The Tenement Museum demonstrates the experiences of a variety of immigrants and migrants… Read more

Cultural activities and visits

American Museum of Natural History

American Museum of Natural History

Bring your group to the American Museum of Natural History!Nothing rivals the range of… Read more

Empire State Building

Empire State Building

Reaching more than a quarter of a mile into the Manhattan sky, the Empire State Building… Read more

Financial District Walking Tour

Financial District Walking Tour

This four hour guided walking tour, weaves together history, events, architecture and… Read more

Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty

No trip to New York would be complete without a visit to the Statue of Liberty; the ci… Read more


Hostelling International NY
Hostelling International NY

HI New York is Manhattan’s premier hostel, and is located in a landmark building on the Upper West Side. The building was built in 1883 to help widows of both the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 and re-opened as HI New York in 1990.

The hostel offers clean, modern, mixed and separate male/female dormitory-style accommodation (4 - 12 bedded rooms) with shared bathrooms in the hallways. Linen, towels and a housekeeping service are provided. Private rooms with and without baths are also available (subject to availability).

The hostel is situated just one block from Broadway Avenue and a main subway line, and only minutes from Central Park.

Supporting you every step of the way!

Creating your perfect trip

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Launching your trip

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After your trip

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Need help?

Don’t hesitate to contact me for any advice or further information on how your school trip can be tailored to your requirements.

Thank you for all your work & help - we had a very successful trip. — The Dean Academy, July 2019

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