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Students picture by The Statue of LibertyStudents from The School of Art and Design enjoyed a tour in the United States, part-funded by the Turing Scheme.

Fifty students and nine staff travelled over three thousand miles and visited seven US states as part of a study trip to America.

The group from West Suffolk College (WSC) are all studying on programmes related to the school of art and design.

They paid £300.00 to experience 17 days of travel, gaining experiences in Baltimore, Maryland, New York, Philadelphia, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.  

The educational tour was part funded by the Turing Scheme.

Philadelphia Rocky steps and Philadelphia Museum of Art

Named after the iconic British scientist (Alan Turing), the Turing Scheme is a government funded project that aims to encourage global educational partnerships, experiences and opportunities.

Later this year, students from West Suffolk College and the Eastern Colleges Group (that also incorporates WSC, Abbeygate Sixth Form, One Sixth Form in Ipswich and University Studies at West Suffolk College) will get the opportunity to visit China, South Korea and Thailand.

Derek Johnson is the director of art and design at WSC. Derek said: “The Turing Scheme aims to support young people and enable them to become confident global citizens. I think this US study tour helped achieve these aims. The students and staff were great ambassadors. Special thanks to the team of staff from the college for their efforts – and the Turing Scheme for their support.”

Students and staff by the Washington Monument

In terms of the educational experiences, Derek continued: “We went to art galleries, saw political landmarks, visited colleges and universities and made great new contacts, went to a place called Harpers Ferry and stood in three states at the same time, saw iconic landmarks and had tours of some amazing new buildings in New York. It was culturally insightful and inspirationally educational.”

Harry Frost-Smith, 18, from Bury St Edmunds, is a level three photography student who benefitted from this experience. Harry said: “New York was like London on steroids. It was eye opening. We got a glimpse of how the education system works over there and I’d like to say thank you to the Turing Scheme.”

Eliza Haindl, 17, from Bury St Edmunds, studies on a level three art and design course. Eliza said: “This was my first time in America – I had big expectations and they were met. I enjoyed West Virginia – it was pretty and picturesque – but everywhere we visited was different. Big thanks to Turing – we did so much and this has been educational and inspiring. It has given me a greater sense of independence.”

Toby Bayliss, 17, from Bishops Stortford, also studies art and design. Toby said: “The art was incredible and seeing Monet’s and Van Gogh’s in reality was a highlight. It was also great to meet other people who are on different courses and make new contacts both in the UK and abroad. Overall it was just incredible. If an opportunity like this comes up – I’d say to others – take it. I’d say this has helped me improve as an artist. It was a once in a lifetime experience.”