Matthew Roy, 33, won the expenses-paid trip in a competition to write a radio jingle to promote public transport. It was organised by music lecturer Cecil Du Ville and his friend Mark Heavey, head of marketing at the Metropolitan Transport Authority, which runs the New York subway.
Mr Du Ville, from Philadelphia, has his family roots in the west country and, after years in the music and marketing businesses, decided to settle in Cornwall.
Previously, he had a house in Cornwall and, he said: "My heart ached every time I had to leave."
Mr Heavey, who worked with Mr Du Ville in marketing in New York, picked the winning entry.
A second jingle competition at the college asked students to come up with a promotional song for Honda cars - and was organised by Mr Du Ville through another friend who has a Honda franchise in Cornwall.
The winner, Martin Saunders, 57, was presented with a certificate.
Mr Du Ville said: "It's all about getting a job. These students will be able to show in their CVs that they have produced work which has impressed some pretty big organisations.
"I hope this will inspire other lecturers to this sort of thing. It's all about going a little bit further than just teaching what's in the catalogue and doing something different."