Kyle studied at NYU Berlin in spring 2015. He is a recorded music major at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at Tisch School of the Arts.
Berlin was attractive to me because of its music scene. It’s very different from New York’s, and I wanted to learn more about it and be a part of it. I had an internship with Volk Music, which is run by an NYU alum. I was able to use what I’d learned at the Clive Davis Institute to help the company promote its newer bands. I also performed at a few gigs that I got through Volk.
I took a class called Berlin Trends, where we learned about city planning and how public spaces are developed. One of my favorite trips with the class was to Tempelhofer Park. Before the trip, we read up on an ongoing debate about the space—whether it should be left alone or turned into something new to bring in revenue for the city. When we visited, we looked at how the space was currently being used. Beyond the areas for leisure and nature, there were also spaces for concerts and a market where residents could come together and sell goods. The park is an abandoned airport, so you can walk up and down the runway. It’s something I couldn’t normally do anywhere else. We were able to see what we were learning, and we could sit down and talk about what we had read.
Everyone lives together, so it’s a little like having New York City in Berlin. It’s really cool because there was always someone around to do things with or talk to. But, while you might be in a little NYU bubble, there are also programs like the lunchtime Conversational Training program, where you can sign up to meet a German student at a partnering university who wants to improve their English. You can meet them and their friends, and it’s easy to get to know people that way.
Rachel spent the fall of 2015 at NYU Abu Dhabi. She is majoring in civil engineering and construction management at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering.
I almost didn’t study away because I wasn’t sure I could do it while staying on track with my major. When I saw that NYU Abu Dhabi offered a lot of the courses I needed, I applied kind of spontaneously. Now I can’t imagine what my college experience would have been like without this opportunity. When am I ever going to be able to live and study in the Middle East like this again?
As an engineer, it’s so cool to observe the region’s progress. Thirty years ago, people were getting from Al Ain to Abu Dhabi on camels. Now, Dubai has the tallest building in the world and Abu Dhabi has the fastest roller coaster, which—confession time—I rode three times in a row.
I would have to say how international the campus and this city are. On my first day at NYU Abu Dhabi, I had breakfast with a German student, went into the city with a Bangladeshi classmate, ate dinner with a group of students from China, then chatted with my Albanian hall mate in the evening. At the time, I couldn’t have pointed to Albania on a map! Now I’m friends with people from all over the world—and my geography skills are way better.
Tyler studied at NYU Prague in fall 2015 and at NYU Accra in spring 2016. He currently is a double major in interactive media arts and global China studies at NYU Shanghai.
Going to NYU Shanghai was so exciting because, up until that time, I had never traveled anywhere. China had never been on my radar, but now I love Shanghai. When it was time to study away from Shanghai, I picked parts of the world I couldn’t yet imagine: Eastern Europe and Africa.
The best example I can give is the way my studies in Prague connected to my global China studies major. I took courses on Communism in both cities, and I was able to compare the societies. It’s fascinating to see cultural similarities between these very different places, which both underwent radical changes in their recent histories. For my interactive media arts major, I took a course that used Skype to bring together students in Shanghai, Prague, London, Berlin, and Florence. It was called Collective Methods, and we worked on projects using technology for storytelling.
It’s transformative. Growing up in the southern United States, I was surrounded by people who had passionate opinions about the world, but sadly had never seen it. My parents didn’t go to college, but I knew that if I traveled during college, I would educate and inform my opinions with experience. I’ve learned so much that I almost don’t feel like the same person. And I’ve realized the world is not really that divided. We’re different in some ways, but I think I wouldn’t have seen how similar we all are if I had stayed in the States for college.
Madeleine attended NYU Shanghai in spring 2015. She is a student at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study with a concentration in photography and entrepreneurship.
My grandparents grew up in China, but when they moved to America they were committed to becoming Americans, so they didn’t raise my mother with Chinese culture at all. I grew up in Connecticut, so for me, going to NYU Shanghai was a great opportunity to reconnect with my Chinese heritage.
Contemporary Art and New Media was really amazing because we went into the city to museums and galleries and spoke directly with Chinese artists, getting their point of view on the art scene in China. I also loved my interactive media arts communications lab, where I learned animation, sound, and video techniques. But my favorite course was a humanities course called Taboo and Pollution that looked at taboos across many societies through the perspectives of different anthropologists.
NYU Shanghai is so incredible because you get to live with the four -year Shanghai students and learn from them as an entirely different NYU student body. The school is small and fairly tight-knit, so it’s very welcoming. Studying there is an amazing way to develop an entire community of friends in a short period of time.
Jess is completing the Liberal Studies Core Program with plans to double major in politics and media, culture, and communication. She began her studies in fall 2015 at NYU Washington, DC.
Before I came to NYU, I spent a gap year living in London while the UK general election was happening. It got me interested in politics, and so when I was offered a space at NYU Washington, DC, I agreed right away. I knew I would have lots of different opportunities there. One of those was the chance to have an internship right at the start of my college career. I interned at the Red Cross, helping to reconnect families after natural disasters, and at the American Enterprise Institute, working on their media relations projects.
I didn’t really have any idea what living in DC would be like, but I had seen House of Cards and had some stereotypical ideas before I came here. I was surprised to find out how unique the culture of the city is. There’s the whole culture of politics and history, but there’s also a lot of life for college students and interns, too. There’s a young, thriving culture because of all the people who come here for research and job opportunities.
In my first semester I volunteered at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History on the National Mall, so the Mall is probably one of my favorite parts of the city. The monuments are incredible. Seeing them on the commute to work or when I was running errands reminded me that I was a resident of DC, instead of just a sightseer. But I never got used to walking past the White House—and I don’t think I ever could.