A Piece of Home

a piece of home

What makes a new place feel more like home? From poetry to country flags and snacks, we asked NYU Shanghai students what they brought with them to remind them of home, and here’s how they answered.





Xiao Han Kun 肖汉坤 (Krabs) ‘23
From: Fuzhou City, Fujian Province, China
What he brought: Home-grown olives


“I grew up playing with my friends in the fields and hills near my home, where there were many olive trees growing. When I came to NYU Shanghai, I knew that I would have to bring enough olives to last more than the first semester, so now I eat them sparingly and when I miss the taste of home the most. When I go back in the winter, I’m going to visit the tree and pick some more.” 




Nikola Gajdosova ‘23
From: Bratislava, Slovakia
What she brought: upcycled backpack


“I brought this paper backpack with me as a part of the identity I had back home to remember the people and artsy community I was part of and reminding me to make responsible and sustainable choices supporting local designers. You’d usually spot me with it zooming around the city on a bike.”



Dagla Samira Rodriguez ’23
From: New York City, USA
What she brought: “Invictus,” a poem by William Ernest Henley

“I first encountered Invictus when I was in 6th grade about to enter private school for the first time. It was a reminder that although I may face prejudices, or challenges along the way, I am the decider of my destiny. It is a matter of how I handle the bumps in the road and how I handle the obstacles life throws at me. Although that is an ideology I've had for a while, being here at NYU Shanghai is the first time I've felt like I was truly living out those final two lines. I finally feel like I'm in a place that no one else I know has ever been and that I can no longer look to anyone else to define what my path should like. There is no right or wrong way to live, there is only the way I decide I want to live. And Invictus reminds me that I'm finally living by that truth I've always strived to live by, and to continue to live by it always.”



Gabriel Calderaro da Costa ‘23
From: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
What he brought: Brazilian flag

“I hung the Brazilian flag up in my room to remind me of my roots. Although I’m halfway around the world from my home, this is a part of my culture and country that I can take wherever I go. My culture and where I was raised are strong parts of my identity and who I am.”





Linda Tervnaiemi ’23
From: Rovaniemi, Finland
What she brought: A cup showing places from her hometown 


“My friends gave this mug to me as a gift to remind me of home. It has pictures of my hometown on it, and every time I drink out of it,  it makes me feel special.”