The Development of a Global Perspective
Study Away is an integral part of every NYU Shanghai student’s college experience, with most spending at least one semester studying at one NYU’s global sites. With sophomores this week attending preparation sessions about their study away destinations, five NYU Shanghai juniors share their study away stories from Buenos Aires to Berlin.
Name: Alexandra Bianco
Studied Away at: NYU Berlin
Why: Because of its incredibly unique past, which has formed a city that is a blend of political histories, cultures, foreign languages, and experiences.
Favorite Class: Definitely German language class. I enrolled in the intensive courses, and loved every moment of them. The language instructors are each very passionate about teaching, and the cultural knowledge that comes with learning German allows you to understand and appreciate every aspect of Berlin.
Surprised by: Ordering an “Eiskaffee” will not result in an iced coffee; instead, you will be served coffee with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Berlin in One Word: “Genau.” It is the most common word that I used in Berlin. It means “exactly.” Berliners use this word instead of “yes,” “sure,” or even “I agree.” “Genau” encompasses the willingly participatory nature of Berlin, and its encouraging atmosphere.
The Experience Taught Me: It’s completely alright to be bad at something and still pursue it. Whether it’s blues dancing, photography, practicing German, or even trying new foods, Berlin provides ample opportunities for personal growth, as well as a supportive environment for you to do so. My year in Berlin definitely changed me for the better as both a student, and as a person. Aspects such as time management, financial budgeting, and even eating in a healthy manner, have all become second nature. Academically, I have a much deeper understanding of the topics that I am studying for my humanities major, and feel intellectually invigorated. My experiences in Berlin have helped make me the person I am today.
Name: Lin Ye
Studied Away at: NYU Florence
Why: Florence is the birthplace of Renaissance art and an icon of beauty and mystery.
Favorite Class: Media, Democracy and Activism, because it enabled me to understand the European politics around me every day.
Surprised By: I gained 20 pounds in Italy, so now you know how amazing the Italian food is.
Florence in One Word: Once-in-a-lifetime (See how I cheated there!)
The Experience Taught Me: Different cultures have totally different understandings about religion and life. Don’t judge others and stay open to cultural relativism. I also had several of the most beautiful life moments in Florence, such as traveling to different countries every weekend with my best friends, understanding the beautiful European cultures and dynamic EU politics and living with a perfect homestay family to immerse myself in Italian culture. My study away experience has shaped me to be a better person.
Name: Lizzie Leclaire
Studied Away at: NYU Buenos Aires
Why: To continue my study of the Spanish language and to explore a new part of the world.
Favorite Class: Argentina Today, because it focused on the culture and politics of Argentina, but was taught entirely in Spanish. It was a great way to learn about the country I was living in and practice my Spanish.
Surprised By: Being able to travel to see a glacier in southern Argentina and then in the same week seeing the rainforest in the northern part of the country. The ease of travel in Argentina and the variety of climates is incredible!
Buenos Aires in One Word: Inspiring
The Experience Taught Me: How to better fit my academic life into the rest of my life. Even though classes in Buenos Aires are rigorous, I was able to slow down with the pace of the city and really enjoy my time there. I loved my study away experience in Buenos Aires because I was able to explore an entirely new culture and see a new part of the world. Buenos Aires has such an interesting history and being able to learn about it while living in the city was incredible. I also loved my host family, which really helped to make it a great semester. I hope to go back some day to visit!
Name: Nofar Hamrany
Studied Away at: NYU Washington DC
Why: It fed into my interests of politics and public policy, and the internship opportunities there are amazing! I also valued that as a smaller community, I was able to get to know students, professors and staff members personally there.
Favorite Class: Financial Crises
Surprised by: The US election result! There was a palpable feeling in Washington that Hillary Clinton would win. Most people were in good spirits until the shock of Donald Trump’s win began to set. I was at the White House on election night when crowds of Trump supporters and protesters swarmed the area. Many people were crying, upset and struck with grief over the results.
Washington DC in One Word: Power.
The Experience Taught: More than just being a chance to travel, it’s also getting to better understand the lives of local people. I contemplated what living in DC was like compared to living in China and Israel. Although Tel Aviv is the most metropolitan city in Israel, people are generally more casual and it’s an easy-going pace of life. You can wear shorts and flip flops to work and go to the beach right after. In DC, people are in suits and jackets by day and sometimes work through the weekends. In Shanghai, I feel a balance between both ways of life.
Name: Ma Teng (Martin)
Studied Away at: NYU Abu Dhabi
Why: To explore Abu Dhabi and complete my travel among the three main global sites. I am also passionate about basketball, so I couldn’t resist the fact that they had a state of the art indoor basketball court.
Favorite Class: Yes Logo, taught by Goffredo Puccetti. He taught us through direct experience--from start to end, from brainstorming, using software and creating finished products. We designed a logo celebrating 45 years of Italy-UAE relations, and mine was picked in the top 3 of all the students’ individual designs. We also worked on a logo for WWF-EWS, which we even presented to the sheikh.
Surprised by: Basketball practice starting at 6:30am!
Abu Dhabi in One Word: Inspiring
The Experience Taught Me: The value of studying disciplines outside my planned major. In addition to design, I took a painting course and a strategic management course out of pure interest. Learning about how people succeed and what they do to reach their goals was eye opening for me.
For more information on how to apply for studying away, academic advising and more, click here.