A Student’s Guide to New York City

A Student’s Guide to New York City

Guest Writer

更新日期 March 31, 2024 更新日期 March 31

Ainee Dehradunwala is studying psychology with a minor in linguistics at New York University. She gives us a first hand account of what it’s like to be an international student in New York City

I had a very international upbringing; my parents have recently moved to Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, and I have previously lived in New Jersey, and attended an international school in Karachi, Pakistan. I knew I wanted to study in the US, but when I was discussing where I wanted to apply with my counselor, she noticed that I hadn’t considered any universities in New York.

Being familiar with my interests during high school, she thought that I really should think about studying there, and at New York University (NYU) in particular, because of the unique variety of opportunities on offer – socially, culturally and professionally.

NYU appealed to me because it has 13 sites around the world, so as well as studying abroad I would have the opportunity to go a lot of other places. New York itself is very international. It’s different to anywhere I’ve been before, because of all the different cultures meshing together. This means that people are really open to new things, and I think it’s this openness which makes it so appealing.

Just walk around

When I first moved I tended to stay quite close to campus, and stuck to the main tourist attractions. But now I know the city a bit better, my friends and I venture a bit further out and go a to a lot of smaller restaurants and the various hotspots at which you’ll find seasoned New Yorkers.

And often, you’ll come across things just by chance: a street fair, galleries and museums, or a show you didn’t know about. In fact, I would say a really good way to get a flavor of the city is just by walking around, and looking out for where other people go; the busiest restaurants or the loudest bars.

Downtown, around Greenwich Village, East Village and West Village is a good place to start and place like Chinatown and Little Ukraine are full of hidden treasures. You should check out student bars to get an idea of what the university-age population is doing and Central Park is also definitely a place you should see.

I think one of the main challenges of living here is the sheer number of distractions; if you do everything you want to do it can sometimes be hard to focus on academics when you need to! It can also be a little expensive to start with but when you learn how to get around and how to get discounted student tickets, it is a lot cheaper. A lot of times restaurants and bars will have signs in the door saying that you can get a discount if you have a student ID. 

A competitive city for competitive people

Professionally speaking, you get a massive head start, because you’re already living in the place where everyone wants to work after graduating. And there are plenty of opportunities to gain some experience through internships.

NYU has a database, which you just need to upload your résumé to and then just hit apply. For every 20-30 applications you make, you tend to get five or six replies; and many places will eventually hire their interns.

I wouldn’t say the city is for everyone. If you’re not into a fast-paced life, or are intimidated by crowds, you won’t necessarily like it.

Also, if you’re a bit more laid back, and you want to put things off until later, it might not work for you; everyone here is very driven, and whatever you want to do, thousands of other people will want to do the same. This tends to make people plan their lives out a bit more – I’m certainly a lot more structured now, which is a big advantage, really.

It can be a bit intimidating to start with; with so many different cultures mixed together, sometimes you wonder where you belong. However, despite how fast paced and competitive it can be, people are also very welcoming. If I had one piece of advice, it would be hold tight. It might seem overwhelming, but you’ll find your place eventually.

本文首发于 2013 February , 更新于 2024 March 。



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