Illustration by Shenuka Corea

Non-NYU students study at NYUSH

Non-NYU study away students discuss how NYU Shanghai compares to their home universities.

Feb 17, 2018

The article was originally published in On Century Avenue
NYU Shanghai has increased the number of study away students it has taken in from 88 to 180 this semester. Among the 180 are three students from outside of NYU, who are now part of the Global Network University.
All three students — Alec Ashley and Cole Bond from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts and Jake Williams from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, pointed to the uniqueness of NYUSH as part of their motivation to study abroad in Shanghai.
“All of my close friends were traveling to Europe this semester,” Williams said.
“While it’s certainly an incredible place to visit, I wanted something new. They will all see the same sights and share the same experiences, and I will be able to come home and share stories that are completely my own.”
Williams’ study away advisor tipped him off to NYUSH.
“The opportunity excited me particularly because it was a full-time campus for students, and not simply study aways. This would mean that I would be able to gain new and unique insights about living and studying in Shanghai,” explained Williams.
Ashley also wanted to try something new by studying abroad in Asia, as he had lived in London his whole life. Bond had already been to Beijing and wanted to see another side of China.
“My experiences center more around commerce and markets,” Bond said. “I wanted to see that side of China. And also, Beijing is cold.”
Ashley and Bond chose NYUSH as it follows the same academic calendar as an American university, and the Tufts program was located outside of the city.
“The school is very impressive,” said Bond. “The fact that NYU was able to establish an American school in China is pretty insane. There must have been lots of regulatory hoops to go through in setting that up. Just getting study away students integrated seems like a huge process.”
Williams noted that the culture at NYUSH is very different from the culture at Cornell, which has 14,566 undergraduate students.
“The culture at NYUSH is stronger and more close-knit,” Williams said. “It feels a lot smaller, a small campus and student body, but it’s cool to get to see familiar faces every day.”
Ashley, Bond and Williams are now adjusting to life at NYUSH, which is completely different from their long-standing institutions back in the United States.
“The campus life feels more to me like a high school than a college,” Bond said. “You bus or train to school, stay in one building the entire day, and then go home at night. It’s a bit of an adjustment.”
Ashley feels that NYU Shanghai also differs from Tufts in terms of the academic feel.
“NYU Shanghai seems more relaxed, less intense schoolwork-wise, and it has a more relaxed atmosphere,” she said.
Still, Bond is learning a lot from taking classes within NYU Shanghai’s diverse student body.
“It’s interesting learning about Chinese film, for instance, with students that are from China,” Bond said. “You don’t feel like as much of an outsider when you’re experiencing someone’s culture alongside them, and it’s a really important perspective to have.”
This article was edited for style by The Gazelle on Feb. 17
Allison Chesky is a contributing writer. Email her at feedback@thegazelle.org.
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