Photo by Julia Saubier/The Gazelle

Study away process discourages NYUNY students

Photo by Julia Saubier/The Gazelle As forms for housing, courses and study abroad applications pile on top of desks and trickle into email inboxes, NYU ...

Apr 13, 2013

Photo by Julia Saubier/The Gazelle
As forms for housing, courses and study abroad applications pile on top of desks and trickle into email inboxes, NYU students find themselves under a time crunch as both summer vacation and dreaded deadlines draw near.
But for some students, this annual season of registration is made even more stressful by the fact that they do not know where they will be studying next semester. NYUNY sophomores Mary Jane Dumankaya and Kristina Bogos are among the students who applied to NYUAD and still have not received any notification of their acceptance.
NYU applicants to other Global Network University sites such as London or Prague were informed of their decisions on March 1, the official notification date for NYU study away applicants.
“I applied to study abroad in Abu Dhabi by February 15, which was the priority deadline for Fall 2013,” said Dumankaya, an international relations major. Originally, the students had been told they would be notified about two weeks or so after indicating their course preferences.
“However, I received another email saying that this would take longer, and that I would possibly, but not definitely, find out by April 22, which is the first day of class registration in NY,” Dumankaya said. “I have not yet found out.”
With looming deadlines for the academic term in New York, none of the students who applied to study away at NYUAD have been informed of their decisions. They have been receiving email updates regarding their applications, but all remain unaware as to where they will be packing their bags for next fall.
For Bogos and Dumankaya, this lack of a definitive answer has made the normal registration process at NYUNY difficult, as study abroad decisions affect other enrollment plans and obligations on the Square. With no indication as to which continent they will be living on next semester, Bogos and Dumankaya do not know which campus’ requirements they should be giving priority.
“How am I supposed to register for classes and choose my living arrangements when I don't know where I will be next semester?" Bogos said.
In order to ensure that they have course lists and dorm rooms for next semester, students who applied to study at NYUAD must juggle two different sets of deadlines and paperwork, filling out applications for both New York and Abu Dhabi.
“I've paid my housing deposit for NY, gotten my [themed residential floor] assignment and have chosen my classes and gotten clearance for them, without having found out about NYUAD,” Dumankaya said. “I always thought I'd be going to Abu Dhabi so I didn't think I'd have to make plans for [New York], but now that I have, it's going to be very inconvenient to go to Abu Dhabi.”
The effect of their study abroad decisions will also ripple into other considerations and future plans that students must make for the next academic year. Time is not the only factor; for Bogos, who is studying in Athens for the summer, the delay of her results has financial implications.
“I haven't booked my flight to Greece yet because once my program ends in Greece, I will fly one-way to Abu Dhabi and save thousands of dollars,” said Bogos. “The longer I wait to book my one-way from New York to Greece, the more expensive it's going to be … I don't want to be responsible for money that I shouldn't even have to spend in the first place. If I would have known back in March about my Abu Dhabi study abroad status, I wouldn't be in this situation."
Although the Global Network University provides students with opportunities to engage with cultures, students and faculty from around the world, the long stretch of distance between Abu Dhabi and New York has resulted in large gaps in communication and information during this process. One such gap was when students applying from New York were told to submit a course preference form, but found that only courses for the 2012-2013 academic year were available online.
Without the ability to arrange meetings and talk to administrators face-to-face, applicants must rely on emailing in order to resolve issues and have their queries addressed. With distance and the internet acting as obstacles between both sides, it is difficult for applying students to keep tabs on the process.
“I have no idea where my application is or whose hands it is in right now,” said Bogos.
Although Dumankaya was initially drawn to Abu Dhabi because of its unique location and high caliber of academics, she is now reconsidering her study abroad plans.
“I don't think I'll be going to Abu Dhabi anymore,” Dumankaya said. "I'm incredibly frustrated and if it's this hard now, I don't see it getting any simpler. I think I'd rather just go to London which is an established study abroad site where I won't have to go through all of this stress.”
Eunice Teo, a sophomore from NYUNY who is currently studying abroad in Abu Dhabi, said she did not encounter such difficulties when she applied to study abroad during the fall of 2012.
“The process was pretty smooth because you just applied and got your answer the same time as all the other study abroad sites,” said Teo. “I don’t understand why they’re facing challenges this time.”
University spokesperson Josh Taylor issued a statement regarding the issue, asserting that NYUAD is in the final stages of the application process and will release decisions this coming Monday.
“Since the arrival of our first study away students in Abu Dhabi last year, they have added immeasurably to the NYUAD community,” Taylor said. “NYU students will be notified on Monday, April 15 about whether or not they have been admitted to NYUAD for study away this fall. Though initially we had hoped to notify New York students this week, we first had to address two items that arose due to a very strong, positive response from students admitted this year to NYUAD.”
This spring’s application process has been different from that of last years in that, in addition to study abroad students from New York, NYUAD offices must also take into account the future freshman that will be journeying to Abu Dhabi for the next fall.
“As we are now looking at a larger-than-anticipated freshman class this fall, we needed to reanalyze our housing allocation to ensure that we had enough space in Sama Tower, our sole student residence,” said Taylor. “We have now confirmed that we will be able to accommodate both our incoming Class of 2017, and study away students from New York. The final step of the process is to ensure that NYUAD can provide the academic program that students from Washington Square seek. That matching process will be finalized by Monday.”
Zoe Hu is deputy news editor. Email her at
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