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International students adjust to life in the city

Posted on September 26, 2012 | by Gentry Brown

1. Sung Hwan Hong 

Seoul, South Korea 

CAS junior, majoring in Journalism and Sociology

Q: Why did you choose NYU?

A: I had my first American college tour in high school, and NYU was the first college on my tour. NYU left a really strong impression. I just wanted to be here.

Q: What stood out about NYU?

A: I think New York is probably one of the craziest cities you can live in. I just got back, and I realized the extent of craziness the city has. It’s so diverse, and I’m not saying that in terms of race but in terms of character and in terms of people.

Q: How would you describe your experience living in New York so far?

A: It’s been nice, lots of ups and downs. Apartments are not that nice, and you have to pay a lot of money. The toughest thing about living in New York is that the living expenses are way higher than other places.

Q: Where do you feel a sense of community?

A: I don’t think I have a place in New York where I feel a sense of community yet. It hasn’t been that long. Even in Gramercy, [which is] the most familiar place for me, I still don’t feel that sense of community there.


2. Shannon Hellmann 

Osnabrück, Germany

LSP sophomore

Q: What made you choose NYU?

A: I chose NYU because there’s a lot to do, to see. You can walk all over campus and not be on campus at the same time.

Q: How has your experience been in New York so far?

A: I really like being here. It doesn’t matter if you’re a foreigner or not, depending on how adaptable you are. I like how NYU incorporates the city, so I don’t feel very foreign because it’s very international here. But once I wasn’t allowed to buy some medication because I was foreign and that was weird.

Q: Where do you find community?

A: I know some people from class, but they’re not really my friends — just people I know. I’d say that my community is where I live, with the people I eat and go to sleep with.

Q: Do you think that your experience here as a foreigner has taught you about America or about yourself?

A: I definitely think that New York has changed my beliefs and me as a person. Before coming to the U.S., America seemed pretty similar to Germany from my point of view. My time in New York has shown me that American customs are indeed very different from German ones. How has New York changed me? I became much more of an individual. Just interacting with the city makes you a different person.

A version of this article appeared in the Sept. 26 print edition. Gentry Brown is university editor. Email her at 


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Felipe De La Hoz

Multimedia Editor | Felipe De La Hoz is a Colombian national studying journalism at the College of Arts and Sciences. Having been born in Colombia and raised in the United States, Mexico and Brazil, Felipe is a trilingual travel aficionado and enjoys working in varied and difficult environments. Apart from his photography, Felipe enjoys investigative reporting and interviews, interviewing the likes of Colombian ex-M-19 guerrilla fighters and controversial politician Jimmy McMillan. He has covered everything from governmental conferences to full-blown riots, as well as portraiture shoots and dining photography. Having worked under Brazilian photojournalists for Reuters and AFP, Felipe hopes to one day work on demanding journalistic projects and contribute to the global news cycle.

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News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.


Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

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Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

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