This semester, WSN’s Features Desk has been investigating the lives of transfer students in a series called “New Kids on Campus.” Each piece features a Q&A with a transfer student at NYU about their past and present college experiences and how they’ve adjusted to New York City.
For our last week of this series, WSN talked to Tisch student Maria Koblyakova. Originally from Moscow, Russia, Kobylakova transferred from Baruch College to NYU in fall 2015. Kobylakova is a performance studies major and plans to graduate next May.
WSN: Can you talk about where you’re originally from and how it compares to New York?
Maria Koblyakova: I’m from Moscow. New York compared to Moscow is super different in the sense of culture and the sense of people. Of course, there are people here from so many corners of the world — so many people, so many opportunities — that I don’t think that we can find that anywhere but this place.
WSN: When did you come to the United States from Russia?
MK: My senior year of high school. I had never come to America before. I wanted to be a cinema producer. I watched “The Avengers” and loved this movie and that’s why I came to America.
WSN: Why did you decide to move to New York specifically?
MK: In Moscow, I was working in cinema and TV production. During my last semester of high school, I visited New York. I said, “I need to see how TV production works here.” I immediately applied for university, but NYU’s deadline had already passed. So, I applied for Baruch College.
WSN: What was your experience there like?
MK: It’s actually kind of the same experience that it’s a university right in the center of New York. But it’s smaller and business-oriented. So, people there have their own communities. If you come there, it’s very difficult to immerse yourself if you’re not into business. If you’re into art, as I am, it’s like there is no way.
WSN: How are you adjusting academically at NYU?
MK: The atmosphere of classes is super great. My performance studies department is not big — there are only seven people in the whole undergraduate program, and the majority are transfer students. From the first time I came to NYU, everyone was so interested in me, and not just as a student, but as a person outside of university, too.
WSN: What’s been the biggest thing overall that you’ve had to adjust to?
MK: At my previous college, it was way less people so everyone knew each other, while here, every day you meet new people. It was very cool when I just came here that everyone is so self-determined and everyone knows what they want and everyone wants to put a lot of energy into what they’re doing.
WSN: What would you advise incoming transfer students do to make their experience enjoyable?
MK: When you’re a transfer student, it’s very important to know small tricks, like how to print from your computer. It’s so small, but it makes you feel more at home. Another thing is never be afraid to approach people. People are willing to help you.
Note: the questions and answers in this interview have been edited for length and clarity purposes.
A version of this story appeared in the Monday, May 2 print edition. Email Jessica Martiez at [email protected]