New York City can get the best of anyone. Whether it’s the lack of personal space, the subways running late or the smell of heated trash emanating from the sidewalks, it’s easy to have a love-hate relationship with the city.
For some, leaving New York is just as important as staying. Many NYU students take advantage of studying abroad, though returning to the city after so much time away has its downsides as well.
CAS senior Victoria DeLeon spent her spring 2017 semester in Tel Aviv, Israel.
“Tel Aviv is a much more relaxed city, and New York is just really intense and high speed,” DeLeon said. “It was nice to get away.”
For some students, the transitioning back to New York’s swift tempo after coming back from abroad isn’t a huge challenge. NYU London, according to some students, doesn’t differ much from New York City.
CAS junior Maddy Schier spent her spring 2017 semester in London, England and felt a sense of familiarity while abroad and rejuvenation when she returned.
“It was a very similar pace,” Schier said. “I like New York a lot more. Coming back from abroad it made me realize how much New York feels like home. I feel so much more comfortable in New York compared to London. It’s just so much more familiar.”
Despite being an NYU student, some individuals don’t have previous experience living in New York City. This is the case for the students in the NYU Global Liberal Studies program, who have the choice to spend their first year at the university at an NYU study abroad site rather than the New York campus.
Maddy DeWalt is a sophomore now in Steinhardt who spent her first year in Florence, Italy.
“Florence is much slower,” DeWalt said. “You take your time with everything you do. The meals are long, the transportation is lazy and everyone strolls around the city. I was really ready to come to New York after Florence because I felt like I was missing out on the essential college experience of NYU. As much as I loved studying abroad, it wasn’t until I arrived in New York that I really felt like college had begun.”
DeWalt also explained that the frenzied excitement of New York is the ideal place to cultivate ideas and witness visionary work.
“I love the energy of New York,” DeWalt said. “Everyone is up to something, whether it’s a unique photography project or an inspired music album or the next breakthrough tech innovation. For a long term living situation, I prefer New York to Florence because I feel most passionate and motivated when I’m surrounded by other people who share a similar drive.”
Most people come to New York under the assumption that they can handle the city’s many flaws. However, there is no shame in surrendering to the streets and ultimately taking escape to foreign — and probably more spacious — lands.
Read more from Washington Square News’ Abroad feature.
Email Maddie Howard at [email protected]