All the students living in Claraval, the NYU student residence in Madrid, trudged to the newly-acquired academic building for orientation at 9 a.m. Central European Time. They were all supposed to arrive in Madrid the day prior, leaving many at the annual event jetlagged and disgruntled.
The orientation was an opportunity to become acquainted with new classmates and potential lifelong friends — however, concerns began to surface when it became clear that NYU Madrid was attempting to cram students’ schedules with orientation activities.
CAS junior Kim Mishra was caught off-guard by the hectic nature of her first full day in Madrid.
“It’s been hard to catch up on sleep and get used to the time change,” Mishra said. “We had to be at the school close to 4 a.m. Eastern Standard Time the day after our arrival, which I thought was really poorly planned.”
Although Mishra got off to a somewhat rough start, she maintains hope that the semester will improve as it progresses, saying that the program deserves praise for the effort that they put into introducing students to the city and helping them adapt to the new environment.
“Madrid’s orientation has been much better than the one I had in New York as a freshman,” Mishra said. “They did a great job showing us the city and getting all the students together. The New York one, I felt kind of on my own and wasn’t really shown the area that I’d be living in.”
Other students share the same sentiment as Mishra regarding the NYU Madrid Program. NYU Abu Dhabi junior Jonathan Lee compared his orientation in the United Arab Emirates with the one he experienced in Madrid.
“They are giving us a good balance of the breadth and depth of the city, as well as the country,” Lee said. “The Abu Dhabi campus is very compact and close knit, so there was less to see than everything NYU Madrid has shown us here.”
The events themselves seemed to be well-received by most. However, their timing faced scrutiny.
School of Professional Studies sophomore Ben Goldman said he would prefer a mixture of acclimating to the new campus and dedicating time to the cultural experiences NYU Madrid provides, which can be taxing after a cross-continental journey.
“It’s definitely taking a toll on me in terms of my wellness,” Goldman said. “I wish we could spend more time settling in, as it’s my first time in Madrid, and wait until next week to begin with all the academic proceedings.”
NYU Madrid provided the students studying abroad the opportunities they needed to get to know the city as well as each other. However, they did not to reserve time for students to settle into the city by themselves and instead rushed the adjustment process into one day.
Goldman also thought that the class scheduling could also be limiting in the future because of an odd last-minute addition.
“NYU Madrid implemented these mandatory Friday classes in addition to our normal schedules,” Goldman said. “It’s a lot to handle, I don’t care who you are. They gave us all this information at the last minute and it’s been a bit overwhelming.”
Email Ben Land at [email protected]