Opinion: NYU must create a more welcoming community for transfer students

Transfer students are often isolated from the university community. NYU could make some simple changes to ensure that everyone feels welcome on campus.

Every+year%2C+many+students+transfer+to+NYU+from+other+colleges.+NYU+should+take+the+steps+to+ensure+that+they+feel+welcome.+%28Staff+Photo+by+Manasa+Gudavalli%29

Manasa Gudavalli

Every year, many students transfer to NYU from other colleges. NYU should take the steps to ensure that they feel welcome. (Staff Photo by Manasa Gudavalli)

By Alexis Tretschock, Staff Writer

A week before I left Arizona, my family and I celebrated my last few days in my hometown. A constant barrage of questions from my relatives lingered in my mind: “aren’t you nervous to move to New York by yourself?” and “how will you meet anyone?” and “isn’t it terrifying not knowing anyone?”. The answer to most of these questions was a polite smile and something like “I guess I’ll figure it out.”

To my surprise, coming to NYU this fall as a transfer student was a great experience. A lot of it had to do with circumstances outside of my control —  the main one being the global pandemic. As a transferring second-year student coming in for Fall 2021, I had the opportunity of being on an equal footing with the rest of the rising second-years. Because of the pandemic, many of my peers were online last year and therefore restricted from meeting their fellow students in person. I settled into the community easily because many people in my year or above were still looking to make friends. Barring a future pandemic, however, incoming transfers will not experience the same welcoming spirit I did, which some of WSN’s previous work confirms. In the future, NYU must create a more welcoming atmosphere for our transfers. 

NYU should work to include current students in activities like the Transfer Pre-Orientation Program, or TPOP for short, to better incorporate transfer students into student life. TPOP welcomed its first group of transfers this semester, myself included. The program provided an opportunity for transfer students to learn the basics about NYU, interact with other transfer students and create connections. In addition to meeting other transfer students, I was able to discuss questions with transfers from previous years known as Transfer Student Ambassadors

Another area needing improvement is integrating the transfer classes with the rest of their class. Transfers should be introduced to students who experienced their first year at NYU so they can establish connections with more people in the NYU community. Too often, transfer students are immersed into isolated college communities with other transfers where they aren’t able to interact with those outside of the group.

Luckily, I was able to meet a lot of sophomores who attended NYU last year through my roommate, who was a stepping stone to becoming more involved in campus life. I was able to talk to them about classes and get a better understanding of what my experience at NYU would be like. If a transfer is living in on-campus housing, NYU should attempt to match them with a non-transfer student of the same year. This will help better integrate the transfer community with non-transfers. 

Many students are excited to be back on campus and open to meeting new people. Let’s work together to preserve this environment for future years even when things have gone back to normal. We should immerse our transfer students to make them feel like NYU students, not just NYU transfers.

Contact Alexis Tretschock at [email protected]