New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

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Opinion: NYU needs to talk about its upcoming Tulsa program

If the university wants this study away initiative to succeed, it’s time it starts talking more, a lot more.
Dharma Niles
File Photo: NYU president Linda Mills announcing plans to launch a social impact program in Tulsa, Oklahoma during an alumni weekend event on Oct. 28, 2023. (Dharma Niles for WSN)

Nothing made me close an email faster than when I saw a headline that NYU would be establishing a new study away program in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It wasn’t just the seemingly random location that got me — it was also the fact that the university refused to provide any information regarding this initiative at the time, other than that it would focus on Indigenous studies. While NYU recently announced it would host students at the site starting spring break and is planning two internship programs there for the summer, it has yet to provide any concrete description of the program’s structure, any courses offered or what housing will be available to students and faculty.

There could be so much more excitement surrounding the opportunities for students in Tulsa — especially considering its rich ethnic and cultural history — yet this enthusiasm is tempered by a notable lack of detailed information. It’s important for NYU to be fully transparent in educational initiatives, especially regarding programs outside New York — which NYU is very well known for, particularly its study abroad sites.

With spring break getting closer and closer, students who are interested in applying to the program need to know specific information so they can plan ahead. These experiences are more than just geographical, they also have to do with the particular career and educational options that are provided. Interested students are deserved by the lack of clear communication, which might be enough to discourage them from participating in the program at all.

NYU, a university with a strong international footprint, sends more than 4,000 students to study abroad each year, enhancing their educational experience and promoting cross-cultural learning. Students are eager to get involved with this new opportunity, especially considering perks like the chance to partake in a paid internship, but what are these internships going to look like exactly? With hundreds of other paid summer internships with detailed descriptions already available to students, why choose to wait for a program that might not be what you expected?

For students who have already taken part in NYU’s study away programs, the excitement of venturing to a new place was an essential element of their experience. The Tulsa program’s vague offerings, however, leave students wondering what their study away experience would be; the courses given and the possible influence on students’ academic progress of the Tulsa program is not clearly explained. When students know exactly what they’ll get at any of NYU’s other study away opportunities, why would they be interested in going somewhere they know virtually nothing about?

In order to maintain the caliber of education that thousands of students who participate in study away programs each year expect, NYU must place a high priority on open communication as it expands its presence in Tulsa. The more the university communicates about the program, the more likely it is that the site sees the same success as the rest of its study away initiatives.

WSN’s Opinion section strives to publish ideas worth discussing. The views presented in the Opinion section are solely the views of the writer.

Contact Molly Koch at [email protected].

About the Contributors
Molly Koch, Opinion Editor
Molly Koch is a junior in Gallatin concentrating in journalism as an art form. They’re fascinated by classical literature and its influence on the power of the written word. When they are not writing, you can find them reading their way through their endless TBR, running along the Hudson or Facetiming their dog.
Dharma Niles, Deputy News Editor
Dharma Niles is a first-year student currently studying journalism and politics at CAS, and has yet to choose between the six different minors she'd also like to pursue. You can generally find her playing NYT games, skittering around the city with a Celsius in hand or on Instagram @dharmaniles.
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