International students adjust to life in the city
September 25, 2012
1. Sung Hwan Hong
Seoul, South Korea
CAS junior, majoring in Journalism and Sociology
Q: Why did you choose NYU?
A: I had my first American college tour in high school, and NYU was the first college on my tour. NYU left a really strong impression. I just wanted to be here.
Q: What stood out about NYU?
A: I think New York is probably one of the craziest cities you can live in. I just got back, and I realized the extent of craziness the city has. It’s so diverse, and I’m not saying that in terms of race but in terms of character and in terms of people.
Q: How would you describe your experience living in New York so far?
A: It’s been nice, lots of ups and downs. Apartments are not that nice, and you have to pay a lot of money. The toughest thing about living in New York is that the living expenses are way higher than other places.
Q: Where do you feel a sense of community?
A: I don’t think I have a place in New York where I feel a sense of community yet. It hasn’t been that long. Even in Gramercy, [which is] the most familiar place for me, I still don’t feel that sense of community there.
2. Shannon Hellmann
Q: What made you choose NYU?
A: I chose NYU because there’s a lot to do, to see. You can walk all over campus and not be on campus at the same time.
Q: How has your experience been in New York so far?
A: I really like being here. It doesn’t matter if you’re a foreigner or not, depending on how adaptable you are. I like how NYU incorporates the city, so I don’t feel very foreign because it’s very international here. But once I wasn’t allowed to buy some medication because I was foreign and that was weird.
Q: Where do you find community?
A: I know some people from class, but they’re not really my friends — just people I know. I’d say that my community is where I live, with the people I eat and go to sleep with.
Q: Do you think that your experience here as a foreigner has taught you about America or about yourself?
A: I definitely think that New York has changed my beliefs and me as a person. Before coming to the U.S., America seemed pretty similar to Germany from my point of view. My time in New York has shown me that American customs are indeed very different from German ones. How has New York changed me? I became much more of an individual. Just interacting with the city makes you a different person.
A version of this article appeared in the Sept. 26 print edition. Gentry Brown is university editor. Email her at email@example.com.