Category Archives: Global Peers

Meet the Global Peers: Prague

Before I start being formal and all, here is some general information about me. My name is Emily Sujka.  But, if you ever meet me face-to-face on campus, you might hear people greet me by another name: Maggie.  I have just completed a semester of studying away in Prague, Czech Republic.  My experience there definitely helped in elucidating many parts of life lurking in the shadows.  I won’t say it has been life altering, after all, going abroad hasn’t changed the course of my life.  But, all the small experiences in Prague, living in a completely different culture, with a different language, diet, set of social standards, have certainly further molded me. Recently, I spoke with NYU’s Wasserman Center about my experiences.

What is your major/class/school?

Currently, (and I say currently because it’s always changing) I am an Economics major in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and a part of the Class of 2016.

Why did you want to study away at your particular site?

In actuality, I had no intention of going abroad.  Back in high school, I went to Spain for a month during the summer.  It was dreadful.  I longed for America the whole time.  But, my ideas about going to study in another country shifted with my freshman year RA who had gone abroad with NYU twice and whole-heartedly endorsed the opportunity for any student.  That’s when my research began…

I wanted to study away in the Czech Republic for several reasons.  And no, it wasn’t because it was cheaper or because of its convenient Central European location.  My reasons had to do with the culture.  I love Slavic Cultures, specifically that of Poland.  So, the Czech Republic isn’t Poland…but it was just a step towards a bigger goal.  My motto in life is to keep moving by any means to get to where you want to be. For a semester to be surrounded by food, language, and symbols, associated with Slavic life was just such an elating idea and I knew I couldn’t let the opportunity pass me by.

What classes did you take?

In Prague, I completed Building a State: Czech and Slovak Republics, Modern Dissent, Elementary Polish II, and Architecture.

What was the most meaningful/impactful experience you had abroad?

The most meaningful/impactful experience…well geez, that’s a lot of pressure. I’ve met famous Czech politicians, volunteered a weekend at Benediktus, a volunteer community in a more rural part of the Czech Republic, hiked up Sniezka, the most prominent point of the Silesian Ridge in the Krkonoše mountains, walked along the paths of priests as St. Vitus Cathedral, and even eaten Falafel in St. Wenceslas Square where the Velvet Revolution took place- where the Czechoslovak youth expelled the Communists from their lands, denouncing fear once and for all.  And that’s only the Czech Republic.  I also traveled to 6 other separate European countries during my time here strolling down the Chain Bridge in Budapest, riding bikes in Amsterdam, following the Mural of Princes in Dresden, munching on macaroons in Paris, meeting famous actress and politician Mrs. Vasaryova in Bratislava, and visiting Sukiennice, for my second time, in Krakow.  Being in Europe, seeing as much as I can, taking it all in, has just been a real pleasure.  Borders between countries are just man’s invention.  Yes, some are reasonable, political borders drawn along rivers and mountains, but others are just imaginary lines.  However, you see what you perceive as commonalities.  “We do that too.”  “That is NOT a pancake.”  Humanity ties us together no matter where you are.  People help, speak, wonder, and eat no matter where you are.  It’s humbling to see the world in its grandiosity and still feel connected to the world.

What have you learned from your experience that will impact your career endeavors?

I managed three internships this semester.  I know, sounds crazy, but there were too many things presented to take advantage of that I just couldn’t pass up.  Closely working with Wasserman, I learned how to organize an event for any occasion, including how to advertise an event and make material accessible for students.  Seriously, I learned that cookies work wonders on attendance.  In general, I acquired skills in working with people I never thought I’d have.

Furthermore, I also assisted in English teaching in a local elementary school. This was building on previous experience I already had, nonetheless it still allowed me to further understand people.  In childhood lies the rawest state of our being.  Children can teach us more than any seminar and so, even though I don’t wish to pursue education or another career path having to do with kids, I have greatly valued this experience that has allowed me to do something outside of my comfort zone while allowing me to cement this sentiment.

Another good bit of advice: Even though it’s optimal to figure out what you want, crossing stuff off this list isn’t such a bad thing either.  I also helped create a survey for the Bohemia Jazz Festival, a free music festival held in the Czech Republic annually.  Something that sounds so big not only took time in its creation, but it also took many edits and rewrites, tracking down the right people and being persistent.  Sometimes it is not only the skills and new techniques we obtain from an internship or job experience, but also small achievements along the way.

Meet the Global Peers: Madrid

Carrie Pichan is currently working on her M.A. degree in Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language (TESOL). She’s currently studying away at NYU Madrid and we recently caught up with her to see how things are going.

You’re pursuing a Master’s degree in Madrid – had you lived in Spain before or was this your first time in the country?

I spent my junior year of undergrad in Madrid through my university (University of Michigan – Go Blue!)  The search for graduate programs became a lot easier (well, stopped) once I found out that NYU offered a program at the Madrid site.  Not only is being in Spain very relevant to my field, but it’s also a great opportunity to spend more time abroad, and in a city I already knew and felt very connected to.

How did you decide on Madrid the first time around?

Knowing I wanted to spend a year in Spain, my options were between Sevilla and Madrid.  In the end, I chose Madrid because being from a small town in Michigan, I’m very drawn to and fascinated by big city life and everything that comes along with it – public transportation, diversity, great food (although that’s very rarely a problem here even in small towns). Plus, Madrid has the huge benefit of being right in the center of the country, so traveling around is quite easy, whether it’s to Galicia in the very northwest or south to Andalucía.

How have you assimilated to Spanish life?

It’s been a process!  I think it’s a common expectation that studying away, whether it be for a summer or an entire year, guarantees a great level of integration into the host country’s culture, language, and other realms of life.  While this isn’t untrue, there is a degree of disappointment that can be felt when students see that they still go out with mostly the same friends, speak English on a regular basis, and aren’t quite as connected to the country and its people as they had hoped.  That being said, I’ve found it immensely valuable to take part in language exchanges (in groups or one-on-one), frequent cafés and other businesses that make an effort to connect with customers (to feel like a regular!), and simply spend as much time in contact with the country as possible, whether that’s going for walks around the city, participating in local events, or being extra observant at the grocery store.

How do you think your time in Madrid will impact your career endeavors?

It’s easy to see the direct connection between my own career goals (teaching foreign languages) and the NYU Madrid experience since the Spanish language is central to both, but the benefits extend far beyond that. As I’ve witnessed with my peers and experienced myself, the time spent outside of one’s own country or immediate comfort zone will have a positive impact on that individual’s independence, maturity, and ability to adapt to new circumstances.  These skills are highly applicable to any and every career, regardless of the field or nature of the job, and they are qualities that employers value immensely.  Communicative competence is also tested and grows significantly during this time, not just in terms of using a foreign language but in cross- and intercultural situations as well.  In our increasingly global world, these skills are at a premium, and I strongly encourage any study away student to hone these as much as possible while the tools are at their fingertips!

What’s in store for you after your year in Madrid?

I’ll be heading to Washington Square, actually!  The joint M.A. program is a two-year program, first here in Madrid and then in NYC.  One of the funnier things about being an NYU student here in Madrid is that most people assume I have very strong ties to NYC, but that’s not the case.  It’ll be great to finally get to know the Washington Square campus (including Wasserman!) and to be a part of the larger NYU community.

Awaiting the 2020 Olympic Games decision in Madrid

Teaching Spanish/TESOL class visit to the Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid

In case you missed it: A day in the life at NYU Accra from Adam, Class of 2015!

Adam, Class of 2015,  interns at the West Africa AIDS Foundation while studying away at NYU Accra. Here’s a recap of his #dayinthelife abroad. 

Are you studying away next semester? Get great leadership experience by applying to be a Global Peer Career Educator on NYU CareerNet, Job ID 910361 by Nov 17!

Global Peer Day in the Life: Accra

Ever wonder what its like to study abroad in Ghana? Check out your peer, Ritu Ghiya, as she tweets about her day abroad in Accra. Follow her as she describes what its like waking up in Ghana, the classes, her internship, and the food! Click on the image below to see more!

For more days in the life, follow us @NYUWassEmployer! And, don’t forget to follow us @NYUWasserman for career related advice and events!

Global Peer: Accra, Ghana

What is your name/major/class year/school? Why did you want to study away in Accra? 

Hey everyone, eti sen!? Greetings from Accra, Ghana! My name is Delaine Powerful and I am a junior in Steinhardt studying Public Health and Nutrition. I chose to study abroad in Ghana because of my desire to work in developing countries where maternal and child mortality rates are high and women’s reproductive health is often taboo, and work to reduce such stigmas and negative health outcomes. Coming to Ghana was the perfect opportunity for me to grow as a student in the public health field. I also wanted to experience a culture unlike my own, one whose traditions and customs remain despite Western influences, and greaten my understandings of diversity.

What classes are you taking? 

I am taking a course load relevant to my area of study: Health and Society, Global Nutrition, Community Psychology, and a Internship Fieldwork and Seminar course. I am interning with an organization under the umbrella name Child and Associates where I have been working with their “Beyond the Net’s” campaign and developing and implementing my own clinical study about a Guardian/Parent’s role in their child’s health outcome. Because Ghanaians teach all the classes, the majority being professors from the University of Ghana, many classes incorporate a cultural theme where we integrate our understandings of the literature and lectures into community experiences. It has been a great experience and through these classes and various field trips, I have really gotten a great sense and understanding of the true Ghanaian culture.

What has been the most interesting thing about Accra so far? 

The most interesting aspect about Accra would the easy-going nature that seems to be an innate characteristics of all Ghanaians. People are a lot friendlier here. Even though Accra is just as hectic, if not more so, than NYC, people here never seem to be in a rush to go anywhere. When you are walking down the street it is not uncommon to exchange greetings with a passing stranger. No one is ever too busy to stop and have a conversation and is more than willing to assist with directions and things to that nature. It is truly refreshing to actually be able to slow down and fully appreciate things for what they are.

Describe a fun outing or experience thus far? 

For my Health and Society class we took a class trip to a traditional healing clinic in a neighboring community. The trip was great and educational and all, but the best part of the day came at the end of the day when we traveled to our professor’s house and ate dinner in his wife’s restaurant. We were entertained with numerous dance numbers, performed by the professor and his 5-year-old granddaughter, and sang (or mumbled) along to the Ghanaian Azonto music. The meal was absolutely delicious and was actually the best food I had consumed during my whole trip.

How are you preparing for potential internship or professional opportunities? 

I have definitely grown professionally here in Accra thanks to my leadership and internship position. I have come into contact with numerous professionals and have learned the appropriate mannerisms of a professional setting. Also, even though as a Peer Career Educator I am informing other students on the ways to best present themselves to potential employers, I have learned a great deal myself. With my developing interviewing skills and Wasserman styled resume and cover letter, I was able to secure a summer internship directly in line with my professional goals.

How are you exploring your career while away? How will Accra impact your career endeavors?

Because my main area of interest is maternal and child health in developing countries, the clinical study I am doing at my internship is relevant to my desires for my future profession. I am learning how to develop proposals for studies, how to format surveys so that they are compatible with the understandings of the community, and other necessary skills I will need as a Public Health official looking to implement programs that promote lasting change. In Ghana, as well as anywhere else in the world, public health is everywhere. And I have been given the opportunity to study various NGOs and actually track their progress in this developing country, first-hand, which is great!

Global Peers: Madrid

Hola amigos! I am Meghan Hunter, a Global Peer Career Educator in Madrid, Spain this semester! I’m a sophomore in the Stern School of Business where I am planning to double major in Finance and Business Economics. Just like anything else abroad, working towards my career and lining up work for the summer has been a different process than I’m used to. As I’ve suggested to my peers, I have had to start looking for work early. In doing so, I’ve conducted both Skype and phone interviews and had to be mindful of making a lasting and strong impression virtually. Though challenging, it certainly is not impossible. This learning experience has made me more flexible and adaptable professionally. All in all, being abroad has also helped me define what I want out of my undergrad career and my future. And though that future is still unclear, I do know that I want to travel a lot more—I want to go global! For that, I can thank this experience abroad.

Like many of my peers, I had a hard time choosing an NYU Study Abroad site. When talking to my friends, everyone proclaimed their study abroad site to be the “best.” Regarding the location, language and the culture I wished to experience, Spain was the right choice for me! It’s already April and I have been here a little under four months, but honestly it feels like just yesterday that I arrived at the Madrid airport. Time here has flown by and it is hard to imagine that I’ll have to say goodbye so soon to the country that I have fallen in love with!

One of my favorite places in Madrid is easily Retiro Park—a beautiful space with the glory of Central Park, but on a smaller scale. Luckily for me, it is less than a five minute walk from my apartment door. I have found myself lost in Retiro on my daily runs exploring the infinite amounts of hidden treasures that it holds—including my three personal favorites: the Crystal Palace, the pond and the outdoor gym. Aside from the perfect workout you can get there, it is also a great place to spend an afternoon after class! “Madrilenos” seem to love to be outside, so rain or shine there is always a unique energy found in the park.

Also traveling throughout Spain has been just as amazing. In my travels I have experienced beautiful beaches in Cadiz, breathtaking mountain landscapes and Castles in Cuenca and Segovia and the most amazing paella I’ve ever had in Valencia! One of the hardest things to part with will definitely be the Paella!

 

 

 

 

 

This being my first time abroad, I have done a lot of adjusting. Madrid is definitely very different from New York (no clothes dryers anywhere!) but what makes Madrid unique is why I love it most. Tomorrow my roommates and I depart for spring break expanding our travels outside of Spain to see more of Europe. Granted, I’m sure each city I visit will find some way to enchant and blow me away, I know that at the end of the trip, I’ll be ready to be back in Madrid—in our sleepy, quirky residential neighborhood “Conde de Casal” but home nonetheless.

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My name is Suzi Brown and I am a junior studying politics and Spanish in CAS. After studying in Buenos Aires during my fall semester, it is so amazing to have a second abroad experience in another, very different, Spanish-speaking country. As a politics and Spanish major, I was overwhelmed by the choice of classes and the different ways to complete my degree. I decided on three classes in Spanish, covering Surrealism, Cultural History of Spain and a politics class on Spain and the European Union, as well as a class taught in English on human rights. And when I’m not reading or writing for class, or getting to know more about Madrid, I keep up with internship applications for the summer term right around the corner. Using jobs posted on Wasserman’s Career Net, as well as those on Idealist and Intern Match, I have applied to quite a few listings and have started to hear back and interview with companies over Skype. It’s a little nerve wracking not to be in the city, especially when companies say they like to meet with their candidates in person, but I wouldn’t trade either one of these semesters abroad to make it to an interview in NYC, especially when Wasserman is so available and technology makes connecting so easy. But now to the true abroad experience…

Since I first arrived at NYU, I knew that I wanted to do two semesters abroad, and I knew I wanted to go to Argentina and Spain. I wanted to do this so I could (nearly) perfect my Spanish skills, immerse myself in two cultures with similarities and stark differences, and to live in two cities with opposing but shared histories: Spain, the ex-super power that conquered South America, and Argentina, the emerging country that, along with its neighbors, developed under the hands of their conqueror. And so, this semester, I once again find myself in a land of eating dinner late and going out even later, of speaking Spanish and drinking absurdly cheap wine, of quickly converting a new currency in my head, and doing an elaborate dance on the street to sidestep the remnants of the dogs that don’t get picked up after. But where Buenos Aires is sprawling and sometimes empty, Madrid is compact and full of people; where Buenos Aires is still building up their landscape, Madrid has settled into theirs, everything much older, boasting their long history.

         

Both cities have had an immense impact on me, but this blog post is about Madrid, so let me focus on a few things that make up the life of a Madrileño…

Ham. It’s pretty much a national obsession. After eating this meat forever, it has developed historical significance and has always been a safe meat to eat (aka there has never been Mad Pig Disease). There is also a hierarchy among the ham here, Jamon Ibérico being the best and most expensive, Jamon Serrano pulling in a close second, followed distantly by paleta, the stuff that people don’t like to talk about and that doesn’t even bare the name jamon. And just about any grocery store or cafeteria you walk into will house at least one pig’s leg dangling from the ceiling, waiting to be sliced up and serve to the next lucky customer.

An obsession with being outside. Undoubtedly, the weather we’re experiencing here in March is infinitely nicer than the freak snow storms my friends and family are suffering through in New York and New Jersey. But still, 50 degrees and raining usually does not call on me to sit outside under an umbrella meant for the sun, sipping on drinks and nibbling on tapas. And yet, that is exactly what I saw on a cold, rainy night in the center of the city. Which makes me even more excited for the warmer days to come, when we can take full of advantage of restaurants’ terrazas and rooftop bars and join the hordes of Madrileños that take to the streets at night, preferring to share some drinks on corners or right in the middle of the road, rather than gathering inside someone’s apartment. Even now, when the sun is shining, I find myself needing to take off my jacket at midday and aim my face at the glorious sun—strong from the altitude and unimpeded by any tall buildings. And in truth, with a beautiful park around the corner and plenty of plazas to stroll through, why not spend as much time outside as possible?

            

Churros con chocolate. I’m pretty sure I don’t need to explain this one. Fried dough dipped in thick, hot chocolate? Spain definitely knows how to do sweets.

             

I’m excited to come back to New York this summer after a year of living abroad, but I’m going to miss the surprises of new cities, the uncertainty of communicating in my second language, and the more leisurely pace that people live their lives, just a few thousand miles away.

Global Peers: Sydney

What is your name/major/class year/school? Why did you want to study away in Sydney?

Hi everyone! My name is Tyler Becker, I’m a junior in SCPS studying Sports Management, and this semester, I am at one of NYU’s newest study away sites, Sydney, Australia! I chose Sydney for a few reasons. First, I’ve always wanted to visit Australia, and what better way to explore the country than to spend four months living and breathing the culture. Second, my degree allows students to take some liberal arts and elective classes, and Sydney has a bunch to offer. And third, I wanted to experience a semester of NYU from a different country, meet other students in an intimate setting (there’s about 40 students at NYU Sydney), and enjoy a few months in the nice weather.

What classes are you taking?

The classes I’m taking are Australian Sociology, Creative Writing, Global Media, and Anthropology of Art. The courses are really interesting, and my professors are terrific individuals that have a lot to say about Sydney and their respective fields. Global Media is one of my favorite classes I’ve taken at NYU. It’s incredibly fascinating to learn about the media, technology, and cultural identity of Sydney and Australia from an expert in the industry. I’m really excited to bring back to New York some things I’ve learned here.

Describe a fun outing or experience thus far?

One weekend, a small group of students decided to take a trip down to Kangaroo Valley, a small town about two hours south of Sydney. We rented cars, and I drove on the other side of the rode! It was so much fun to go on a road trip with some other NYU Sydney students, have a picnic in the park, and of course, see some kangaroos up close and personal. We got really close to them too! The most amazing part was on our drive back in the evening. As we were driving, we look to our left towards an open field, and about 50 or so kangaroos are congregated together. It was a spectacular sight to see.

How are you exploring your career while away?

In Sydney, I’m doing a couple of things to explore and advance my career. For example, I’m working part time for NYU Sydney. It’s a really nice part-time job to have. I am learning about the roles and responsibilities of the program directors, offering my ideas to improve the site, and maintaining a balanced schedule of class, work, and fun. I also plan on attending some neat events in Sydney, specifically tech and marketing panels to learn about the Sydney startup scene. In fact, I recently started chatting with someone while getting gelato, and she happens to work at an advertising industry. We exchanged information, and I’m hoping to visit the office a few times this semester!

How are you preparing for potential internship or professional opportunities? How will Sydney impact your career endeavors?

I am currently seeking an internship for this summer back in New York, which means I won’t be able to attend in-person interviews. Fortunately, many of the employers I’ve heard from regularly use Skype to conduct interviews with candidates outside of the city. If you think studying away for a semester will be a burden to career advancement, I strongly disagree. There are so many ways to meet professionals, apply for jobs, and explore career options, regardless of which country you’re in. Every so often I’ll check CareerNet for interesting postings relating to my summer internship search, and overall, I’m expanding my network and discovering opportunities in the same way I am used to back in New York.

Meet the Global Peers: Buenos Aires

Suzi Brown, CAS, Class of 2014

What is the best advice about NYU you have received? At NYU, it is so important to be proactive and get out there. If an opportunity comes your way and you are even the slightest bit interested, go for it. You never know what you might stumble upon. This is how I ended up being involved in Alternative Breaks. I applied to volunteer in the Dominican Republic freshmen year, not thinking I would get a spot on the trip. However, because I just went for it and gave it my all, I travelled with 11 other like-minded students and taught English at a school in the DR over my spring break. It was such an amazing experience that the following year I applied to be a site leader and lead my own group of students back there to teach. If you are willing to put yourself out there, NYU can help you find a community and foster your passions.

Why did you decide to study abroad in Buenos Aires and Madrid? I have always wanted to study abroad, so that part was a no-brainer. Argentina and Spain share a strong history, both colonial and cultural, but they are so different down to the their core. In many ways, Argentina has a European flare, and many times tries to cultivate this flare, but this country also makes a point of being unto its own, proud of it’s pre-European roots. Then we have Spain, such a strong and powerful country for so long, now fading somewhat into the global landscape. There is a lot going on politically in each country, and as a politics major, it is very interesting to see, in real time, the progression of things in this sphere (already in my time here, there have been multiple, very lively, political protests in the streets). I am so excited for this amazing opportunity to study abroad for a full year in two countries and two hemispheres. I can’t wait to improve my Spanish and learn about these cultures constructed from either side of history.

What advice would you give about searching for an internship? Cast your net wide. When applying for internships, it is important not to get so bogged down in the one idea or image you had about what your internship would look like. Apply to a variety of positions so that you may have a choice at the end, and see which companies or organizations get back to you. You might be surprised at the types of places that are interested in your resume, and you might also be surprised at the different positions you are fit for and actually enjoy. On the other hand, it may also show you what types of things you are not interested in, but knowing this is just as important. None of my internships have ever been the same, let alone in the same general field, and I have learned vital lessons from each. I’m still not sure what I want to do, but my diverse experiences have given me a taste of the kind of environment I prefer to work in and the kinds of responsibilities I want.

Meet the Global Peers: Prague

Ben Strulowitz, Stern, Class of 2014

What is the best class you have taken at NYU and why? I’m a Finance and Economics major at Stern, but the truth is that my most enjoyable classes at NYU were in Steinhardt. I took private lessons in Guitar with Tyler McDiarmid, who also happened to be nominated for a Grammy. I also took Piano Tim Nuernberger, who taught me how to crush “Old Susanna.” Both classes were tremendous opportunities to enhance my college education in a 1 on 1 format that is not your typical college classroom… And both professors were very cool guys. Highly recommend them.

What’s your best tip for making a great first impression at a new job/internship? Always be busy. At times, your employers will simply not have the resources or availability to teach you and give you attention. This “downtime” can make or break an internship. If a higher-up notices that you are doing additional research or other tasks during your downtime, he will respect your work ethic and assign more responsibility your way.

If you could spend two weeks at any of the NYU study away sites, which would you pick and why? I would spend 2 weeks at the Sydney Campus. I am somewhat outdoorsy, so the hiking and beaches are very appealing. The English language is a plus, and I’ve heard the beer is delicious.

Meet the Global Peers: Prague

Lacy Reilly, CAS, Class of 2014

What is the best class you have taken at NYU and why? Hands down, Human Society and Culture, the required course for all Anthropology majors. I was lucky enough to take the course with Bruce Grant, an extremely knowledgeable and dynamic professor. The class confirmed my choice to pursue Anthropology. After one semester, I felt like a more curious, observant, and accepting human being—curious of the world around me, observant of the grand diversity of humanity, and accepting of that diversity as beauty.

What’s you best tip for making a great first impression at a new job/internship? Take notes! Especially while getting acquainted to a new position, you’ll need to have written reminders of your responsibilities and your boss will be impressed by the care you take to ensure that you complete your tasks correctly. Taking notes along the way will also limit the amount of semi-embarrassing procedural questions you ask, and put you on the path towards self-sufficiency!

If you could spend two weeks at any of the NYU study away sites, which would you pick and why? I’d choose the site I’m at right now: Prague! I could not have picked a better place to study away. The city is gorgeous, living is simple and cheap, and the culture is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced—which makes this a tremendously exciting learning experience for an Anthropology major!