New York University Shanghai’s first batch of 280 graduates from 27 countries, who have rich experience in global travel for field study and exchange programs, will bid farewell to the school in May.
Unlike most local institutions of higher education, NYU Shanghai seems custom-made to churn out global citizens in an increasingly globalized world. Students are encouraged to spend at least one year at its campuses in New York City or Abu Dhabi or other universities - providing students with abundant opportunities to travel, study and work around the world. It is the first Sino-US research university established by New York University and East China Normal University.
Mark West, who was born and raised in the US state of Maryland, has been to 20 countries during his four years at NYU Shanghai, which is located in the Lujiazui financial district, known as China’s Wall Street.
“University life is usually perceived as a daily repetition of traveling between the school building and the dormitory, but at NYU Shanghai, students can have access to the whole world,”says West, 22, who majors in humanities.
“The whole experience will enable us to observe, learn, adjust and accumulate,” he said during a media briefing on March 22.
West spent the first half of 2016 working as an intern in a microfinance company in Accra, Ghana. He believes the experience was a good opportunity to get a taste of African culture and build up connections with local business circles.
Zhao Zeyu, who majors in business and finance and is interested in law and public policy, spent one semester in Prague, taking law courses and interning in a non-governmental organization. Zhao then worked another semester in Washington DC, as an intern in the office of Hakeem Jeffries, who represents a New York City district in the US House of Representatives.
“That gave me abundant chances to understand American politics and enhance my communication skills in the workplace. I believe that experience has offered more possibilities for my future,” says Zhao, a native of Suzhou, Jiangsu province.
Wang Jialing, majoring in business and finance, traveled to Abu Dhabi in 2014 to participate in the first summit of NYU student leaders, with a theme of “cross-border leadership”. Thirty-five students from the three campuses of NYU carried out in-depth discussions and volunteer activities in local communities.
Wang, a native of Ningbo, Zhejiang province, was inspired by the summit and initiated a Shanghai version after returning. Sixty students from home and abroad who are studying at universities in Shanghai gathered to discuss possible solutions to traffic woes in the city.
American Roxanne Roman has spent time all over China and in New York City, Washington DC, Abu Dhabi and New Delhi for field studies. She says she would never have imagined that her decision to come to NYU Shanghai, made at age 18, would have changed her life path so dramatically.
“The university empowered us with courage and determination to become leaders,” says Roman, who has received a scholarship offer from Tsinghua University in the capital. “I hope I'll have a new perspective to learn more about China in Beijing, and I will work as a bridge of friendship between China and the US.”
Jeffrey Lehman, vice-chancellor of NYU Shanghai, describes the graduates, including around 130 from abroad, as “incredible”and “amazing”.
Written by: Zhou Wenting