Students socializing in a lounge area within the Paulson Center on the New York City campus.

While NYU students in New York City come from 100 countries and 50 US states, the University is home to plenty of local New Yorkers. Students decide to live off-campus every year, and while commuting can be a challenge, it offers many benefits. Whether you want to live at home and stay close to family, or rent outside the city to save money, commuter students find community and opportunities for growth at NYU.

The New York Botanical Garden’s grounds with a greenhouse.

A Community for Commuters

Mya Sato, a Gallatin School of Individualized Study student, does not live in an NYU dorm and never has. After graduating high school and committing to Gallatin, she decided to rent outside the city to save money. Today, she concentrates in postcolonial Asian histories and political futures, minors in Peace and Conflict Studies, and commutes to class from her off-campus apartment.

Mya joined the Commuter Student Council (CSC) as a first-year undergraduate representative. Now, she’s president. The council advocates for commuter students’ needs to ensure they can make the most of their NYU experience. In addition, CSC offers various events to increase involvement and build community. This past year, they organized trips to the New York Botanical Garden and taken members apple picking. Plus, they hosted a bouquet-making class, student panels, and an open mic competition. “The CSC is my first home,” Mya says. “The colleagues I’ve met and worked with, as well as the young folks we’ve mentored, are all so important to my journey as a human being, leader, and student.” What’s more, Mya met her close group of friends thanks to CSC.

Close-up of an individual swiping their Metrocard at a turnstile.

The Good, the Okay, and the Traffic

“Overall, the commuter student experience has been great,” Mya says. “Sure, it started off slow. Other folks had an advantage in gaining acquaintances and friends due to their proximity to the University and other students. However, I find that as clubs form and other connections happen, commuters don’t miss out on much. You just have to talk to people.” She admits that getting to morning classes on time can be challenging. Plus, delays can be an issue during inclement weather. But, commuting has taught her valuable skills, like time management and adaptability. “The greatest benefit is definitely the personal space and growth you experience as a young adult,” she concludes.

A perspective of the Kimmel Center, showcasing two of its floors, computer labs, and dining hall.

Off-Campus Living, On-Campus Resources

On campus commuter students have access to a number of spaces and lounges built just for them. Both the Washington Square and Brooklyn campuses have commuter lounges with cozy couches, computers, and a kitchen to prepare food. In addition, both locations offer lockers for storage. For many off-campus students, the commuter lounge is their home away from home. It offers not only a space to study, but a place to connect and relax. The CSC is always looking for new ways to make life at NYU even better for commuter students. “Here, commuter students always have a space and a listening ear,” Mya adds.