A street near the NYU campus.

If this is your first time reading or learning about NYU, welcome! If not, my next sentence may be one you’ve encountered before. NYU is a campus without walls. As a student, I have learned that this phrase is meant both literally and figuratively. Literally, NYU does not have gates that separate it from the rest of New York City. In fact, NYU spans all across the city. No, this doesn’t mean you will have to travel all around to get to class. Regardless of the fact that most of your classes will be centrally located near your appropriate campus, coming to NYU means you are a member of the NYU community. With that comes the key to an endless network both within NYU and New York City.


As a student at NYU, you have the opportunity to live in New York City, one of the greatest cities in the world (the best if you ask me…). What does this look like exactly? Well, you’re a New Yorker! Being in and of the city exposes you to a lot of different things that you wouldn’t otherwise experience on a traditional college campus. NYU’s Washington Square campus is located in a young and vibrant neighborhood, Greenwich Village. Filled with culture and history, this area, which you will become most familiar with, will feel like home. That is what builds our campus.

Aside from the Greenwich Village area, living here means you have the opportunity to delve into different parts of this rich city. The opportunity to learn about different cultures and immerse yourself in New York City is never ending. From Flushing (Queens) and Chinatown (Manhattan) to Little Italy (Manhattan) and Harlem (Manhattan), you are in the center of a multitude of cultures that can enrich you personally and professionally.

Allow yourself to settle into what it means to live in New York City, the center of the hustle and bustle. It will take time to get accustomed to leaving your door in the morning and noticing everyone around you carrying on with their own thing. You will walk out of class and see non-NYU students. This experience has remained one of the most fascinating features of going to school in the city. You are not separated from the rest of the world. That alone matures you in a different way and makes your college experience completely different from the rest.


Earlier I mentioned the opportunity to grow professionally. College is a unique time to grow as a person and prepare yourself for the career you plan to pursue. As an NYU student, you obviously have access to the networks of your professors and school. But NYU is a multidisciplinary institution that has resources for you beyond what immediately surrounds you. I have personally taken advantage of this through research and volunteering. 

NYU advocates for students to get involved in research as soon as their first year. This unique opportunity allows you to explore your academic interests and begin networking from day one! What does this look like exactly? Well, the classroom is my best example! Many professors at NYU are heavily active researchers. You may learn during introductions on the first day of classes about your professor’s academic background and their career. They may mention something that interests you or something you would like to learn more about. Take advantage of that! Many students find research through their professors and teacher assistants as it is the first opportunity to do so.

NYU also has a program known as the Dean’s Undergraduate Research Fund (DURF) through the College of Arts and Science. This fund allows students to propose their very own research question and explore it using funding provided by the University. At the end of the semester, all DURF recipients come together to share their research at a conference and network amongs themselves.

Beyond NYU

New York City is the heart of a multitude of studies—take advantage of this! You have the opportunity to explore different fields through internships and volunteering. Personally, I have branched out in the field of public health and explored it through internships, research, and volunteering. These experiences include NYU institutions like NYU Langone Health but also ones outside of NYU such as the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, New York City Free Clinic, Mount Sinai, and Tourette Association of America. New York City continues to enable me to network beyond NYU and explore my professional interests to hopefully create a solid foundation for my postgraduate career!

No Walls? No Problem

Although NYU has no real campus walls, New York City is what truly brings us together and makes us such a strong community. We may be individual dots in a huge city, but NYU is a community of passionate and driven individuals who are pioneers in each of our industries. We make the most of what it means to be a student in New York City and, thus, a New Yorker!

Michelle Alvarado (she/her) is a rising sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Global Public Health with a concentration in Biology and minoring in Social Entrepreneurship. Originally from New Jersey, Michelle came to NYU as a first generation college student aspiring to earn her degree in the city that never sleeps. When she isn’t working on campus as an Office Assistant or Admissions Ambassador, Michelle can be found admiring NYC dogs or studying at her favorite coffee shop near campus. She is a member of a Panhellenic sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma, and Hall Council. Michelle is passionate about helping others and hopes that by sharing her journey, she can inspire others to chase their dreams.