NYU students performing onstage.

As a student from a small town in Colorado, I was more than excited to experience all the different activities New York City has to offer. However, it’s always easier said than done. With so many things to do, it can be tricky to figure out what to pick, how to get there, and determine if the price is worth it. Fortunately for me, I was in luck. That’s because NYU students have a plethora of options to choose from that are either free or come at a reduced price. What’s more, a lot of them are offered as part of the first-year living experience here at NYU. 

All of these options are available to find on the NYU’s various web pages. But, lucky for you, I’m going to make your life easier and put some of the best ways to soak up the NYU experience all in the same place—right here! Read on for some of my favorite ways to really experience life in the big city as an NYU student.

NYU Box Office

The NYU Box Office is the University’s official ticketing service to live and virtual events. They offer a vast array of events and shows to attend throughout the year, often hosted at NYU’s very own Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. And given NYU’s reputation for top-notch performances, shows hosted here rarely ever fall short of amazing. In fact, professional shows host events and performances at the Skirball Center as well, granting students a variety of shows to choose from throughout the year. Even better, all shows and events at the Skirball Center are available for NYU students to attend for $15! These are a perfect way to really dive into the NYU experience and discover what being a student at such an artistically strong university is like.


But the fun of the NYU Box Office doesn’t stop there. Through the NYU Box Office, students have access to a service called ScholasTix as well. ScholasTix is NYU’s clearinghouse for tickets to more events throughout the city than you could imagine. Whether you’re trying to experience a Broadway show, off-Broadway show, or the latest blockbuster film, go to a sporting event, or attend a musical concert, ScholasTix provides tickets to NYU students for these events all at a reduced price.

Take it from me, this is one of the best ways to experience going to college in New York City! In fact, I have used ScholasTix several times. And during my first year at NYU, I even attended two musical concerts at Carnegie Hall two days in a row for only $40 total!

The NYU Box Office is no doubt one of the best ways to soak up the NYU experience. You’ll catch a great show or two (or three) while you’re at it.

FYRE Communities

The First-Year Residential Experience (FYRE) at NYU is a huge part of jumping right into the many different experiences the city has to offer with your fellow students. Students are assigned to different themed engagement communities that range from topics like social justice to the performing arts. Then, in the NYU first-year residence halls, resident assistants and faculty affiliates work together to provide programs and events throughout the year that students can attend based on these themes.

Whether it’s offering students from a themed hall tickets to events featuring relevant activists or bringing students from a specific engagement community to an off-Broadway show, the possibilities are endless!

As a student living at Goddard Hall, I attended events with the students on my floor. For example, we went to the Chelsea Market together with a spending stipend provided by the residence hall, and my entire hall even saw an off-Broadway show for free. In October, I also attended Governors Island’s famous Night of 1,000 Jack O’Lanterns.

The NYU experience encapsulates many things, but getting to meet new friends through the events provided by the FYRE communities is definitely one to remember!

New York City Museums

Another great way NYU students have access to the city is through all of the New York City museums they can visit for free or at a reduced price. NYU’s Museum Gateway is a program that gives students complimentary tickets to some of the most notable museums in New York City.

From the Museum of Modern Art to the Whitney, there are plenty of museums NYU students can visit to get their art fix. I have been to several museums using Museum Gateway and even visited museums as part of my coursework at NYU. Check out the full list of museums NYU students can visit for free. Also, it is important to note that the vast majority of museums still offer NYU students discounted tickets if not free ones. Regardless, experiencing some of the most famous artworks of the world for free is a huge perk of being an NYU student. And it’s a great way to take advantage of the NYU experience!

So, whether you want to catch a show at Skirball, explore the New York neighborhoods with your floormates, or go take a picture with a Van Gogh, NYU has you covered. Just about anything and everything is possible for NYU students to do through NYU, and it truly is an integral part of living the NYU experience.

Jaden is a senior at NYU studying Public Policy with a minor in Economics. During his time at NYU he has been involved in multiple on-campus roles such as breaking news editor for NYU Local and Head of Marketing for the NYU Economics Society. After graduation he wishes to pursue a career in in policy or finance. In his free time, Jaden loves to hike, explore new food spots around the city, and catch the latest A24 movie