1,500+ undergraduate students. 70+ countries and regions. Indeed, the global community at NYU Shanghai makes it the most diverse university in China. Our campus is compact, but the cosmopolitan spirit our community represents is like no other. Every day, we use our appreciation for cultural differences to build bridges of cross-cultural understanding. Just like our Alma Mater sings, “The world is not too big for us to be friends.”

If you’re new to this family and haven’t experienced it yet, hey, I got you! Let me guide you through the four moments that perfectly represent this international community.

You don’t just learn it, you live it

Roommates Frank Zhou '21 and Justin Zotos '21 in New York City. Photo by Nicholas Yiu '20

NYU Shanghai students don’t just engage with multicultural groups in class. Rather, they live it 24/7. Unlike any other university, each first-year is guaranteed to have a roommate who’s cultural background is different from their own. That’s why I can say our students learn globally, reside globally, and socialize globally in an international community. Basically, this 4-D immersive experience is a bullet train to cultural competency.

Like many peers, Frank and Justin both enjoyed and benefited from each other’s support. The Yangzhou native and the Chicagoan immediately bonded over food and superhero movies after they met. Throughout the first two years, they navigated through college life by learning from each other. Later, their study away semester, their friendship naturally led to rooming together again in the Big Apple.

Read about this moment: Roommates: Frank Zhou ’21 and Justin Zotos ’21

You are going places!

Frank Mattimoe ’22 interned with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi, Kenya.

Exploring is a staple of the whole NYU Shanghai global community, academically and career-wise. With a strong local network and expansive international connections, the NYU global network supports students in their most ambitious attempts. During their undergraduate years, young talents find their passion and expand their knowledge base to be ready for whatever career they’re aiming for.

When it comes to summer internships, you know students from NYU Shanghai are not afraid to seize any opportunity, even if it requires a 10+ hour plane ride. While some are busy importing innovative business ideas into China, others might be doing research for an international organization they hope to join in the future overseas. 

Read about some of our students’ experiences from Summer 2019: Students Give the Scoop on Summer Internships

Having a local impact

Xiaoyan Kong '21 with her students from the Art Therapy with Migrant Kids program.

For any NYU campus or academic center, location matters. Our magical city nurtures NYU Shanghai, so we reciprocate it. Specifically, by participating in regular community service. Through thoughtfully designed community-engaged learning programs, the NYU Shanghai global community gives back to our local community.  In this process, students get to transform their social commitment into experience and expertise. 

For Xiaoyan, the weekly encounter with the children of migrant workers holds special meaning for her. That’s because she was one of them herself. Through the Dean’s Service Corps program, Xiaoyan learned more about privilege and socioeconomic polarization, which motivated her to make a difference.  

Read about this moment: In and Of the City: NYU Shanghai Reaches Out to Migrant Worker Communities

A place that celebrates diversity

NYU Shanghai is a safe zone. That means that values across the spectrum are represented and accepted here. The University’s Student Life office has developed a series of Diversity Initiatives on equity, social justice, and diversity advocacy. In these discussions, students establish a deeper appreciation for the international community they are a part of. 

Last winter during NYU Shanghai’s 5th Ally Week, the community’s passion and creativity overflowed at the crossroads of self-expression and self-exploration. Students actively practiced allyship via a series of events such as film screening, talks, and performances. 

Read about this moment: Identity, Diversity, and Solidarity: 5th Annual Ally Week Begins

A poster of Ally Week 2019's keynote, The Myth of The Red Pill: Conversation on Gender and Feminism in China.
Bulletin board filled with post-it responses to questions about hair and identity from filmmaker E’jane Li ’22.

Yan Liang is an assistant director at NYU Shanghai Undergraduate Admissions based in Shanghai, mainly working with Chinese applicants. She is passionate about sharing tales about the cities of Shanghai and New York, and supporting adventurous souls in their quest to take on global experiences here at NYU. After a few years in Seattle, she is back on the east coast of China but remains a Seahawk fan.