New faces, new routines, new traditions. Your first week of college is an experience you’ll remember for the rest of your life. Students from NYU’s three degree-granting campuses in New York City, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai participate in a full week of in-person and virtual events and activities to celebrate—and help them with—the transition into the next exciting phase of their lives. Read on to learn what students had to say about Welcome Week at NYU.

The drag queen Monet X Change hosting the NYU event
A Warm Welcome in New York City 

“One of my favorite Welcome Week events was the drag queen show! It was so unique to see the drag queens show off their talents on stage. They were so interactive with the audience and invited all of us to dance after! The environment was so warm and inviting and I met so many people that night.”

—Riti Paripati, Business major with concentrations in finance and management and organizations, Stern School of Business, and Media, Culture, and Communication minor, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, 2022

“I went to an event called Speed Meeting, which was like speed dating, but to meet friends. Toward the end of my session, a student in the activity we were doing said she’d never had a bagel before. She was from Texas, and naturally—being surrounded by New Yorkers like myself as well as other awkward and eager first-year students—a group of us decided to take her to try her first bagel! We were from various backgrounds and schools, but we all enjoyed the bagels, and most of all each other’s company. We immediately made a group chat and hung out almost every day during the coming weeks. To this day, a few of us from the group have dated, currently date, stayed friends, or just drifted apart, but it’s still a memory I hold dear.”

—Azeki M-J Ali, Political action through acting and dance concentration, Gallatin School of Individualized Study, French minor, College of Arts and Science, 2022


A light up sign that reads
Two students dressed in formal wear
The Adventure Begins at NYU Abu Dhabi

“Marhaba (what we call Welcome Week at NYU Abu Dhabi) was when I realized that the adventure I’d agreed to join was not just a dream—it was real life. Each day was filled with engaging workshops and sessions hosted by different departments around campus to better familiarize the incoming class with our new home. Outside of these, I would grab lunch or explore the campus with new friends; in fact, my best friend and I first met during Marhaba in the dining hall, where we almost missed the next event chatting for too long about music. At the end of the week, the entire class gathered in front of the palms and formed a giant 2-0-2-2. From that point on, I knew I had an exciting four years ahead of me.”

—Jacob Chouljian, Mechanical Engineering, NYU Abu Dhabi, 2022

A student performing onstage
A student singing on stage, while another student plays an instrument
Feeling Like I Belong at NYU Shanghai

“Every single session from Orientation Week, NYU Shanghai’s version of Welcome Week, taught me deeply about the concepts of identity, inclusion, and diversity. As a first year stepping into a new university and a new country, I quickly felt included, listened to, and guided. The week was truly chaotic—a bunch of emails and tons of activities—but we had time to balance that with a lot of reflection and cooling down sessions with our orientation ambassadors. I really connected with my orientation group. We shared and communicated deeply while having fun. In a few words, Orientation Week was a great and enriching experience.”

—Zineb Dardafa, Business and Finance major, Psychology minor, NYU Shanghai, 2023

Cindy Nowicki is a writer and content strategist in NYU’s Office of Marketing Communications. She enjoys meeting with students to learn about their experiences and telling the stories of all the wonderful things happening at NYU. Cindy holds a BA in English from the University of Richmond and studied English literature at the University of Bristol, England. A Brooklyn native, she still discovers new things about New York City every day. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two young sons.