Is an Urban Campus Like NYU New York City Right for You?

Getting outside of your comfort zone may be just what you need for an incredible college experience.

The New York skyline at sunset

Making the transition to a big city!

Applying to a university in a big city can feel quite intimidating. Could I handle it? Will I be able to make friends in an urban campus style setting? How will my classes and other academic endeavors differ due to this slightly atypical college journey? There are indeed a few things to get used to, but anyone can handle it with a few simple lifestyle adjustments. There is a reality to the fact that being in and of the city means you must grow up faster than other students. However, you also gain an incredible sense of independence. The best part is, you’re not alone! Learning how to navigate the New York City subway system enables you to access a plethora of free and discounted museums, Brooklyn’s best vintage thrift shops, and restaurants of every cuisine imaginable. Could you say the same for a rural campus?

The Whitney Museum's exterior.
Photograph courtesy of the Whitney Museum.

How did my first year go?

When I was accepted into NYU’s School of Professional Studies, between the anticipation of starting my new journey, I was also nervous. I grew up in a suburb at least 30 minutes from any major city. I did not know how to act or get around in New York City, never mind navigating an urban campus. The primary method that helped me to gain comfortability was taking time to walk around the West Village and Greenwich Village neighborhoods. Also, I made a friend who grew up on Long Island, NY, and she helped me understand how to stay safe, and how the streets are laid out. After a few days, I learned that they are just a grid! I felt proud once I could give directions with confidence.

people walking down a busy street
The West Village neighborhood

How about feeling safe around campus?

NYU has many services that keep me and my friends feeling safe. My personal favorite as a student is NYU’s “Safe Ride”. Safe ride is an on-demand shuttle service operating for free for NYU Students from any NYU Building to another from 12 am to 7 am. I never feel nervous walking home after those late-night study sessions! Also, another great feature of the NYU Mobile App is the mobile blue light. In addition to physical blue light buttons across campus like other universities, NYU has an extra element to keep their students safe on its urban campus. On the Safe NYU app, there is a blue light you can push, and a public safety officer will be with you immediately. I always have it open late at night for an added sense of reassurance. Wherever you go, you can feel safe in that NYU public safety has your back.

A hand holding up a smartphone with the SAFE NYU app on the screen. It is followed by two screenshots from the app. The first shows resources and contacts for students and the second explains the
Shuttle vehicle with the words

What about rural campuses?

There are definitely advantages to a rural campus for specific students. These campuses are typically gated and closed in. Walking around, there are only other students and professors, which may give a sense of familiarity and comfort. Being in a “college town” forces you to absorb yourself in the college, and Greek life tends to be at the forefront of campus life. Lastly, there are often more students from your area if you live nearby to campus. For some, those characteristics describe the perfect school for them! However, if students stop to think about what an urban campus like NYU New York City truly provides them, they may change their mind.

What makes being IN and OF New York City so special?

If you wish to have the fine arts, culture, delicious food, and rich history right at your fingertips, then an urban campus like New York University is right for you. In New York City, you can get anywhere by merely looking at a subway map. You have access to a plethora of incredible internships, jobs, and postgraduate opportunities as an undergraduate student. Are you looking to study art or history? How does free access to the Whitney Museum of Art, or discounted admission to the Museum of Natural History sound? What about hospitality and tourism? How does an internship at the Marriott Marquis Times Square or Madison Square Garden sound? You can complete internships while you take classes to apply what you learn directly to your field of study. The best part is that NYU’s Wasserman Center for Career Development is there to help every step of the way.

Are you bold, adventurous, up for a challenge, and ready for a college experience like no other? A school without walls might be just the one for you.