Back in the Big Apple: Four NYU Stern Students Discuss Their Transformative Study Abroad Experiences

What does it mean to be global? At NYU Stern, approximately 50% of our students spend at least one semester studying away at one of NYU’s global campuses. Students can also spend a semester studying at another one of the world's top business schools through the International Business Exchange (IBEX) program. NYU Stern offers students the unique opportunity to explore different cultures and gain a global perspective, which has become increasingly critical in today’s international economy. 

We sat down with four current NYU Stern students who just returned to the NYC campus after studying away in fall 2017. They’re back from abroad and eager to share their experiences and stories.

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PAPA YAW SENCHEREY (BS ’20)

Concentrations: Finance, Data Science
Minor: Public Policy and Management
Hometown: East Brunswick, NJ
Study Away Site: NYU Florence

What was the highlight of studying away at NYU Florence?
A few friends and I had the opportunity to travel to Terme di Saturnia, a thermal hot spring bath, three hours outside of Florence. The three-hour drive to the springs took us through a few quaint Italian towns that seemed to be untouched by the hands of time.

What was the best new food you tried while abroad?
Bistecca Alla Fiorentina. On a weekday afternoon, I could oftentimes be found situated in the corner of Trattoria Mario enjoying the wonderful melody of flavors associated with Florence’s staple dish.

Reverse culture shock can be a very real challenge for students returning from abroad. What advice would you give to students who are readjusting to NYC?
Take it one step at a time, and integrate what you learned abroad into your New York lifestyle. Studying abroad often lends itself to personal growth. Capitalize on that personal growth as you begin to resituate in the New York state of mind.

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CHRISTINA MANGROO (BS ’18) 

NATALY SANCHEZ (BS/MS ’18) 

Concentrations: Management, Marketing
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Concentrations: Accounting, Global Business
Hometown: Seaford, NY

Study Away Site: International Business Exchange (IBEX), Chulalongkorn University, Thailand
Fun Fact: Christina and Nataly are friends who met at NYU Stern and decided to go on their immersive study away adventure together!

What was the highlight of studying away at Chulalongkorn University through IBEX? 
Christina: The immersion aspect of IBEX was definitely the highlight. Chulalongkorn students were extremely welcoming and friendly—they were our go-to for questions about school, non-touristy restaurants, sightseeing, and travel plans.

Nataly: The best feeling is knowing that we made long-lasting friendships on the other side of the globe.

What was the best new food/beverage you tried while abroad?
Christina: In Thailand, pad see ew, seafood noodle soup, dry red curry, and Thai iced tea; and in India, jalebi, kulfi, chai, garlic naan, and butter chicken.

Nataly: In Singapore, chili crab; in Vietnam, beef noodle pho and Vietnamese ice coffee (life changing); and in South Korea, bulgogi, kimchi, and sake.

What advice would you give other students who are considering studying away?
Christina: Just do it. You will definitely learn a lot about responsibility, budgeting, traveling, and exploring. Besides growing as a person, it’s important to be aware of different cultures and customs. Being open-minded and well-rounded are traits that employers seek in NYU students, and it’s also a great icebreaker!

In what way do you think your study away experience changed or shaped you and your perspective?
Nataly: We definitely believe IBEX shaped our perspective in a positive way. It allowed us both to see what it’s like to live from the perspective of another person across the world and how to appreciate a culture and language that may not be yours but becomes a part of you. 

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SIMON ILISEVICH (BPE ’19)

Hometown: Washington, D.C.
Study Away Site: NYU Abu Dhabi  
Fun Fact: Simon also Studied Away at NYU London and NYU Shanghai as part of the BPE program in the 2016-17 academic year. 

What was the highlight of studying away at NYU Abu Dhabi?
Part of a weekend trip that NYU Abu Dhabi organized to the northern emirates of the UAE where we spent the day spent on a dhow cruise riding through the Musandam Fjords along the northwestern tip of Oman. 

What was the best new food you tried while abroad?
In Kuwait City, I tried Kuwaiti machboos (مكبوس). Machboos is a biryani-like dish with Middle Eastern spices mixed with rice and meat. Each Gulf country has its own version of machboos, but in Kuwait the meat of choice is smoked fish, topped with daqoos, a tomato and garlic sauce. 

Reverse culture shock can be a very real challenge for students returning from abroad. What advice would you give to students who are readjusting to NYC? 
It's important to recognize that experiencing reverse culture shock is completely normal—in fact, it probably means you truly ingrained yourself in another culture. Take your time getting adjusted. Things will normalize sooner than you think.

Do you think your study away experience changed or shaped you and your perspective in a positive way? If yes, how? 
Having spent my past three semesters abroad, I have no doubt that my study away experience has positively shaped my perspective by giving me a global perspective. As cliche as it sounds, I now try to apply a global perspective to everything I learn in and out of the classroom. In today's world, I believe that is an increasingly important habit to have. 
 

Explore the below resources and start planning your own study away adventure! 
International Business Exchange (IBEX)
NYU Study Away
NYU Stern Short Term Immersions
NYU Stern Voices from Abroad Blog
Undergraduate Stern Women in Business (USWIB) Abroad Blog