If it’s Sunday, it must be London — and it is.  I have just concluded NYU Welcome Week by meeting 85 first-year Liberal Studies students at our London academic center in Bedford Square.

In the past week I’ve welcomed some 1250 Core Program and Global Liberal Studies students in five cities — Florence, London, Paris, Washington DC, and, of course, New York — in as many days.

Frankly, I should be exhausted by this whirlwind tour — but I am not.  I’ve met students from every region of the U.S. and from over 70 countries — all of whom now are part of the Liberal Studies community.  They are bright, they are talented, and they bring to NYU a wealth of diverse backgrounds, interests, and aspirations.

I spoke with students from all over the world — from Albania, Australia, China, Cuba, Germany, Mongolia, Nepal, Nigeria, Singapore, and Thailand, and many, many more.   I greeted students from great cities like Beijing, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Shanghai, and Taipei, and from very small towns in California, Iowa, New Jersey, Texas, and Vermont.  Many of our new students have lived in several countries, and others applied for their first passports and took their first international journeys to join their NYU peers.

As diverse as they are, our students have much in common — their passion to learn and their interest in exploring their new homes.  There is more I could say about them, but soon enough, our students will begin navigating their own journeys through NYU’s global network.  They will soon begin telling their own stories, and I am looking forward to learning more about them.

Core Program Orientation in New York City

Speaking at Core Program Convocation in New York City.

Kara Burritt, a team member of the Dean’s Office in Liberal Studies, works on communications and events for the Core Program and Global Liberal Studies. This April she traveled to Admitted Student Receptions at NYU London and NYU Paris to help welcome the Liberal Studies Class of 2020. Below, she blogs about the experience.

Sophomore RJ Khalaf speaks at Weekend on the Square.

Sophomore RJ Khalaf speaks at Weekend on the Square.

Fifteen years ago this month, I went to Admitted Students Weekend at the university where I would attend college. My family drove three hours from our house, and upon arriving, met students from around the region – like me. The campus felt like home, and I took that as a sign to enroll.

This year throughout April, I have had the opportunity to welcome new Liberal Studies students at Weekend on the Square and at Admitted Student Receptions hosted in New York City, NYU London, and NYU Paris.

I’ve met students from Connecticut and Florida who will spend their first year at NYU London; students from Italy, Brazil, and France who are New York-bound; and a student from China who will begin at NYU Washington, DC. Not to mention countless others!

Yet, no matter where admitted students are from or where they are going, I saw the Class of 2020 community beginning to form. At each Admitted Student Reception, students connected with one another and with their advisors, planning how to keep in touch over the summer to discuss Move-In Day or class registration.

Welcoming new students to NYU Paris

Welcoming new students to NYU Paris | Credit: Mikael Perreau

NYU London’s reception featured a student speaker — Norbert Sobczak, a junior in Global Liberal Studies who was born in Poland, grew up in New Jersey, and studied at NYU in London and Washington, DC. Norbert reflected on his experience to admitted students at the event: “NYU is an array of communities with bridges between them.”

With a common curriculum and resources, Liberal Studies students across NYU will share similar experiences. But unlike my own university education, the Class of 2020 in Liberal Studies will bring a world of experience to classrooms in several different cities. The sense of home will be found through the people and community of NYU. To me, that’s the best of both worlds.