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USA Studies Tips and Advice 7 - The Insider Guide New York

Sat 21 May 2016

This time I am continuing with the second part of a four part blog series on the locations of the ONCAMPUS programs in America.  Last time I hope you enjoyed reading about Boston.  This time I will be talking about New York. 

Overview – New York City

Many people have heard of New York.  And with good reason, for it is the biggest and most famous city in America, and arguably, the whole world.  It is home to Wall Street, the center of the financial world.  It is home to Madison Avenue, home to the world’s top advertising and publishing agencies.  It is home to Broadway, where the world’s leading theatre and musical performances take place.  It is home to the world’s leading fashion and design companies.  It has everything.  We talked about practical learning a few weeks back – well, New York is the top place for practical learning when it comes to many industries and majors. 

New York is the ‘city that never sleeps’.  There is something going on all the time.  The city itself is home to five boroughs: Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, the Bronx and Manhattan.  Manhattan, the most famous borough, is actually an island – bounded by the Hudson River to the West, the East River to the East, and the Harlem River to the North.  Queens is home to many immigrants from all over the world and is full of diverse and interesting neighborhoods and great, great restaurants.  One such neighborhood is Flushing, where I could eat dim sum all day long and is the largest Chinatown on America’s East Coast.  Other interesting neighborhoods include Forest Hills, Astoria and Long Island City.  Each neighborhood amazes me because of the community feel that comprises them.  Italian, Greek, Ecuadorian, Mexican, Indian, Egyptian, Jamaican….the list goes on and on. 

Brooklyn is rapidly becoming the ‘hippest’ area of New York.  Many artists, designers and young professionals have moved to Brooklyn because of the high housing prices in Manhattan.  Brooklyn’s neighborhoods thus are some of the coolest in New York, with great live music spots, coffee shops and a young and creative vibe.  Some of the neighborhoods I love are Park Slope, Williamsburg, Red Hook and DUMBO.  DUMBO is what New Yorkers call the area ‘Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass’.  Many art galleries and theaters inhabit old warehouses there.

Manhattan is home to many famous landmarks that you may be familiar with from TV shows and movies.  These include the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Times Square, Grand Central Station, Central Park, Wall Street, the United Nations, 5th Avenue, Madison Square Garden and many others.  Just as interesting as the landmarks are the neighborhoods within Manhattan – which is where many tourists do not explore.  You have the Upper East Side and Upper West Side which are a bit quieter and more residential, Midtown, which has many of the city’s buildings and companies, and Downtown.  I mainly lived downtown when I worked in New York, which has some of the most amazing neighborhoods and streets on the planet.  Soho, full of boutiques and shops and galleries, Greenwich Village, with theaters and restaurants, and the cool and trendy areas of the West Village and East Village.  Chelsea is one other great neighborhood – home to the world famous Fashion Institute of Technology ‘FIT’, part of the SUNY (State University of New York) system.    

Overview – New York State

Many people are familiar with New York City but do not realize that New York is actually a very large state too.  New York State is, in one word, picturesque.  It is beautiful, peaceful and where most people who live in the city go to escape because of its beauty.  New York State is big.  It is the 4th most populous state in America and can take nearly eight hours to drive across from East to West.  I know, since my brother and I used to sit in the backseat on family trips from Boston during our summer vacations.

There are mountains – the Adirondacks and the Catskills.  There is the famous Niagara Falls – which separates America from Canada.  There are many lakes and rivers and parks.  There are also many important cities – Albany, which is the state capitol, Syracuse, Rochester, Binghamton and Buffalo.  These cities were at the forefront of industry in America and are where many famous world companies got started.  For example, Rochester, where most of my aunts and uncles and cousins live, is where Kodak (cameras), Xerox (copy machines) and Bausch and Lomb (eye health products) were all founded. 

Overview – SUNY

New York State is also famous for its universities.  The State University of New York (SUNY) is one of the largest systems of universities, colleges and community colleges in the United States, with a total enrollment of 465,000 students plus 1.1 million adult education students, spanning 64 campuses across the state. 



The SUNY reputation is incredibly strong in America.  Several of its universities rank in the top 100 in the United States including Buffalo, Binghamton and Stony Brook and others like Albany are just outside the top 100.  Many of its specialist schools for subjects like fashion, maritime studies and environmental science are world famous.  Tuition costs at SUNY schools for an undergraduate degree are less than two-thirds the cost of most public colleges in the United States. Many American students, and increasingly, international students, recognize the strength and value of a SUNY degree. 

There are too many famous alumni of the SUNY system to list here.  Famous company CEO’s, politicians, sports stars, musicians, scientists, fashion designers, astronauts and journalists have all graduated from SUNY schools.  Names like Calvin Klein, Michael Kors (fashion), Wolf Blitzer (journalism), the former Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand, the Minister of Education for China, the Prime Minister of Somalia…these are just some.  Robin Yanhong Li, founder, Chairman and CEO of Baidu, the most popular search engine in China is also a SUNY graduate.  These graduates are what create SUNY’s strong reputation around the world.  Many of SUNY’s schools are extremely competitive to gain acceptance to – which makes ONCAMPUS SUNY highly attractive as a pathway into these schools for international students.

Students at ONCAMPUS SUNY, located at Morrisville State College, have the best of all worlds – access into these top universities while studying in the peaceful, affordable and safe location of Morrisville.  Their families have recognized the need for an academic community that welcomes each student by name and allows them the chance to succeed in a friendly and open environment.  Students can then progress on to one of the many excellent SUNY schools – be it in a bigger city or in a true American campus in a smaller college town.

Next time we will be talking about a different part of America – Texas.


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