An Introduction: New York City

by Beau Johnson
An Introduction: New York City

New York City is home to some of the most prominent images of the American landscape: the Empire State Building, the welcoming Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, Rockefeller Center, and the unforgettable Central Park. The city includes large populations of immigrants from more than 180 countries, making it one of the most cosmopolitan places on earth. A wonderful blend of cultures, foods, traditions, and people.

New York is the largest city in the United States. With over eight million residents, it is more than twice the size of Los Angeles, the nation's second-largest city. It is one of the world's global cities; home to an almost unrivaled collection of world-class museums, galleries, media outlets, performance venues, stock exchanges, international corporations, and the international embassies of the United Nations.

New York hosts more Fortune 500 companies than any other U.S. city, including the Associated Press, Bear Stearns, CBS, Verizon, Pfizer, Random House, Jet Blue, Revlon, Time Warner, Marvel Comics, Sony, and FAO Schwartz. The city produces more than $500 billion each year, which would make it the 16th largest world economy if it were its own country.

New York is located on the U.S. Eastern Seaboard, along the Atlantic Ocean. It was founded for its excellent harbor and access to several rivers, including the Hudson and the East River. The city is divided into five boroughs (counties): The Bronx, Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island, and Brooklyn. Attractions include: Broadway theaters, Fifth Avenue shopping, Times Square (especially on New Year's Eve), Greenwich Village's independent shops, Coney Island's carnival atmosphere, and more than 14 miles of public beach.

New York City is the nation's primary destination for students who come from out of state. According to the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities, this amounted to approximately 25,000 out-of state freshmen in 2000.

There can be tremendous culture shock involved in a student's transition to New York City, because it is unique to any other city in America. The difference will of course be especially striking compared to a small town's atmosphere. However, many New York institutions are prepared to go to great lengths to make even the most out-of-place students feel welcome.

A great resource for new students to take advantage of is One To World, a service resource for New York City students to ease transitioning. Though there are inherent difficulties to pursuing an education in a place as overwhelming as New York City can be, that pursuit will definitely pay off in cross-cultural and industry experience, and great personal growth.

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