Passport? Check. Immunization shots? Check. Appreciation for foreign experiences in even more foreign places? Check! New York, here I come.
It’s an urban jungle out there of concrete and neon, a topical rain forest of controversy, a climate of constant change. It’s New freakin’ York.
Some of you naysayers might point out that I’m not really studying abroad given the whole lack of transatlantic voyage and, as a result, staying in the continental United States bit.
Pish posh to you people!
After all, Southwestern doesn’t have a study abroad office, but an Office of Intercultural Learning.
SU also states on its website: “Study abroad is a life-changing opportunity which can bring a fresh perspective to international political and economic issues, interpersonal relationships and career choices.” With going to New York, I could definitely knock out two out of the three.
Heck, going outside the Southwestern bubble could be considered international.
I’ll also gain marketable skills for future careers during my stay in New York, such as “street cred.” No one’s going to want to mess with this Texan after a few months of living in the 9-1-7. As far as interpersonal relationships are concerned, I’ll be meeting new people daily in situations that wouldn’t be possible in Georgetown – in clubs, at hotdog stands and even on various forms of public transportation. If it is still bothersome, then don’t think of it as studying abroad. Merely, think of it as learning away – far, far away.
Heck, New York is even right next to New England. Everyone knows that new is better than old so really I’m being more progressive as opposed to close-minded in my approach to studying abroad. It’s like an iPod. Everyone liked the old iPod, but everyone loves the new iPod. I like to think of New York as England version 1.5.
New York is also all about different walks of life. In fact, New York City is the most populous city of the United States. If I go there, it’ll be like speed dating for diversity.
There are even different dialects within the mighty Empire State. For instance, one can either say “New York” or “Noo Yawk.”
Besides, why limit myself to just one place of study? Sure, I could go to China and admire the sturdiness of the Great Wall. Yes, I could travel to Italy and awe over a ceiling in the Sistine Chapel and its so-called art. Through the geographical accessibility of New York, I could trek to Chinatown, Little Italy or even Brooklyn, and all on the swipe of my Metrocard.
You also know you’re in foreign territory when they don’t have a Whataburger. I know. What are they thinking? I’m a survivor, though. That’s just what I do. I say – bring it on, New York. Bring it on.