The same week as rankings were released that placed NYU first in number of international students enrolled and number of students studying abroad, the University held its inaugural Global Engagement Symposium. The conference brought together students from across the University to showcase their internationally focused achievements from study abroad, volunteering, or research. Students applied to present or were nominated by NYU faculty or staff, and a joint committee selected just seventeen proposals to feature at this first Symposium.
Of these featured presentations, nearly half were by Liberal Studies students. They presented on experiences that included installing a solar electricity system in a Nicaraguan village, independent research into NYU London’s history as the headquarters of a musicians’ club, and writing a policy report on asylum seekers in Tel Aviv. Consistent among each was the student’s interest in a particular issue leading them to engage with it more deeply through research or hands-on experience.
"One of the main reasons I decided to study at NYU was the opportunity for global experiences,” explains Kayla Malone, a Global Liberal Studies senior. Malone spent her junior year at NYU Florence and presented on her internship with the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights of Europe. During her internship, the Center held an exhibition on the American civil rights movement, and Malone found elements of the government-centric exhibition to conflict with the grassroots movement she’d learned about in the United States. “There is a certain level of responsibility in presenting a cross-cultural narrative," she says, "And it is a responsibility that I find extremely important in such a globalized and interconnected world.”
Through this and other presentations, the Global Engagement Symposium demonstrated an important aspect of the NYU experience that cannot be captured by rankings: NYU students are utilizing the global network to engage with cross-cultural ideas and become leaders in the changing world.
Sasha Padbidri, another GLS senior, presented at the Symposium her reflections on China’s evolving consumerism. She developed her analysis while spending her freshman and junior years at NYU Shanghai and interning in the fashion industry. Padbidri believes her experiences in Shanghai will distinguish her professionally, noting, “A common phrase among businesses now is ‘What’s your China strategy?’ I’m glad to say that my two years abroad have allowed me to answer this question with confidence.”
Kayla Malone shares insights from her internship at the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights of Europe.
Updated on 03/20/2015