This week was Fall break at NYU London, and I could not be more excited to share what I was able to accomplish with my friends in a matter of ten days! I am a Business and Political Economy student, so my first three days of break were spent in Belgium on an academic trip that was planned for my program. We went to Brussels in order to learn about the European Union by visiting the European Commission and European Parliament for lectures and interactive activities. We also got the full cultural experience, with a beautiful tour of the city at dusk, and a Belgian waffle workshop where we got to make our own Belgian waffles from scratch. It was the perfect balance of learning, exploring, and having fun. The last night in Brussels was Halloween, so we all dressed up and went out on the town, unsure of what to expect. It was unlike any Halloween experience I’ve ever had in the U.S., which made it all the more exciting! This trip, coordinated by NYU, was a great kickoff to Fall break and allowed us BPE-ers to bond even more.
On the night of November 1st, a few of my friends and I flew to Dublin. We spent November 2nd doing “Dublin in a day,” where we visited the castle, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Trinity College, the Guinness Brewery, and more. It was a perfectly Irish day well spent, especially since we would be busy November 3rd through November 5th. Those three days were spent volunteering at Web Summit - the world’s largest tech conference! As student volunteers, we were able to see all the events for free, while getting behind the scenes experience working an event with 30,000+ attendees. This opportunity allowed us to listen to various inspiring talks given by the founders of Kickstarter, Instagram, and Pixar. Major tech companies, such as Facebook, Google, and Microsoft, were also present and had booths to showcase their initiatives in areas like artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and The Internet of Things. I even got to try out the Oculus thanks to Amazon’s Audible exhibit (in the form of a game) and Ford’s exhibit (in the form of a virtual driving experience). The days and nights I spent at Web Summit were truly eye opening and got me incredibly excited about the future of technology.
November 6th began the final leg of my Fall break, as I flew to the Czech Republic to visit some NYU Stern friends studying in Prague. The weekend was pure fun - no academics or work. It was the perfect way to end my trip. I got to see friends I wouldn’t otherwise see until the spring of my Junior year, since BPE students study abroad for three semesters, and I got exposure to a new city. I have never been to Eastern Europe before, and it was extremely evident that Prague is a post-communist society. After spending so much time in Western cities like London and Dublin, it was interesting to see a completely different way of life and immerse myself in a non-English speaking culture. I highly recommend visiting Prague for a different kind of experience, in addition to the financial accessibility. The exchange rate is phenomenal for us, so everything is incredibly cheap!
All in all, I couldn’t be happier about studying in London, because I know I wouldn’t have access to these kinds of experiences anywhere else. My Fall break was packed with memories I will never forget, and I can’t wait to see what the rest of my year abroad holds in store!