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New York, New York
by Yvonne Liu

Choosing where to study | Boston | Connecticut | San Francisco | Philadephia | Los Angeles | Texas : Austin | Washington D.C. | New York City

Once a point of entry for European immigrants and now a world capital known for its leading international business, finance, fashion, dining, theatrical, and cultural influences, New York City has it all. Imagine a population of 7.5 million all crammed into 300 square miles—now that's a lot of New Yorkers! Aside from the Statue of Liberty, Rockefeller Center, the Empire State Building, Central Park, and Times Square, New York City is also home to world-class museums, restaurants, hotels, sports teams, celebrities, socialites, a million taxis, ethnic neighborhoods, and of course, universities and colleges. So come on and take a bite out of the Big Apple, the one city in the United States that has a pulse all to its own—24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.

Studying in New York City

Whether you want to study independent film, Russian literature, or biotechnology, New York's public and private universities and colleges will surely have something for you. With a subway and public bus system that is utilized by the majority of NYC residents, going from Chinatown to the Upper West Side couldn't be easier. Apart from the resources that students can access on campus, NYC also provides an incomparable backdrop from Wall Street to Fifth Avenue for students to put their education to the test.

1. Barnard
Founded in 1889, Barnard is an independent college of liberal arts and sciences for women, affiliated with Columbia University. Ninety-five percent of its distinguished faculty hold a Ph.D. or highest appropriate degree, and the faculty-to-student ratio is 1-to-11. Through the Barnard-Columbia partnership, students can choose from a wider array of courses and academic resources, as well student organizations and athletics. Double-degree programs are also offered in cooperation with Columbia University and other academic institutions in the areas of International and Public Affairs, Public Policy and Administration, Engineering and Applied Science, Law, Oral and Dental Surgery, Music, and Judaism.

2. Columbia University
As the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York and the fifth oldest in the United States, Columbia University was founded in 1754 as King's College by royal charter of King George II of England. The school's history is more than impressive. In 1767 it became the first American medical school to grant the MD degree. But it was in 1896 that the school's officially known name was adopted: Columbia University in the City of New York. With three undergraduate schools and thirteen graduate schools to choose from, admissions is fairly tough—the average candidate falls in the top percentages of his graduating high school or college class. However, distinguished alumni and Trustees include John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the United States and Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury. To become a part of Columbia University would be to become a part of America's history.

3. New York University
New York University was founded in 1831 by a group of eminent private citizens who wished to enlarge the scope of higher education to meet the needs of persons aspiring to careers in business, industry, science, and the arts, as well as in law, medicine, and the ministry. Located in the heart of Greenwich Village, a historic neighborhood that has attracted generations of writers, musicians, artists, and intellectuals, students are encouraged to use New York City as an extension of the University's classrooms. Well-known for its performing arts, film, law, and medical school programs, among others, NYU is a great place to study if you are looking for a dynamic campus.

4. The Julliard School
Music. Dance. Drama. The Julliard School is a world- renown institution of the arts that "helps talented individuals harness their dedication to become communicative artists." Founded in 1905 as the Institute of Musical Art to rival the European conservatories, in subsequent years the Institute created new departments of dance and drama to fill the needs of high-quality arts training in the country. The campus is located in the Lincoln Center, encompassing 84 practice rooms (with 22 more in the residence hall), rehearsal rooms, classrooms, and studios—a reflection of the intensive training and labor in which Juilliard students devote. Four large concert and production spaces reflect the School's commitment to public performance. The School's Alice Tully Hall is also home to the Juilliard Orchestra, the Juilliard Symphony, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

Other academic institutions include Pace University, Rockefeller University, Fordham University, Pratt Institute, and Fashion Institute of Technology.

Living in NYC

New York City is divided into five burroughs—the Bronx, Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Staten Island. Manhattan is by far the center of it all, and of course the most expensive. Manhattan real estate costs more than four times the national average. If you can afford it, then by all means find yourself a cute place in TriBeCa, Greenwich Village, SoHo, or even overlooking Central Park. However, outlying areas such as Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island may offer more affordable housing that won't be the size of a match box. The most important thing with looking for housing is keeping security into consideration. Use the public transportation system and subway. Eighty percent of NYC does, so why shouldn't you?

As for points of interest, we've already mentioned the biggies above. However, take the time out for some of the world's most famous art pieces at the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Guggenheim Museum or NYC's Metropolitan Museum of Art, a sprawling megamuseum that houses everything from Eqyptian sculptures to 19th century Impressionist paintings by Renoir. If you like theater, then there's no place but the Big Apple for a taste of Broadway productions. Or, if you're in the mood for some sports, how about catching a game with the New York Mets, New York Yankees, New York Knicks, New York Giants, or New York Jets?

Did someone mention shopping? NYC is home to a $12 billion fashion industry mostly centered on Manhattan's West Side. So if you want shopping, you've got it. Fifth Avenue is home to the world's most famous emporia, such as Bergdorf Goodman, Henri Bendel, and Saks Fifth Avenue. Not too far away from Fifth Avenue lies Bloomingdale's, just between Lexington and Third Avenues. Madison Avenue offers great bookstores and designer stores such as Armani, Moschino, Barneys New York, and Calvin Klein. For the trendsetters, West Broadway is the main drag of SoHo, where major art galleries alternate with chic clothing stores.

Nightlife is hard to beat in NYC. Many clubs stay open until 4 a.m., some offering after-hours that run past noon the following day. Many neighborhood bars also provide more localized entertainment. With an emerging underground music scene that has become the training ground for some the best hop hop artists and DJs, the city's energy remains on a high note all day and all night long. And after you've partied hard, there are plenty of places to get a bite to eat at odd hours.

Of course, NYC is heaven for foodies. Some of the best Chinese food outside of China can be found in Chinatown. Likewise for Italian food in the city's Little Italy district. Still, a large Jewish population means great kosher delis and bagels can't be far away. For award-winning cuisine, the Big Apple has restaurants tucked in every nook and cranny. On everyone's lips is Tavern on the Green, which offers American/Continental cuisine. However, restaurants are quick to pop up or fold, so for a thorough and updated listing, click on Zagat.com for a plethora of suggestions.

Because NYC is a year-round destination, there is something for everyone any month or day you choose to visit. And since there's so much to soak in, sometimes one trip isn't enough. Maybe that's why this town is always on the move, and the people who live here are proud to say that New York is the "capital of the world."


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