How It Feels Like To Live In NYC (Study Abroad Semester)
Since my teenage years, I have always dreamed of New York. The magical city where all dreams are supposed to come true. A city that never sleeps and always has to offer new excitement. Thanks to the iconic tv show Gossip Girl, which I started to watch when I was 13 years old, I’ve always wished to visit NYC once. Never have I imagined having the possibility to actually really live in NYC. However, during my Bachelor’s studies, I could take an extra semester to go overseas. So, I decided to move to the city where dreams are coming true. Here are my experiences of how it really feels like to live in NYC.
ARRIVAL IN NEW YORK CITY
I lived in the Empire Hotel for the first few days because my booked room was unavailable. You can’t imagine how speechless I was when I saw the lobby of the Empire Hotel. It looks exactly like in Gossip Girl. However, besides the GG effect, the Hotel wasn’t that spectacular. I was relieved I could move into my room after a few days. During my time in New York, I lived in Chelsea, Manhattan. The building was at Hudson Yard, and thanks to that, my room had a lovely and calming view over the Hudson River.
I decided to go to the Chelsea area because it is very central and not too far from my university. Well, at least on the map, it didn’t look so far. In reality, it took about 30 minutes, including getting out at Grand Central with getting lost every day for several weeks. Looking back, I got lost often, even though my sense of orientation was not so bad. But the problem was that Manhattan was not only already huge, but all the metro stations had about ten different exits. Luckily one of my roommates was studying a few courses with me, so I wasn’t alone when getting lost.
Usually, experts recommend moving to another city a few days in advance. However, I only came one day before my classes started. Therefore I didn’t have the chance to check out Manhattan in advance.
Most of my NYC friends were studying with me. It was also the first time in New York for many of them. Therefore, we did all the sightseeing together, and of course, we also tried lots of restaurants and cafés. These are the 12 incredible NYC places which we visited! Seeing all the NYC buildings and sightseeing in real life seemed unreal. It took me a long time to actually realise that I was really in New York and that I was living my dream.
Something that I really like about Manhattan is that there is so much diversity in different areas. Whenever I missed my parent’s food, I went to China Town. When I was in the mood for la dolce vita, I strolled through Little Italy, and when I required skincare products or KTV, I went to Korea Town. Due to that, I didn’t get homesick at all, and I really enjoyed living in NYC.
If you’re following me on Instagram or TikTok, you can see that at one point, I started to go out like crazy. Back then, I didn’t go out at the beginning when I arrived in NYC. I wanted to get used to the new surroundings first and manage my exams well before having crazy night outs. Partying in Manhattan is precisely like in Gossip Girl. Everything is glamorous, extravagant and organised with a lovely theme. I even went to Chuck’s Victrola Club, and it was an experience which I definitely will never forget. (None of us had a Blair Waldorf Burlesque moment, haha.) A thing that really inspired me was that I met so many hard-working people, but they all still went out at night and managed to have a successful careers.
Check out my GG location guide in NYC for more Gossip Gir locations.
MAKE YOUR DREAMS HAPPEN
People say that dreams don’t work if you don’t do. While strolling around Manhattan, I realised that dreams do really come true if we believe in them and primarily if we work hard for them to happen. The latter was an aspect that really mattered. When I moved to NYC, I met people who were crazy workaholics. I’ve never seen so many people working hard and fighting for their dreams like anywhere else. It was something that really inspired me and helped me a lot.
If you have ever been to New York City, you know what I mean when I say NYC is fast-paced, notably in Manhattan. People are always in a rush and generally live a very active life (if you’re not stuck in traffic, lol). Luckily, I am very adaptable, so I got used to the fast-paced flow very smoothly. It was my first semester where I really managed a healthy work-life balance without losing my sanity and still achieving all my goals and dreams.
Many tourists come to the US with an empty suitcase for shopping a lot over there. It is no secret that American brands such as VS, A&F, Levi’s or even Apple are way cheaper than in Europe. When it came to shopping in the US, I did buy a few clothes, but mainly, I bought a lot of stuff at Sephora. Sephora in the US is my favourite because they have everything!
But I still tried not to shop a lot because living in NYC is very expensive. Besides the rent, you must consider the mobile network costs and the monthly metro card. Additionally, with all my spending habits, a lot is adding up (Starbucks addiction – very guilty). Therefore, even though I loved my time in New York City, my wallet and bank account (and my dad, too) were really happy that I “only” stayed there for half a year.
To me, my NYC experience will always be an extraordinary one because I have always dreamed about it. I met wonderful friends, who inspired me to go after my goals, and I am delighted that I am still in contact with them. Moreover, for the first time, I learned about myself, what I want and am capable of when it came to studying, work and my dreams. Therefore, I am beyond grateful for having the opportunity to live in NYC. That place will always be a special place of career and dreams, and I can only recommend everyone to visit New York City at least once.
For a visual impression of how it feels like to live in NYC, check out my video down below. Like, subscribe and share it with friends and family.
Are you interested in studying abroad as well? Here are 10 reasons why you should study abroad and how to choose the proper study abroad program. If you’re uncertain about the destination and don’t want to live in NYC, how about European cities such as London or Paris? Furthermore, Shanghai is also an exciting city to study abroad as well. Last but not least, there are secrets nobody tells you about studying abroad. If you want to study overseas, you should know these secrets.