New York Life - Hothouse Media

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New York life
The Big Apple may not be for the faint-hearted, but for                                                                          York want to combine
                                                                                                                                 their English studies
any student wanting a lively urban experience, there’s
                                                                                                                                 with, for example,
no place like New York. GILLIAN EVANS reports.                                                                                   music, art, dance,
                                                                                                                                 fashion or film. In fact,

           ew York City (NYC) is hectic and             formers entertain the                                                    Harrison says that
           full-on, representing a roller-              hoards of people who                                                     many of their teachers,
           coaster ride of experiences. Made            stroll through the city                                                  who are all New
up of a tapestry of distinctly different neigh-         each day.                                                                Yorkers, have addi-
bourhoods, New York, dubbed the capital of                   Despite the familiar-                                               tional jobs in the arts.
the world, embraces numerous different                  ity of New York,                                                            “Our current staff
cultures to give it that quintessential cosmo-          Harrison says, “I think                                                  includes a playwright,
politan feel.                                           New York often exceeds                                                   two painters, a writer,
     “Students choose to study in New York              [students’] expectations                                                 two actors, one musi-
City for the cultural diversity, access to              as it has layers of dis-                                                 cian and an opera
creative venues such as Broadway shows,                 covery. I’m still                                                        singer. They bring New
world-class museums, ballets, American                  [discovering new things]                                                 York to the classroom
Jazz, world cinema and for the opportunity              eight years after my                                                     and encourage our
to explore one of the world’s most ambitious            arrival here.”                                                           students to get out.”
cities,” asserts Cesar Rennert, President of                 According to Jesse                                                     And New York offers
Rennert Bilingual.                                      Ro, International Mar-                                                   students a colourful
     Eimear Harrison, Centre Director for               keting Manager at the                                                    and different experi-
Embassy CES New York, adds, “The cul-                   American Language                                                        ence around each
tural diversity and possibilities here make             Communication Center,                                                    corner. “Greenwich
New York an unparalleled experience any-                students who choose to                                                   Village is a very popu-
where in the world.”                                    study in New York City                                                   lar area with students
     New York exudes a certain familiarity,             “are able to have one of the greatest cultural    since New York University is located in this
even for first-time visitors,                                              experiences of their lives”.   neighbourhood and there are many great
owing to its celebrity status                                              She adds, “Not only are        deals [to be had], from food and drinks to
around the world. The                                                      there many great museums       clothes,” says Ro. She continues, “East
Statue of Liberty, the                                                     and events that students       Village is known as a very diverse and
USA’s famous symbol for                                                    can take advantage of, but     ‘funky’ area where there are tattoo shops
freedom, looks out over                                                    there is such a great mix of   and stores that sell unusual clothing and
Hudson Bay, with rows of                                                   people and cuisine from all    records. Soho is also very popular with its
                                  Rockefeller Center Skating
skyscrapers standing on           Rink                                     around the world.”             trendy galleries, stores and restaurants.”
land like a dense concrete        The ice rink first opened on                    Having such a strong        Another popular spot is Central Park.
                                  Christmas Day in 1936 and has
forest; yellow taxis weave        become a popular attraction with         reputation for the arts        “Central Park is always a centre of activity
their way through the             New Yorkers and tourists in winter.      means that many English        for exercising or escaping the traffic,” says
                                  The rink can hold 150 people.
traffic, while street per-                                                 language students in New       Harrison, adding that the city’s museums are

38                                                                                                                       Language Travel Magazine, October 2003
                                              An aerial view of
                                              Manhattan’s famous
                                              skyline (main picture)

                                                                             Royal Pavilion
                                                                             Macy’s Thanksgiving Day
                                                                             The famous parade has been
                                              tract students wanting to      taking place since the 1920s and
                                                                                                                   sampling some of the 20
                                              take part in American          is now broadcast on TV. European      different types of oysters at
                                                                             immigrants began the tradition,
                                              sporting culture. “Our         borrowing zoo animals at one time!
                                                                                                                   the famous Oyster Bar
                                              Japanese students are                                                restaurant.
                                              thrilled to have the chance to see Hideki              As New York is a huge city with a popu-
                                              Matsui, the Japanese baseball star, play with     lation of 18 million, some students may find
                                              the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium,”          it hard to integrate with New Yorkers.
another attraction. “You can never finish     says Rennert.                                     Rennert admits, “In a recent survey [of]
visiting the Museum Mile on 5th Avenue,            And when hunger calls, you are never         foreign students through the city, [students]
[which includes] the Metropolitan Museum,     far from food – from street vendors selling       indicated that it was very difficult to meet

                                                                                                                                                   PHOTOGRAPHS: NYC & COMPANY
The Frich Collection and the Guggenheim.”     hot dogs and doughnuts to restaurants, cafés      and connect with New Yorkers. “But he adds
    Sports activities are also available      and bars offering all sorts of food from          that even “New Yorkers often find it difficult
throughout the city. For those students who   around the world. Rennert mentions eating         to meet and mix with one another”.
like to exert themselves, biking and online   “a delicious dim sum brunch in Chinatown               Harrison believes students who choose
skating are popular in Central Park, while    on the weekend followed by a walk around          to study in New York have to be quite brave.
the New York Yankees Baseball games at-       Soho on the hunt for shopping bargains” or        “[New York] is not always a place where

Language Travel Magazine, October 2003                                                                                                        39
Agent viewpoint
“New York City is one of the most popular cities in     “[In 2002 at our agency], New York was the second     “New York is one of our most popular destinations
the USA, even though people feel that it has            most popular city in the USA, [after] Los Angeles.    together with Boston and San Diego. New York
become a more dangerous [place to study] due to         However, we think New York is one of the most         speaks for itself, combining culture, shows,
September 11, 2001 and the Iraq war. Among my           exciting cities in the world and some people          shopping and beauty. Students like to visit
clients, a majority still choose NYC. Students          believe they can make their dreams come true          museums, go shopping and take part in sports
usually enjoy Broadway musical performances and         there. In addition, the public transport system is    activities in Central Park. New York is the perfect
watch a baseball game at the Yankees Stadium            one of the best in the USA. Our students like going   combination of being a great metropolis, one of the
and visit the various museums and art galleries in      to museums, watching musicals, drama, sports          most important in the world, with excellent schools.
their free time. Especially during the holidays, they   games and shopping. There are so many attractive      There is still some fear of a new terrorist attack
take a trip to nearby cities like Boston, Buffalo or    activities in New York that students have to [work    despite the fact that there is a feeling that it’s the
even some Canadian cities.”                             hard to] concentrate on their studies.”               most protected place in the USA.”
Wonju Kim, Sungmoon Study Corp, Korea                   Yumiko Fukuda, ICS, Japan                             Andrea Pinotti, Central de Intercambio, Brazil

those who don’t speak English get special               in the classroom. “New York is one of the               Although New Yorkers need no excuse
consideration. They have to dive in and                 most communicative cities in the world so           to party, there are numerous memorable
communicate,” she says, adding, “New York               you can learn English outside the classroom         events throughout the year, such as the
is also encouraging for students in that no             – just be sure to open your eyes and ears to        lighting of the Christmas tree at the
one is going to gasp and look around if you             take in and participate,”                                              Rockefeller Center, Time
make a mistake.”                                        she says. “New Yorkers’                                                Square on New Year’s Eve,
     And Ro is keen to stress that New                  subway conversations are                                               or the colourful proces-
Yorkers are happy to help students. “New                often at full volume and                                               sions of the Mermaid
Yorkers are very friendly and willing to help           can be very interesting –                                              Parade, the Macy’s
tourists or new students by giving them                 better than the movies!”                                               Thanksgiving Day parade
directions or helping them in other ways.                    Sonia Martin of Zoni                                              and the Halloween Parade.
                                                                                        Yankee Stadium, Bronx
Many people in stores will also give stu-               Language Centers agrees.        Said to be one of the most famous            All in all, as
dents advice on where to go for fun, food               “You never know what            baseball stadiums in the world, the    Harrison concludes, a
                                                                                        Yankee Stadium was built on the
and drink while they are in New York City.”             strange thing you may           site of a Bronx lumberyard just        language student in New
     Harrison says the richness of New York             bump into, even on a regu-      across the Harlem River from the       York will have a “mind-
                                                                                        original Yankees home
life is an ideal backdrop to learning English           lar day on the subway.”                                                expanding experience”.

40                                                                                                                             Language Travel Magazine, October 2003

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