First Week Down

And so ends the longest winter break of my life!

After my last exam in early December, I had over a month to prepare for my exchange. And despite both the polar vortex and the constant urge to drop everything and drive to the nearest ski slope, I was in pretty good shape by departure time. Because of this, I was only ‘very overwhelmed’ when I first got into the city, rather than downright flabbergasted! With incredibly favourable weather, and streets filled with iconic landmarks and hidden ‘nook-and-cranny secrets’ alike, it was hard to know where to start. I managed to see a nice chunk of what midtown New York has to offer:

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a nice (staged) photo at the ny public library

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Good Morning New York City!

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After a few days of touristy things, I headed over to Morningside Heights, to move into my dorm (‘res’) and register for New Student Orientation. Needless to say, it was a pretty exciting and busy day:

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at the Glass Menagerie

The next few days were stacked with administrative and academic sessions, with little free time during the day. But this was easily offset by the organized trips to Loews Theatre and Broadway. I’ve seen three Broadway shows so far – The Glass Menagerie (starring Zachary “Admiral Spock” Quinto), Once and Avenue Q. I know Toronto theatre isn’t quite as notable as Broadway, but seeing these productions made me interested in viewing Toronto productions more habitually too

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First thing I saw walking onto campus – Low Library


Today was the first week of classes. During this period almost every student at Columbia is ‘shopping around’ for courses, and will say so unashamedly when introducing him or herself to the room: “Hi I’m ____ and I’m shopping this course.” I’m shopping around as well, and should have a much better idea of the schedule. So far classes have been great, but I’m anticipating a lot more reading than expected


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There are many more things to talk about already, but I’ll keep this post short and sweet, ending with one of my favourite pictures so far – a few of us visiting students in Times Square. Until next time! – Sam

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