New York University: A Student Interview

The tutors behind Varsity Tutors are not just here to teach – they’re sharing their college experiences as well. Phil holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Film & Television from New York University. He graduated in 2014 and currently tutors in Los Angeles. He specializes in a number of subject areas, including History tutoring, Literature tutoring, ACT prep tutoring, and more. Check out his review of New York University:

VT: Describe the campus setting and transportation options. How urban or rural is the campus? Did you feel safe on campus? Are there buses or do you need a car/bike?

Phil: New York University features an open campus in New York City’s Greenwich Village neighborhood, centered around Washington Square Park. Greenwich Village is a neighborhood with a rich history, and it is also consistently ranked as one of the safest neighborhoods in all five boroughs of the city. New York University has free buses and trolleys that shuttle students from residence halls to the heart of campus, but there is also the amazing MTA subway system at your disposal. You definitely do not need a car or a bike.

VT: How available are the professors, academic advisers, and teaching assistants?

Phil: Very available! Professors are required to have at least one block of office hours a week, and advisers and teaching assistants often have them several times a week. There were times when my schedule did not match up well with a professor, and he or she was happy to meet me at another time that worked with my schedule.

VT: How would you describe the dorm life – rooms, dining options, location, socialization opportunities with other students?

Phil: The residence halls at New York University are fantastic. Not only are they the nicest, most convenient rooms you will ever have as long as you live in New York, but each floor has an amazing Resident Assistant. The Resident Assistants plan fun outings in the city—think Broadway shows, museum trips, and picnics—and, especially during your freshman year, your floor becomes your family away from home. In terms of dining, New York University has a huge variety of options, and almost every freshman residence hall as a dining hall in the building.

VT: Which majors/programs are best represented and supported? What did you study and why? Did the university do a good job supporting your particular area of study?

Phil: One perk of being at a school as large as New York University is that every program is well represented. Although we may be known for our Business, Drama, and Film majors (as well as our pre-medical track), New York University really allows its students to pursue their interests in any field to the furthest extent possible. New York University even offers students the opportunity to design their own major in the Gallatin School of Individualized Study!

VT: How easy or difficult was it for you to meet people and make friends as a freshman? Does Greek life play a significant role in the campus social life?

Phil: Given New York University’s unique campus design, the experience of making friends and the social scene are a bit different from what you might imagine college to be. While we do have Greek life, we do not have a Fraternity/Sorority Row. Students make friends in our 450+ clubs, in the residence halls, and in classes. They explore the city—whether by experiencing amazing food or checking out an art gallery—on a free night.

VT: How helpful is the Career Center and other student support services? Do many reputable companies recruit on campus? 

Phil: Our Career Center, Wasserman, is absolutely incredible. They have over 35,000 job postings that include full-time jobs for graduates, and part-time jobs and internships for students. Not only do they have these job listings, they also help you get the job with free resume workshops, mock interviews, job fairs, and even mock dinner interviews.

VT: How are the various study areas such as libraries, the student union, and dorm lounges? Are they over-crowded, easily available, spacious?

Phil: Every student at New York University has his or her own favorite study nook. With so many campus buildings, it is easy to find a study space—even during midterms. Our Bobst Library, which has millions of volumes, is the best place to study on campus, especially with its panoramic views of the New York skyline.

VT: Describe the surrounding town. What kinds of outside establishments / things to do are there that make it fun, boring, or somewhere in between? To what extent do students go to the downtown area of the city versus staying near campus? 

Phil: If you are interested in New York University, you are obviously excited about the idea of living in the biggest city in the country! There is so much to do every single minute of every single day. That is incredibly exciting, and New York University endeavors to incorporate the city into its classes: you will go to The Metropolitan Museum of Art for assignments, top-level executives who live in the city will stop by for guest lectures, and your professors will encourage you to explore all that New York has to offer.

VT: How big or small is the student body? Were you generally pleased or displeased with the typical class sizes?

Phil: New York University has about 20,000 undergraduates. That said, the university works hard to make sure you receive individual attention regardless of that statistic. The average class size is just under 30 students, but as a junior or senior taking seminar-level courses, most classes will have 12-16 students. I once even had a class of eight students.

VT: Describe one memorable experience with a professor and/or class. Perhaps one you loved the most or one you regret the most.

Phil: It is easy to focus on how amazing a backdrop New York City is for a college student, but New York University’s study abroad opportunities are also phenomenal. You have 13 sites to choose between—from Paris to Shanghai to Sydney to Abu Dhabi—and you can spend up to four semesters abroad. I studied in London for a semester, where I took a television training course that transitioned into a full-time internship with the BBC. It truly made my study abroad experience all the more rich. Not only was I experiencing one of the world’s most amazing cities, but I was also engrossed in the culture as I worked alongside native Londoners and took intensive coursework.

Check out Phil’s tutoring profile.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Varsity Tutors.