New York City offers a wonderful opportunity to enjoy sport in one of the most dynamic cities in the United States. As the city is giant, many teams play in the Big Apple: 2 for basketball (Knicks and Nets), 2 for ice hockey (Rangers and Islanders), 2 for baseball (Yankees and Mets), 2 for soccer (NYC FC and NY Red bull) and 2 for Football (Giants and Jets). Seasons begin at different times all over the year to offer America always at least one sport to watch, and almost each evening TV channels show games. As you arrive in January for the Transcontinental Track, you’ll only have the basketball and ice hockey seasons (there is football too, but it can be quite hard to become a supporter as the Super bowl takes place early-February).
$3,55 was the bill we paid when we first went to the local Supermarket. We purchased one bottle of water and one bottle of Coca-Cola. Not very interesting, is it? Not very interesting except the fact we paid $1,68 for one bottle and $1,87 for the other one. And you know what? It is not a myth! 1L of the average brand of water is more expensive than 2L of Coca-Cola.
Teaching methods in the United States are quite different from those used in France. Being aware of these differences may allow French students to feel less confused during their first few weeks at Columbia University. The work requested, the amount of reading, the assessment method, the class participation, the relationship with the teachers, the purchase of books … All these elements must be taken into account when studying in the United States!
The semester really starts in the aftermath of the course selection process – during the first two weeks of September. To choose a course for the rest of the semester, it is essential to consult the syllabus of the course. At Columbia, these syllabi are very detailed: they contain the topics as well as the work required for each session of the semester, the list of resources to consult or buy as well as the evaluation method. While the first two sessions do not necessarily reflect the rest of the semester, carefully reading the syllabus of a course before choosing it allows you to evaluate the interest for the topics covered, the amount of work requested and the deadlines during the semester. Each professor and course taught at Columbia are different but shares some common characteristics, closely related to American teaching methods.
Columbia University has the advantage of being located in the famous New-York City. It is true that the Big Apple offers you so many things to do that you can already feel very busy. However, you will also be surprised by the number of events and activities you can do on the campus of Columbia University alone. Here are a few examples of what you can do:
A calendar full of events:
Columbia University is a vibrant and dynamic place where all kinds of events are held. If you are a food lover, you will find some free food fairs during the semester. If you like music, you can go to the numerous performances done or organized by some Columbia’s clubs: dance, choirs, piano recital, and so forth. If you are a cinema lover, you will be able to watch open-air movies with la Maison Française, the French club at Columbia University.
If you are more into conferences, you will also be amazed by the quantity and quality of lectures offered to the students on the campus. You will be able to attend conferences hold by prestigious guests and leading figures. The fields and topics tackled in those conferences are broad: from science to philosophy, including also politics and geopolitics of course. For the latter, you will have plenty of opportunities to hear heads of state and other international personalities talking on subjects such a protectionism, the world economy and so forth. As we are here to study geopolitics, it is definitely a marvelous opportunity to learn more. This year, for instance, we get the chance to see the President of the World Bank, the President of Colombia, the President of the Swiss Confederation, the Vice President of the EU Commission, just to name a few.
The Chinese New Year, Chinatown, New York City.
The Chinese New Year occurred on Friday, the 16th of February. We, Camille Paranque and Erwan Delanne, two members of the New York transcontinental track of GEM will tell you about our amazing experience.
We went to Chinatown in the very beginning of the afternoon. Attracted by the crowd and the music, we first naturally joined a sports field decorated for the occasion. Some stands proposed playful approaches of the Chinese culture. You could, for instance, get something to bring back to home like a nice red paper with your name written in Chinese, drink tasty drinks consumed in China or buy some souvenirs, that were more touristic than traditional. A concert of Chinese music accompanied the event, and the huge field was covered in confetti. We already had compassion for cleaning people who had to remove them the next day.