Semester abroad: “The time I spent in New York was just beyond words”

Lena spent a semester abroad at Hochschule Fresenius’ partner Pace University in New York City. Read on to learn about her experiences – and why she cannot say goodbye to the Big Apple, not yet.

Over the past few months, I spent my semester abroad in New York and went to Pace University with a major in International Management. During this time, I have gained a lot of academic knowledge by enrolling in various university classes. But also living in New York has taught me a lot about life in general. However, it was a unique challenge and experience to move to America initially because I had never lived alone in Germany before. So it was quite an adventure to be responsible for myself for the first time and be entirely on my own.


The university in New York is completely different from our university in Germany. Therefore, at the beginning of the semester, I had to get used to the regular homework and assignments because I was not used to this in Germany. However, I managed to get used to this concept fast, and it was a pleasant experience to see how a university works in other countries. Still, I learned how to write solid papers and give engaging presentations about the lectures and projects I took here in New York. I won a lot more confidence while speaking in front of other people and presenting information. All the practicing and repeating of doing presentations in class helped me to get more confidence in doing so. Overall it was exciting to see how the university in America works, and having teachers from all over the world was interesting because it felt like they always had to tell us something more and could talk to us about their international experiences, which made their classes even more interesting.


In addition to our time at university, during which we learned a lot, we also had a good time away from the classroom. The time I spent in New York was just beyond words and gave me a lot of joy. We got to know New York in a very special way. Due to the length of our stay, we could experience New York not just from the perspective of tourists but also from that of the residents and college students. I got to know many places and cute cafes I would never have found during a two-week vacation in New York. I’m grateful for all these opportunities the semester abroad gave me. I am incredibly thankful for the unique experience I made and the fantastic people I met and wonderful new friends I made. We were quite close throughout our time in New York, and in my opinion, this is why these friendships are so special. I sincerely hope these friendships last even after our time in New York.

From the first day on, I realized that New York is a very special city; with all those vast buildings and city lights, it always gives you something new to discover. Even now, after spending a few months in this city, I always find new things in each corner of the town. Every time I walk past the Empire or see the skyline, I am still baffled to be able to call this city my home.


In addition, New York life and the university here have taught me much academically and about life and allowed me to grow as a person. Because I’ll also be spending the following semester in New York, my time here is still far from over. I am beyond thankful to be able to spend the next semester also here in New York and can’t wait to see how New York will be like in the fall and winter.