One of the most beautiful sights at NYU Abu Dhabi is a dorm room decorated by people from two or three different countries. It's common to see walls and windows covered with multiple flags and religious symbols, and the cupboards stocked with an assortment of mysterious ethnic foods. Residence is a place where cultures are intertwined and the unexpected happens.
NYUAD's Class of 2019 has students from more than 100 countries who speak 85 different languages. This kind of diversity opens doors and new ways of thinking. You start to see things from a range of perspectives.
One of the most exciting aspects of becoming a freshman in college is the process of choosing your roommates. Many NYUAD students choose people they spent Candidate Weekend bonding with, while others decide to room with those who come from their own countries, choosing comfort and familiarity over the risk of the culturally unknown. These choices help foster the diversity we have on campus. It's perfectly normal to find people who live halfway across the world from each other sharing a room.
For my first year, I chose diversity yet at the same time to have a reminder of home and my own culture and traditions. My roommates are from India, Australia and my hometown: Amman, Jordan.
At first it was exciting to live with people with completely different backgrounds, religions and lifestyles than my own. I wanted to learn more about the world and thought my living situation could provide that experience for me. We decorated the room together, went shopping together and had many loud conversations that ended in even louder laughter. Yet, at the same time, each one of us was forming their own friend group outside the dorm. I can’t say we were the best of friends from the very beginning, but the room felt comfortable, cozy and inviting.