A Community that Understands Diversity and Differences

Lisa Brighenti’s personal story is one of the reasons she decided to study at NYU Abu Dhabi.

Born to an Italian mother and a Senegalise father, 18-year old Lisa Brighenti had spent half her life in Italy and the later half in Senegal. Her personal story is one of the reasons she had picked to study at NYU Abu Dhabi, feeling her mixed background and experiences would be celebrated at the diverse campus. 

“I felt that a community as diverse as NYUAD would make me feel welcome, and that’s what I needed in my life,” Brighenti said. “I don’t really have a place I call home… I’m just kind of a mix of everything.”

However, Brighenti’s journey to NYUAD wasn’t straightforward. At one point, she even stopped her application process. While researching colleges, Brighenti had read that the acceptance rate to NYUAD was extremely low. Disheartened, Brighenti called her counsellor to share the decision that she was going to stop pursuing the application as she wouldn’t be able to take the disappointment in not ending up in her top choice university. 

Fortunately with Brighenti’s counsellor encouragement, Brighenti picked up her application again.

I was so passionate about the school that I really invested myself one hundred percent into it, looking into different resources and webinars available (to improve my application).

Lisa Brighenti, NYUAD Class of 2025

“It was pretty stressful as I really did not think that I was going to make it,” she added. 

Reflecting on her successful application, Brighenti encourages upcoming students to apply and advises them to not be intimidated by the acceptance rate. “Take the chance,” the now NYUAD Class of 2025 student said. 

Having looked up “every single YouTube video that was ever made about NYU Abu Dhabi” during her application process, Brighenti looks forward to roaming the campus to see it for herself in person. 

Brighenti would also like to bring a different view of African countries to the NYUAD community. Brighenti wants to showcase the entirety of Africa, its diversity, its development, and its possibilities. She wants to encourage NYUAD students to get involved in coming up with ideas and community projects that can complement with resources currently available and further propel the development of African countries. “That’s really my goal in life,” Brighenti said.