Karol Tolpa chanced upon NYU Abu Dhabi’s Master of Science in Economics two weeks before the admissions application deadline. Despite the approaching deadline, Tolpa decided to go ahead and apply anyway.
As an economist by training, Karol Tolpa knows the importance of diversity to broaden minds and understand different ways of thinking up solutions to current social issues. While researching, NYU Abu Dhabi’s community of students, faculty, and staff was a prominent example of the type of diversity he wanted.
Invitation for Interview
When Tolpa received the invitation for an interview, he spent hours talking with his family and friends asking for advice while he contemplated the offer. Tolpa believes when an unexpected option presents itself —like the serendipitous discovery of NYUAD while surfing the internet— he needs to go for it.
The NYU Abu Dhabi Experience
The Polish graduate student felt welcomed from the very beginning. “I have never met a community that is so warm, welcoming, and helpful,” Tolpa said. Citizens and residents of the UAE became his friends and were eager to show Tolpa around to help him adapt to his new culture and surroundings quickly.
Academically, Tolpa has never learned so much in the field of economics in such a short time. The intensive one-year program is challenging: classes start from early morning till the afternoon, with students spending their evenings and weekends preparing for recitations and solving problem sets assigned.
Time management and perseverance are extremely important, and one of the things that kept Tolpa going was the support from his classmates. “Each one of us is there for the other and if anyone feels low, we are there to pick them up and keep going,” Tolpa explained.
The professors are well known in their fields and are very passionate and knowledgeable. Understanding the nature and demands of this program, Kolpa said that the professors made a point to be available to answer questions and troubleshoot. “Professor of Economics Christian Haefke stayed with us till late hours in the evenings answering the questions we had before the exams. This all is very, very encouraging, even during demanding times in the semester,” Tolpa said.
Living and Studying on Campus
Tolpa decided to live on campus for the ease and convenience of commuting to classes. Be it a late school night or an early lecture in the morning, Tolpa is never more than a few minutes away from where he needed to be next. “Living on campus also keeps me in contact with other students and the very special NYUAD community… in addition, the campus feels extremely safe and I wouldn't trade living here for anything else,” Tolpa added.
The wide range of resources he can use to help with his study is another advantage to living on campus. Besides being able to borrow a laptop if he needed one, almost any book he needs for his coursework is also readily available from the library. Study spaces, from common working areas to silent study rooms, are peppered around campus and make it conducive when he wants to work outside of his living space.
Tolpa knows that there are still some ways for the program to stand out since the NYUAD MSc Economics is relatively new. But he has no regrets in joining the program. “I believe it was the best decision I (had) made,” Tolpa said.