Diary of an Exchange Student – New York City (Part 1)

I do not want to sugar coat these blogs, hence my attempt to be open an honest about my experiences. In my opinion travelling alone is lonely. There is no one next to you to talk to, and share the amazing memories you are discovering:

  • Whether the discussions range from the 34 degree celcius heat in the city, and that you’re sweating from every orafus possible – I definitely do NOT do this…
  • Or that you’re still amazed at the amount of people possible in one tiny city

You cannot compare travelling alone in the USA underage, than with a travel companion.

Nonetheless, New York City as the world knows is the city that never sleeps; and, what comes with the city that never sleeps? That’s right; an exuberant amount of touristy things to do.

To make things easy and understandable for those who do not know of my travels, I flew straight into NYC from Sydney. How would I put this lightly? As a controllable emotional wreck, 16,000 kilometres away from home, unsure of what I was doing arriving so early before school started. I stayed in NYC for a week at the beginning of my travels, and then again just over a week for the last part before heading to “college”.

What I can say about travelling alone is that museums become your friends. I did not go to as many as I should considering my time in the city. However I did visit the MET, MOMA, Natural History Museum, The Jewish Museum, The Whitney, Cooper Hewitt only to name a few. Of course I did all the classic tourist-y sites as well, to name a few: Top of the Rock, Times Square, Central Park and the John Lennon Memorial, Soho, Chelsea High Line, Flatiron building, Smorgasburg and the Brooklyn Bridge, F.R.I.E.N.D.S. apartment, and of course the most important of them all – indulging in a juicy, and long awaited Shake Shack burger.

Nonetheless, I am TRULY hyping up this travelling alone thing. I have stayed with the most amazing, welcoming, and hospitable families and friends here in NYC from my time when I went to school in year 10. Not many people can come to a country across the other side of the world and have an abundance of family and friends here to look after you. I went to a few museums with friends (real ones ;)), lounged on the Great Lawn in Central Park and played Frisbee, and got shown around multiple places, to the point where I could almost consider myself a New Yorker.

I would also like to point out that my knowledge of NYC from five years ago to now have increased by 110%. Something I am very proud of, and now I can easily manage to navigate not only the subway system, but also the crosstown buses, Amtrack and NJ transit, and most of all knowing which way is north and south when you exit a subway station.

This blog is now jumbled up because I have missed writing about the entirety of my three weeks of travelling in between – however, it was an incredible experience, I regret nothing and I will get around to telling those travels in great detail. For now, bear with me, as I finish writing this post on my Amtrak train from NYC – Maryland.

Follow me on the rest of my journey, as I start a new chapter in my USA travels. The real exchange student diaries begin from here in. And again, I can only presume I’ll be busy with exchange “stuff” and the fun things like socialising with others around the world – so sorry in advance if these posts are late.


Author: Chana Perlgut

Studying Bachelor of Media (PR and Advertising) at UNSW, Australia

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