Big, bigger, huge!
New York is big, bigger, huge! When I arrived I was overwhelmed, although it was rather.. quiet and nice too. Anyway that was at the pretty meatpacking district where I arrived. But go downtown to the Financial District and near Fifth Avenue and Times Square, and the sky is the limit, and that is how I have felt since I arrived.
I am Maurit Kroon and I just graduated in Financial Economics. For my second studies, Dutch Law, I wanted to study abroad for a while because I believe it is rather crucial to know something about international matters in law, especially US law. Besides, my whole life I have wanted to go to New York, in the USA, the land of dreams, hope, and unlimited possibilities, despite the Bush presidency and the financial crisis. I still wanted to go to this appealing country and signed up for an exchange at Hofstra University, Long Island at the edge of New York City. And now the country has hope again, not only because I arrived, but also because of Barak Obama, who really is a hero here. He is everywhere. There is an unlimited amount of Obama T-shirts, baseball caps, coffee mugs, you name it. Yet there is also the financial crisis and terrified professors and stickers on university buildings that say ‘this economy sucks’.
Because I am a student Financial Law, I mainly chose finance-related courses. I hear much about the crisis; it is really alive here. The fact that such a thing could happen makes many professors and students anxious. The courses are therefore focused on actuality and all students read the Financial Times every day (which is freely available). Mostly topics are discussed that are useful in practice. Because of the ranking and grading system, all students want to be the number one in their class and now even more, which leads to interesting sights like a full library even during the first school week! But although we have a crisis, still many students have and drive their cars. A large part of the campus is actually parking space. Also interesting, all students use their laptops in class and I even attended a class via video conference. So even though the US economy has gotten a blow, it is still innovative and leading in many other ways. Therefore I am glad to be here and study in such an inspiring environment! Really a dream has come true.