From the top of ‘The Rock’ the Big Apple can look more like the Little Apple.
On the observation deck of the 70-floor, 872-foot-tall Rockefeller Center, final-year students from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) enjoyed a stunning bird’s eye view of New York and its iconic skyline.
It also gave them a chance to reflect on a week of opportunities offered through the university’s #DMUglobal international experience programme, including academic and cultural trips as well as a day at the UN’s headquarters spearheading the #JoinTogether campaign, a global initiative to offer worldwide support to refugees.
Samantha Tidbury, studying Sociology, said she’d enjoyed a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’ while feeling that she had also made a real difference: “We’ve helped at a church which feeds more than 1,000 homeless people a day. We made all the food and served it to them as well, so it was really good to be a part of that. We also went to a place called Sanctuary For Families, which is where women who have been abused can go with their children to find a safe space.”
Marketing student Jemma Adams said: “We’ve been really busy this week, trying to pack in as much as we can. It’s New York – there are so many things you can do. We’ve been to Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge, the Empire State Building and we’re planning on seeing the Statue of Liberty.
“As an advertising student, it’s been really interesting to look at life from another country’s perspective. Obviously it’s a different audience they’re trying to target and it’s been really useful academically as well as culturally. I’ve been able to experience all these things in my final year - it’s a great way to finish my time at DMU before starting my working life.”
Mitesh Mistry, studying Marketing, had also visited a variety of city landmarks while ‘soaking up’ New York life and taking part in a number of academic trips. He said: “#DMUglobal is such a great scheme - we get to have international experiences to help with our academic studies and improve our employability.”
Saadia Ahmed, studying Education Studies, said: “I basically spent the whole time helping out with DMU Square Mile and it’s been really good – I learned a lot more than I thought I would. I want to be a teacher and it was really beneficial to volunteer with so many different people in so many different places. This is my first #DMUglobal trip and I wish I’d taken one in first or second year because it’s such a good experience.”
She wasn’t alone in regretting not being away with #DMUglobal before. Ashley Fontaine, a Business and Marketing student, said: “I’ve really enjoyed visiting the city and embracing the New York culture. It’s been amazing and just going to Times Square has given me a whole new perspective on my advertising studies. #DMUglobal is fantastic - I’m gutted I didn’t do it sooner and waited until third year.”
Pharmacy student Marcelyn Ngirazi took part in the week’s Poverty in New York itinerary and said it had been invaluable to compare the similarities and differences between healthcare in America and the UK. “We served food in a homeless shelter and also spoke to people with HIV,” she said
“It was great to be able to apply what I’ve been learning in modules back home into practice here and see how it actually affects patients.
“It’s also been nice to see New York as I’ve never been before. I wish I’d done more #DMUglobal trips. This is my first one and I’ve finished my degree – I’m just hoping I can go on some more through the DMU Alumni programme.”
Charles Bloch, studying Digital Marketing and Social Media, joked that #DMUglobal is not just beneficial academically and culturally, there are hidden health benefits: “This week we’ve been all around New York. We’ve covered a lot of ground, trying to do as much as possible – I’ve done about 23,000 steps a day! I’m actually a big advocate of #DMUglobal now. Before I’d never been on a trip and this has really opened my eyes to what an amazing experience it is.”
Posted on Monday 11th June 2018