Posts Tagged ‘Travel’

(Cultural) Spaces

Friday, July 22nd, 2022

One of the greatest takeaways from my time in college has been my understanding of cultural literacy. Knowledge and curiosity about other cultures has fundamentally altered the attitude and actions I take when interacting with the people around me. 

When I first moved to Abu Dhabi for my freshman year of college, I held a lot of preconceived notions about what living in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) might be like. Prior to my departure, many of my friends and family worried about whether the country would be safe or accepting of foreigners like me. At that point, I had done a bit of research on the country, so I was relatively confident that I would adjust well, but it was only after my arrival that I understood the importance of cultural acceptance and open-mindedness. As someone who had never been in the region before, I found cultural expectations and religious considerations to be confusing at times, especially because unlike my home country, religion plays a major role in the UAE. During my orientation we learned about some general customs and norms within the country, including local religious holidays and practices, differences in the work week (Sundays to Thursdays!), and even ways to show respect for the culture in our public presence. In one of our first orientation seminars, we engaged in discussions about ideas of religion, secularity, and government. The orientation committee told us about religious and cultural taboos, and asked us, very politely, to refrain from wearing anything overtly revealing in public spaces. While most of these considerations were not strictly enforced or punishable, they reminded me to be mindful of the different customs of a foreign place, and this reminder became very important as I began to adjust to my new environment. 

On my first visit to a mosque, I wore skinny jeans and a t-shirt, but was told at the entrance that such clothing would not be appropriate. The staff directed me to a changing room where I put on an abaya, a full length robe often worn by Muslim women in the UAE, that came with an attached hood as a replacement for a sheila, which is a headscarf worn to cover a woman’s hair. Quite frankly, I thought I looked ridiculous, but my appearance was much less important than actually visiting the mosque in the grand scheme of things, so I put on the garment and went inside to admire the grand architecture and detail put into every space. I came to understand that abiding by dress codes or other policies wasn’t so much an issue of obeying rules, but a way to pay proper respect to a sacred space. 

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque located in Abu Dhabi

Over time, experiences like this have revealed the importance of being open and considerate about the needs of others, and highlighted that the major comfort and due respect of others far outweigh actions that may cause minimal inconvenience to myself. Our student body is composed of people from various cultures and backgrounds, and it rapidly became apparent that I couldn’t simply apply my previous experiences or “common sense” to others because they might interpret situations very differently. At one point, I asked a friend of mine what wearing a hijab meant to her, and I learned that she believed the practice to be a show of faith and religious empowerment rather than the restriction some forms of media often make it out to be. I learned to respect their identities beyond basic courtesy, and paying attention to these cultural differences became a priority from then on.  

When I began to travel more often, these experiences with cultural literacy helped me stay mindful and open to the traditions and practices in various countries, and ensured that I learned as much as I could during my temporary stays. It became essential that I visit at least one museum or gallery in each place that I explored, whether that be an art exhibition, or historical center. I’ve found that these institutions are a great avenue for learning about the local history, as well as the intersections between the locale and other sites, and I’ve often delighted in seeing signs and symbols of my own background represented abroad. Once I grew the confidence to navigate new environments with relative ease, I tried visiting these places and even exploring the cities on my own, and I’ve found these excursions to be periods of great reflection. 

Visiting these institutes or seeing popular historical sites and landmarks often makes me think about aspects of humanity that seem to remain unchanged despite temporal and geographic differences. There is an appreciation and respect for the same subjects in art through every country and period regardless of the style or medium used, just as there are shared documentations of conflict and warfare locked in the glass display cases of every historical museum. There are mementos of the greatest achievements, just as there are relics of the periods of deepest suffering. 

Being alone in a foreign place feels like zooming out of my own head and realizing how big the world is around me. It gives me time to take everything in quietly, without feeling the need to force conversation or constantly engage with others, and it has pushed me to renegotiate my comfort zone and my relationship with myself. Learning to be alone in a foreign place has taught me to take the time to appreciate differences in background and ways of living, while taking comfort in the moments or gestures that echo the familiarity of home. Being alone in a foreign place means immersing myself in a cultural space and allowing myself to take in the atmosphere, to learn about the backgrounds of others, and to grow into an individual more considerate and aware of the people around me. 


Use this student discount for a taste of another culture with some Egyptian Street food!


By: Fiona Lin

Fiona Lin is a rising senior at New York University’s Abu Dhabi Campus pursuing a double major in Literature and Creative Writing and Art and Art History. She enjoys traveling, drinking tea, and learning new languages. In her free time, you can find her reading web novels or playing video games.


For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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Seeing Sights

Friday, July 15th, 2022

As I began my journey towards letting go of perfectionism and taking things one step at a time, I started wondering how I could find ways to really enjoy the process and take advantage of the resources or opportunities that I had. I looked towards the community around me, and found that my university’s diverse student body was a great place to start. My peers came from a variety of cultures and backgrounds and were all more than willing to share their insight and experiences about the places that they’ve been, and I found myself invigorated by their passion. Surrounded by people who were so enthusiastic about exploring the world, I grew curious about other places and cultures as well, and soon took up traveling.

The view outside a plane window has become quite common to me now, but I can’t help but take a photo as a memento every time!

When I first left the comfort of home for an education in Abu Dhabi, I had no idea what I should expect, and I admit I had my biases and misconceptions about the region as well. But living within the city and learning, both through classes and through daily interactions, about the country and culture opened my eyes to a different understanding of a place that I had no familiarity with, and I gradually began to view Abu Dhabi as another, albeit temporary, “home.” It became comforting for me to look out my window and see endless stretches of sand, walk through the city with a cup of karak in hand, and chat with local vendors about their time in the country. Stepping out of my comfort zone meant that I had the chance to witness a culture unlike my own, and within it, I found a beautiful sense of growth. 

I was very lucky that my university takes a very global perspective on education, and opportunities like studying abroad are greatly encouraged within the community. Not only that, my fellow students are all more than passionate about globetrotting, and every break from studies is seen by many as another chance to plan a trip on a budget. Naturally, if I was able, I followed along, eager to witness the many wonders that foreign destinations held in store. I took the chances I had to see monuments of history, such as the Parthenon in Athens or the Panama Canal, and I felt that through these travels, my view of the world expanded little by little. I understood that I had the privilege to see more of the world, and as such I wanted to take advantage of it to learn as much as possible. I wanted to become a more educated and open-minded individual, willing to learn and hear from other perspectives not just because I should, but also because they originate from a background drastically different from my own, and consequently are a source for me to learn from as well. 

Beyond just education and enrichment, I believe that traveling has also taught me a lot of valuable lessons about life and about myself. I’ve learned to be cautious about my surroundings, and I’ve also felt deeply, that despite my perfectionist disposition, things can rapidly spiral out of control, and as such it’s much more important for me to be able to adapt than it is that I have everything planned out to the smallest detail. I have no shortage of travel mishaps that have taught me this, whether it’s sprinting through the airport to catch my flight right as the gate was closing, encountering issues with passports and visas, or being stranded without internet connection in an unfamiliar place. These incidents have tested my patience, my stress management, and my critical thinking time and time again, and I believe I’ve grown all the more resilient for it. Most importantly, I think I’ve gotten problem solving down to a systematic approach: stay calm (and sit down if necessary), take stock of the situation, understand and inquire about any solutions, contact someone for help if the situation allows, and negotiate. I’ve found that more often than not, keeping calm about the situation is the key to resolving it efficiently, because the answers are more often than not simpler than I tend to think, but when panic overrides my system, I miss that understanding completely. 

One other major thing I’ve learned through these mishaps is that people are also kinder than I tend to expect. I have a tendency to be wary about others when I’m in a foreign place, and while that definitely is necessary and important to remember, I’ve also safely resolved a lot of issues with the kindness of others, especially because it’s almost impossible to anticipate everything that might go awry. There have been lovely old ladies who pointed out who to talk to when I was having issues in the airport and helped make sure I made it to my flight, and there have been kind locals who, despite language barriers, drove me to my hotel when I couldn’t find any other way to make it back. 

A handicrafts stall in Panama City – the vendors were really welcoming and helpful despite the language barrier

Traveling can be stressful and nerve-inducing, especially when you tend to overthink and seek control of things like I do, but my trips are amongst the most challenging and rewarding experiences that I’ve had. As I discussed in my previous blog, I found that wanting everything to be “perfect” stopped me from taking a lot of chances, and traveling was perhaps the biggest step I took towards breaking past that fear. I immersed myself in a “risk” and found, despite the dangers that seemed to be lurking, that the world was a much larger and more interesting place than I ever would have imagined. 


Use this student discount for a place to store your belongings when you pack up for your next big trip!


By: Fiona Lin

Fiona Lin is a rising senior at New York University’s Abu Dhabi Campus pursuing a double major in Literature and Creative Writing and Art and Art History. She enjoys traveling, drinking tea, and learning new languages. In her free time, you can find her reading web novels or playing video games.


For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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Chapter 5- An Unexpected Time in London

Tuesday, August 24th, 2021

I had no idea what was in store for me when I initially landed in London. I had done a little research through Google Maps and acquainted myself vaguely with the area that would be my home. I was registered for two English courses and two History courses, the latter of which  really intrigued me because one course included a class trip to Belgium. Besides these details, I had no idea what to expect. 

During orientation, where I was struggling with jet lag and trying to cling on to consciousness, I recall one of the speakers encouraging the students to venture outside of England’s capital. Aside from that one aforementioned class trip, I didn’t think I would be that adventurous.

However, gradually, my travel plans began to grow.

At the beginning of the semester, I signed up for BU sponsored trips. One of them was a day trip to Stonehenge and Bath and the other was a weekend trip to Edinburgh. Then, I learned that one of my English courses included a weekend excursion to the English countryside. When my aunt and uncle from New Jersey and my cousin from Guatemala came to visit me in October, we decided to take the Eurostar to see Paris for two days. Afterwards, I made plans with classmates to travel to a few European cities during the weekends.

View from Edinburgh Castle

I hadn’t expected to travel, but I’m glad I did so because I made so many great memories: taking a boat tour and gliding through the canals of Amsterdam, sitting in the Sistine Chapel and marveling at the ceiling, going to Edinburgh Castle and admiring the view of the city.

You don’t need to travel extensively when studying abroad, but seeing different parts of your host country or visiting nearby regions is something you should keep in mind. It’ll help you understand more about the country you are staying in and allow you the chance to experience new cultures. 

If you are traveling while studying abroad, you don’t need every moment of your trips planned out, but you should have a general idea of what you want to do. Some activities require getting tickets or making reservations, so if you have your heart set on doing something, make sure to do research beforehand. This also applies to food. For example, when I first went to Belgium, I realized that I didn’t know what foods to try, aside from waffles (which I did end up eating a lot of…). If you want to try out food local to the region you’re traveling to, do some research in that area as well! 

Carbonara in Rome

During my weekdays spent in London, I did my best not to stay cooped up in my dorm. I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity of being in a new environment. On days when I planned to work on essays and other homework, I would either go to the London Library or the British Library– my BU program advantageously helped everyone get library cards for both places. I preferred going to the London Library, sitting by a window with the view of a park and working there for a few hours. I fondly remember my walks back to the tube station as the winter season began to approach because it would get dark at around 5 p.m., but holiday lights beautifully illuminated the streets of the city to mark the impending festive season. Therefore, do your best not to stay cooped inside when studying abroad. Spend some time exploring and getting to know more of the place you’re staying in.

Impromptu photoshoot in the atmospheric London Library

I made sure to stay connected with my family in New Jersey as well. It was challenging at first, considering the time difference. When I was free, everyone was busy with work. When they would be free to call, I would either be getting ready for bed or already in bed. So, I ended up speaking to my family a lot less than when I was in Boston. Still, we found time to speak once a week, at the very least, and I called my mom before I went on any trips outside of London, just to let her know that I would be away for the weekend. I texted my family a lot and sent them a ton of pictures, so they knew I was having fun. Though I definitely missed them, it was undoubtedly a relief that I wasn’t as homesick as I feared. I was happily occupied with classes, mundane tasks (like grocery shopping) and making the most of my time in London. The months seemed to fly by. December quickly arrived and I was a little sad to say goodbye to London.

Looking back at my semester abroad, I really have no regrets. Okay, maybe I wish I practiced cooking for myself prior to going to England because, before then, I had never had to make meals for myself every single day, so I was a bit lost in that regard. And perhaps I should have studied the currency a little more, since it got confusing to distinguish all the coins. But aside from those minor things (due to my admitted lack of preparedness), I enjoyed my time in London, ranging from minor activities like eating at Nando’s to doing really touristy things, such as seeing As You Like It at the Globe Theater. 

So, to summarize my study abroad tips:

  • Do research, whether it is about the currency, the language, the food, things to do, etc. 
  • Try not to confine yourself to the comfort of the place/area you are staying in. Explore! Make a bucket list! Try new foods! Don’t be afraid of doing some touristy things! There are museums and such that offer free admission or student discounts!
  • Make time to stay connected with friends and family from back home. And if you are abroad and feeling homesick, here are some helpful tips to help you out: https://www.gooverseas.com/blog/ways-reduce-homesickness-abroad

By: Monica Manzo

Monica Manzo recently completed her undergraduate studies at Boston University where she majored in English and minored in History. Currently, she is planning on applying for some masters programs in publishing. In her free time, she can be found either reading or adding to her pile of unread books.


For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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Sunnyside

Monday, August 9th, 2021

It’s about time I share my weekend habit. Every weekend, I like to explore a new neighborhood of New York City. Besides being an excuse for exercise, I do it because in a city with hundreds of years of history and cultures, walking through each neighborhood provides unique stories to learn from. The buildings, people on the street, street art, the food, parks, places of interest, heck even the placement of trash cans on the sidewalk can share what life was and is in each neighborhood. All walks of life can be found in New York City and I’m fascinated by which places can say what about them.

The neighborhood I visited last weekend was Sunnyside in Queens, a ten minute ride on the 7 train from Grand Central. It’s a diverse spot in an already diverse borough. Here, tall apartment buildings exist alongside homes with garages and a Turkish mosque could be found right next to a Korean preschool. Industry has been pushed next to the railyards, being replaced with playgrounds and bars and restaurants. Tall trees line the sidewalks and children ride on bikes or are pushed in strollers by their parents. It gives a suburban feel to an area not too far away from the urban boom in neighboring Long Island City.

Speaking of suburbs, an interesting spot in this neighborhood is the Sunnyside Gardens Historic District, one of the first planned communities in the nation. It was built in 1928 inspired by an English idea of urban planning called the garden city. With rows of flat bricked brown buildings distinguished by the hedges and shrubbery in front of them or the ivy creeping up the walls, it feels more like walking through the Shire than America. It also has one of two private parks in the entire city which is a big boo but at least the people in the tennis courts there looked like they were having fun. 

When I walk, I get hungry, so I like to stop by a well known spot in the neighborhood to eat. In Sunnyside, a well-known spot was Donovan’s Pub, an Irish themed pub that looked like a medieval cottage inside and had apparently one of the best burgers in Queens. Its reputation did not disappoint as the burger itself tasted good and the bun was crisp. Not too costly on the money side, but if you’re looking to find a cheap place to eat, there are options. Right after leaving the pub, I spotted a place where I could get tacos for two dollars each. Too bad I was full. In the springtime, there is a food festival called Taste of Sunnyside which plays to the neighborhood’s strength in diversity, providing food from Colombian to Italian. Covid threw a wrench into it as it did to everything, so I’m hopeful that it will start again in 2022. 

Overall, Sunnyside was an enjoyable place. It’s a neighborhood full of life and renewal. It had its loud parts from the rumbling of the 7 Train and the Long Island Rail Road and it had its quiet parts in-between where the city would vanish and you could be left to think for yourself. It’s definitely a neighborhood I recommend to walk through and I’ll definitely come back. In the larger context, it’s been another neighborhood down in the many more I have yet to see. Hopefully, I’ll get to them all one weekend at a time.



By: Jared Skoro

Jared Skoro is a junior at NYU Gallatin studying a mix of English, Political Science, and Psychology. In his free time, he enjoys reading, hiking, and exploring a new neighborhood of the city every weekend.

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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New Cities, New Meals: Chapter 2 — Finding Home Through Food

Monday, July 19th, 2021

When moving to London, you need to pack your favorite clothes, an adapter, and as many tortillas as your bag will fit. 

I left Chicago in 2019 to study at New York University, London. I had never crossed the ocean or left the continent, let alone leave the comfort of my mother’s home for more than two days. The thought of living with people I had never met terrified me, but I knew there was one way to bridge the gap between strangers —food. 

If you ever find yourself in London, just know you will hardly find Mexican food that resembles anything found in America. For one thing, the chicken is coated in cumin and cooked with bell peppers in a thick layer of pepper jack cheese —a sad attempt at the already untraditional “fajitas.” The tortillas are always made with flour, and if you ask for corn, you will be given a look of confusion before being told, “I’m sorry, what?” The sour cream is overly thick and tastes of nothing, and the salsa almost always contains random pieces of corn. You will walk away sad, disappointed, and missing home even more. As a word of advice, stick to Indian food instead. 

I could not accept that Mexican food, my food, was nearly impossible to find — so I made my own. Slightly untraditional? Yes. Hard to source? Yes. More expensive than Taco Bell? Yes, but the outcome was all that mattered. Over plates of chicken tacos I made with naan instead of tortillas, yellow rice, and beans that definitely had not been soaked long enough before cooking, the eight girls shoved into a small, university apartment with me spoke about the lives they left across the ocean. Other students in the building, probably enticed by the smell of garlic and freshly chopped cilantro, would knock on our room door, handing me £2 in exchange for a plate piled high with whatever I made that evening. Slowly, the strangers I was so nervous to meet became my new family, and together we marveled at the differences between home and our new lives. It was as though the family dinners I had almost 4,000 miles away followed me to Central London, teaching me to form my own community with those who now surrounded me. 

Korean fried chicken and dumplings from the local food market in London. Better than the Mexican food, and cheap!

After London, and after quarantine, I found myself repeating the cycle of using food as a means of unity in New York. Sitting on the floor of my new East Village apartment with shared bowls of expensive ramen from the restaurant downstairs, my roommates and I again told stories of our mothers’ cooking and spending summers in our grandparents’ homes. These conversations led to open dialogue, then to honest and vulnerable communication, and finally unity and trust — all while shoveling steamed dumplings in soy sauce and chili oil into our mouths. Like the weekly family dinners I had in Chicago, and the £2 meals I cooked for other students to enjoy in London, I formed a small, trusting relationship with my new roommates in the East Village by sharing a meal with them. Whether it’s a few pretzels, a plain bag of potato chips, or just a bite of a bacon, egg, and cheese bagel (the best are from Sunny & Annie’s on 6th St.), sharing food shows others you are willing to share yourself — your time, your stories, the things you enjoy. 

So, the next time you find yourself unaware of how to build a community, whether in your home or a faraway land, simply open up a bag of chips and offer to share — the conversation will start soon enough, maybe over a bowl of Gorin Ramen!


By: Allegra Ruiz

Allegra Ruiz is a junior at New York University and she is from Chicago. She studies English and is minoring in Creative Writing. In her free time, she enjoys journaling, reading books and essay collections, and cooking for her roommates. Currently, she lives quietly in New York. 

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC, from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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The Art of Charcuterie

Tuesday, July 13th, 2021

The wind was always pleasant this time of year in Paris. Early fall and the soon setting sun was turning the grey city pink. The dark river was lit with dancing yellows. Trees were green and orange and the sound of music floated between groups of young Parisians sitting on the quai, laughing, drinking, dancing. A secret I think not many Americans discover while visiting Paris is that the most lovely dinner you can find is on the little stone pathway beside the river: a bottle of wine from a corner shop, a baguette from the boulangerie, a block of cheese, and a handful of apples, grapes, dried sausage. 

Dinner with a view!

We often think of charcuterie as a high class food, the type of fancy appetizer you’d find only at a nice wine bar, artistic and delicious but ultimately too expensive and time-consuming to do on our own. But this absolutely is not true! One of my favorite things to prepare is a charcuterie board. It’s beautiful, built for sharing, and easy to mold to any dietary restrictions or pallet you want. And there are absolutely ways to do it without breaking the bank.

All three of these cheeses are from Trader Joe’s; the herbed cheese at the bottom is especially interesting. And the crackers are gluten-free!

After my year in Paris I was determined to return to the states with an expert knowledge of French cheese. This, it turns out, takes more than a year to acquire. However! I did learn a lot while I was there, and though it isn’t quite the same here, I’ve continued to try new cheeses and expand my knowledge since I’ve been back. And good cheese is not lacking in New York City; Trader Joe’s alone has dozens of options from around the world. You can also try Whole Foods, West Side Market, or–if you’re looking to splurge a bit–The French Cheese Board in SoHo has the best imported French cheese I’ve found. Even on a student budget, they have affordable options (like a goat cheese for only two dollars!). 

The fig jam is always a centerpiece!

Building a good board is as much about the taste as it is about the look. Start with two cheeses then lay out crackers, fruit, veggies, and spreads between them. Some of my go-tos are raspberries, green apples, cucumbers, and fig jam. Try mixing different sweet and savory flavors and go for seasonal ingredients! A handful of mixed nuts is a great filler; in the fall I go for roasted pumpkin seeds and in the winter I candy my own walnuts. I love dried sausage and prosciutto (folded and arranged neatly), but if you’re meat or even dairy-free check out Whole Foods for vegan cheeses and pâté. Try different sauces and dips: jalapeño pepper jelly, honey, whole seed mustard, whatever you want. You really can get creative and incorporate flavors from all sorts of different cuisines. I’m usually inspired by French foods, because it’s what I know and love, but I also have fun trying new ingredients and combinations, and as long as it fits aesthetically onto a little cutting board, I call it charcuterie (though the purists might get mad at me for that one).

Everything on this board is vegan: one soft and one smoked cashew cheese, and a veggie “pâté” from Whole Foods.

When I have friends over for dinner I love starting with a charcuterie board because it welcomes people in. When we’re sharing food from the same plate, we’re close and talking and enjoying our time. Charcuterie boards are also beautiful and your friends will appreciate the effort you put into preparing one. They are also a great way to start a date night. And what a lovely way to treat yourself and those around you with food that looks as good as it tastes. My favorite way to care for others is through delicious and beautiful food, and the charcuterie board is the perfect way to do it. Don’t forget the wine!

I love the combination of a soft cheese (Brillat Savarin) and a hard (Irish cheddar). Paired with truffle sausage, prosciutto, dried mango, greens, and raw honey!

Cora Enterline is a senior at NYU studying law, ethics, and religion. She’s studied and worked in Paris and Tel Aviv, where she loved biking, traveling, dancing, and teaching English. She has a love for foreign languages, sad novels, themed dinner parties, and red wine by candlelight. This summer, follow her blog to learn easy, student-friendly recipes and find inspiration from around the world for your own dinners, picnics, and culinary adventures at home!


For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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At the Dining Table: Chapter 1 – Creating Community and Unity in new Spaces

Monday, July 12th, 2021

In the center of my yellow house in Chicago’s north side sits a large wooden table. My parents bought the table, riddled with holes and cracks, from an Amish farm in Wisconsin. Over the past 26 years of owning it, it has seen family dinners, rushed science projects, conflict, resolution, and divorce. 

Growing up in a Mexican-American household, my parents made sure we understood one thing: unity. In the age of cellphones, reality television, and the internet, it is easy to ignore reality and constantly distract yourself through entertainment. As a result, values have changed family dinners are no longer regularly practiced. This is where my wooden table comes into play. 

Fridays were for everyone, not just family. Fridays were for lessons on politics, religion, culture, and music. Fridays were for bowls of gumbo made by my Uncle Andrew and his brother Chris, two Cajun men that my parents met long before I was born. Over bowls of mussels simmered in a butter, shallot, and white wine sauce, I quietly listened to conversations on how things “used to be.” I even learned about my father’s immigration story, following his father from Mexico City to Chicago at the age of eight. It is around the wooden table that my dad told us of the meals he shared with his family: small bowls of rice and beans, pigeons caught from the street and stuffed, and on special occasions, mole a labor-intensive dish made from a plethora of ingredients like hand-peeled almonds, bread, avocado leaf, and chocolate that were all simmered into a thick sauce. 

My father and I preparing Friday night dinner.

On these Friday nights, my parents exposed me to communitynot one you are born into, but one you establish for yourself. Sitting in the black wooden chairs around our table was the community my mother and father created over time: It was with the help of experiences and long-lasting memories that built this sense of community. They ranged from childhood on the gang-ruled southside, law school in Wisconsin, and having to blend in with the affluent, white neighborhood they tried their best to blend into. 

Essentially, unity came with community. The people sitting at my table with a range of skin colors and accents, as well as coming from diverse places they called “home”, became my aunts and uncles. They would stay by my side as I became old enough to cook the Friday night meals by myself, and held my hand as the meals slowly stopped. 

In the end, some things are not made to last forever. The teenage love my parents once held for each other grew cold and moldy, sitting in the back of the refrigerator waiting to be thrown out. Along with the expiration of their marriage, our Friday nights became but a whisper of the values they instilled in my brothers and me planted into the back of our minds. 

Ultimately, moving away from home is hard. You leave the people that know you best and are forced to find your own community your chosen family. I saw my father do this as he left the house and the wooden table, searching again for a stronger sense of family after walking away from the one he already had. I saw it again as my brothers left for college, searching for a community far away from home and parental guidance. Then I experienced it for myself, packing my bags to cross the pond, where I hoped to find some connection back to my life in Chicago in an unknown city.

Using what I learned around that hole-riddled, brown, wooden table, I created my own community almost 4,000 miles away from home. Over bowls of rice made with seasonings I smuggled in through my luggage, my roommates and I came to love each other, like how my parents loved the neighbors they took in as family. With the right amount of food, I am sure you can find your community, too. 

Start building your community today over some delicious empanadas from Gourmet Empanadas on Avenue B!


By: Allegra Ruiz

Allegra Ruiz is a junior at New York University and she is from Chicago. She studies English and is minoring in Creative Writing. In her free time, she enjoys journaling, reading books and essay collections, and cooking for her roommates. Currently, she lives quietly in New York. 

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC, from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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Shabbat: Tel Aviv to New York

Saturday, July 10th, 2021

Shabbat has recently become an important tradition in my house. I spent the year pre-pandemic in Tel Aviv, and quickly came to love the large, family-style meals we ate every Friday. The city would shut down when the sun set, and we’d bike back from the beach to cook and drink and celebrate together.

Tel Aviv beach at sunset

I was raised Christian, but my Jewish friends and professors were thrilled to teach me about Shabbat. About six months into my year there, a friend told me I really understood the spirit when I showed up to a school Shabbat dinner with a plate of cookies and a bottle of wine to share. This is what Friday night is about for me: good food, good company, friends laughing and eating and drinking. We gave ourselves permission to forget our jobs and homework and stressors, and instead learned songs in Hebrew and talked about what had made us happy that week. Even for those of us who didn’t observe for religious reasons, these Friday night dinners became a sacred kind of space, one reserved for rest and joy and love. This is the tradition I’ve tried to bring back with me to New York.

Shabbat dinner at NYU Tel Aviv

Now each Friday I have a small group of friends over for dinner. Sometimes I bake challah, sometimes we do a potluck, sometimes we order in from our favorite falafel or Thai restaurants. My favorite meal, though, is a family-style spread of all the foods we ate in Israel. I spend the day making a spread of falafel, hummus, shawarma, and salads. We sit down around my table or gather on the rooftop and pass dishes, drink wine, talk and laugh and relax. Jewish or not, this family dinner on Fridays is such a wonderful tradition and has made it easy for all of us to keep in touch through our hectic lives in the city.

Shabbat dinner in the East Village

My go-to Shabbat meal is actually very simple and it never fails to impress. As a student on a budget I love that I can find all the ingredients at Trader Joe’s. The base of it is simple: canned chickpeas, tahini, chicken, shawarma seasoning, falafel mix, and veggies! Homemade falafel, which I do make on occasion, wins every time in a side-by-side comparison, but the falafel mix at TJ’s is delicious and the directions on the box make it a dish anyone can make. 

While the mix is settling (for about 20 minutes) I marinate diced chicken thighs in olive oil, garlic, and shawarma powder (or shawarma marinade from Whole Foods). They are about the simplest thing to sauté and the bite-size pieces are delicious thrown over hummus.

The trickiest part of this recipe is the hummus, but even that is easy to learn. I start with a can of chickpeas drained and boil them for about 30 minutes to soften them up. While this is happening, combine two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice with two or three cloves of garlic in a food processor or blender (my food processor has become a staple in my kitchen for soups, hummus, sauce, dressings, anything). Let sit for 20 minutes to cut the bite of the garlic and then mix in 1/4 cup of tahini (try TJ’s Egyptian tahini or Holyland Market on St. Marks for Israeli tahini you can make yourself). When the chickpeas are done cooking, strain and add them to the blender with 1/4 teaspoon of cumin powder and a tablespoon or two of olive oil. If it’s too thick, add cold water one tablespoon at a time until it reaches your desired texture. I’ve served this to friends of mine in and out of Israel and it’s a hit every time. 

The final bit are the toppings! My go-tos are cabbage cut into small strips, diced cucumbers, pickles, red onion, and of course, a bowl of tahini. More good options are parsley, tomatoes, spicy peppers, or anything else you want! 

Israeli food is so fun because it combines Arab cooking with ingredients brought from Jews around the world, especially from Eastern Europe. So while any Middle Eastern country has hummus and falafel (and it’s delicious everywhere you go), only in Israel would you find pickles, eggs, and schnitzel served on the side. So make it your own with other proteins and veggies! I put each of the toppings in a bowl on the table and let everyone build their own plate.

Warm some pita in your oven and let everyone get creative, sharing platters of hummus, falafel, and shawarma family style. This is great because it’s vegan and gluten-free friendly, and even picky eaters can find a few things to try. Don’t forget to pour your tahini over everything.

The assembled plate (chef’s kiss!)

Shabbat dinners have given me the perfect venue to spend time with people I love and experiment in the kitchen. Even if you’re not Jewish, try making Friday family style dinners with friends–another fun idea could be a weekly potluck (stay tuned for my favorite potluck meals on a budget). Whatever you’re cooking, the most important thing is the company. So invite your friends over–vaccinated, outdoors, socially distanced, whatever you need to feel safe–and share your food, your wine, your time, your love! Prioritising your relationships, creating these special spaces for those you care about, is what is going to maintain these relationships through undergrad and beyond. And in a city as hectic as New York we all need a fun, restful night in now and again. Shabbat shalom!


Cora Enterline is a senior at NYU studying law, ethics, and religion. She’s studied and worked in Paris and Tel Aviv, where she loved biking, traveling, dancing, and teaching English. She has a love for foreign languages, sad novels, themed dinner parties, and red wine by candlelight. This summer, follow her blog to learn easy, student-friendly recipes and find inspiration from around the world for your own dinners, picnics, and culinary adventures at home!


For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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The Turmoil of Travel: It’s All Worth The Destination

Tuesday, November 27th, 2018

My college life in New York can be draining, like a giant leach latched onto the back of your head that relentlessly sucks day and night. It sucks out the happiness that keeps you going, which is why mental health trips are important.

One minute I was in the Uber alone, pooling across New York City to John F. Kennedy International Airport. Another minute I was talking to a stranger named Kristin who reeked of cigarettes, booze, and tales of misspent youth. She entered the Uber cab in haste and rambled on about the homeless man who assaulted her for fifteen minutes. It was 4:30 in the morning and she was trying to get home from a club. Then she rambled about her Jamaican and Chinese heritage and how she was always so upset that people didn’t identify her as such. She must have been in a drunken stupor because she introduced herself to me four times throughout that thirty minute car ride. She yelled at our driver for not dropping her home first. “It’s not your fault sweetheart, you’re a dear. This guys just an idiot!” she babbled as I just sat and nodded my head. I felt bad for her but when she began to say nasty things to the Uber driver I couldn’t wait to escape her exhausting presence. “You’re on your way to California. This will all be worth it in several hours,” I repeated myself in my head to drown out her constant rebukes to the driver.

We finally reached the JFK airport. I thought, things could only get better from here. But as I stepped on to the extremely full flight and found my seat, all optimism just melted away again. I was sandwiched, paninied to be more precise, between two adults and one of them took up a large chunk of my seat. She was unable to put the armrest down that acts as a much needed divider between strangers on a six-and-a-half hour flights across the country. “The seats are very tiny,” she whispered apologetically. I gave her an apologetic smile, but my rigged posture gave away my disappointment. The man next to me who sat near the aisle must have seen our awkward exchange, for in my peripheral vision I could see him nervously looking at her, at me, and then scanning around the plane. I became even more filled with dread, as my eyes hastily scanned the plane for an open seat. I thought, “Great, I am going to be skin to skin with a stranger for seven hours while another stranger creepily stares at me.” However, I guess when I am already in a bad mood, or maybe when I just forget my coffee, I immediately look at the most negative qualities and outcomes of any situation. Once the plane had stopped boarding the man looked at me with fatherly eyes and told me there were plenty of open seats if I would prefer to move.  I gladly moved a row behind of us.

 The plane ride was as good as it could be expected from a cheap American Airlines flight. I awoke flying over a red and brown desert as the morning sun was blasting through the tiny cold windows, and the excitement soon followed. An hour and a half later, I was in California, talking on the phone with my mother while I waiting for Alex, my best friend, to pick me up from the bustling LAX two days before Thanksgiving.

Words could never describe my love for Alex. There are some people in this world that are medicine for the soul; they scoop out all the evil and hate that had been building inside you for months with just a smile, a hug, and a genuine “How are you?”. I’d fly across the world to see Alex, even for just a week, for just an hour, for just a car ride with her. Being in California, seeing Alex and her family, seeing her friends and mobbing around with them, is medicine for my soul. 

Yesterday, I trekked through hell to come to the paradise of California. It’s all worth it: the lack of caffeine, that deafening car ride, that unfortunate seating circumstance, the thirty minute wait at the airport. Living in New York is difficult, especially for a small town beach bum like me, but it will all be worth it. In New York I was having a hard time putting things into perspective with the lights clouding my judgement and the streets’ constant cacophony  tuning out my senses. I could see myself raising a family here in California far in the future, once I have my PhD and a steady job and met the man to love and travel the world with him. New York is tough and cutthroat, but to escape with my head on straight and a degree in my hand will mean that my dream is right within grasp.

Things to remember

  1. Take a trip, somewhere you are loved, somewhere you feel at home
  2. Don’t lose sight of the future, “the world is yours”
  3. Have fun, your not even fully an adult yet

 

By Solana Joan Suazo


Solana is a freshman at NYU Steinhardt, studying art and psychology. Solana spends many hours walking around lower Manhattan with her friends, sketching in the park, or finding new inspirations for her art around the city. When she isn’t playing volleyball or meditating, she’s usually watching Game of Thrones with her roommate, daydreaming about California beaches and buys, or painting a new picture for art class. She loves coffee, chocolate, and ramen, of course.

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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What is Wanderlust and How Can I Cure It?

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

When you think of the word “travel,” most people think of going to a faraway place by catching a bus, train, plane, or driving for hours outside of town. They are overwhelmed by the thought of saving money, clipping coupons, and living off of ramen just to see a new concrete jungle. However, once they come back, they are suddenly overcome by the “travel bug,” otherwise known as wanderlust. But can wanderlust only be fulfilled by going away? Is there a way to satisfy this craving for adventure without leaving the confines of your own town? I would argue that you can.

The definition of wanderlust by the Merriam-Wester Dictionary site is a “strong longing for or impulse toward wandering.” What this definition doesn’t capture is paired illusion of feeling stuck where you are, both in your location and in your routine.

https://burst.shopify.com/photos/city-woman-exercising-outdoors

https://burst.shopify.com/photos/city-woman-exercising-outdoors

When I came back home from studying abroad in South Korea for a semester, I almost immediately felt trapped. Suddenly access transportation was slow, I couldn’t make it to the other side of the country without a lot of money or even more time, and the burden of a new, rigorous quarter at school made it impossible for me to mimic the freedom I had almost 7,000 miles away from home. “Wanderlust” had become a prison that no one warned me about in the pre-departure presentation months before.

One thing I’ve learned in my time in college is when life gives you lemons, you don’t just make lemonade; you make lemon tarts.

There are three options you have when it comes to handling wanderlust. One is simply ignoring it, which is kind of like eating the lemons. The second, the lemonade, is taking a vacation during a break and exploring as much as possible. My favorite option is the third: adopting the explorer’s mindset, and turning everyday life into an adventure. Lemon. Tarts.

https://flic.kr/p/cwd1Q9

https://flic.kr/p/cwd1Q9

What do people do when they travel? It’s not all about the Statue of Liberty, the Space Needle, the Reading Terminal Market, or Time Square. People look for new experiences that they don’t normally have in their day-to-day routine. By acquiring the explorer’s mindset, that there is an adventure hiding everywhere, you can work on your wanderlust every day. Take a new route to class, check out new restaurants, or go on a date in a new neighborhood. You don’t have to become a tourist to shake up the monotony.

Humans are resistant to change, and I’m completely guilty of this. My first few months home were just me stuck in my old routine before traveling to Korea. But one day I decided to visit a friend in a neighborhood I had never been to. Then I went to another part of the city for happy hour with my best friend from middle school. And yes, I did make a couple of bus trips to nearby cities during long weekends over the summer. As time went on, I found that the bugging wanderlust that had cornered me was getting what it wanted.

I’m not saying that you don’t need a big trip to Europe or a backpacking road trip across Southeast Asia. At some point, you will want more than whatever you’re doing. If watching videos on YouTube is like a bandage, scaling your hometown is a painkiller, then that big trip abroad is the trip to the doctor’s office.

I hate to say this, but wanderlust is completely incurable. In my travels, I’ve met people who have explored the world and still feel that pang to keep moving. The best strategy to keep wanderlust at bay is to constantly challenge yourself to see new places, experience new things, and maintain your thirst for knowledge. And maybe bake a tray of lemon tarts.

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By Jada Gossett

Jada is a Campus Clipper publishing intern who is majoring in Psychology and working on a Certificate in Creative Writing and Publishing at Drexel University. After traveling to South Korea for study abroad in the Fall of 2016, she has undertaken a new side venture as a lifestyle blogger determined to get college students to get out of their comfort zone. If you like her posts, you can find more of her work here or follow her on Twitter or Instagram. For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings.

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