From Yangminshan to the Big Apple

ChiWen Chang, Class of 2014

Studying Theatre/Business of Entertainment media and Technology

at New York University


After studying and living in New York City for the past three and a half  years, I will be graduating a semester early this winter with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre and a Minor in the Business of Entertainment Media and Technology, and I can confidently say that pursuing my studies at NYU has been one of the most rewarding decisions I have ever made. Not only have I had the privilege to be studying acting, directing, design, dance and playwriting in a conservatory program, but on top of that, I’ve been able to do it in one of the most exciting and culturally-rich cities in the world. What initially drew me to NYU was its esteemed Drama program, but it was also important to me when choosing schools to be able to have a balanced liberal arts education, as well as a focus in the arts. In addition, I really like that it’s a city campus, because it feels like you’re not just in school but also an adult in the real world, especially with the fast-paced hustle of Manhattan. As someone who enjoys being busy and having a lot of things to do, Manhattan is perfect because of how quickly everything moves and because there is always, always, something going on, somewhere to go, and somewhere to eat at any given time in the city. As cheesy as it is to say, New York is definitely filled with endless possibilities, which I think makes it an ideal place of study and self-discovery.

Moving from TES to NYU wasn’t actually as huge of a gearshift as I had expected besides the specialisation of classes according to my major. The transition from high school to university was pretty smooth for me, considering I was going from an international high school to an international university/city. It was more a question of things just being bigger and being able to meet so many more people who are passionate about the same things as you. Doing IB in high school helped equip me with a strong set of skills in essay writing, presenting articulate arguments and ideas, and most of all, time management. Being a Theatre major, the workload in university is undeniably different than for students in other fields of study, since I’m more often in rehearsals and workshops than reading textbooks. Still, I think that the disciplined work ethic I developed while being knee-deep in TOK, service projects, extra-curricular activities and the house system (Go Bora!), allowed me to learn how to juggle and balance my different commitments, which I’ve found to be very useful in university. I have learned so much from being at NYU, but most importantly, to fearlessly pursue new interests and stay delightfully curious, because university is meant to be your time to explore. I’ve learned to ask questions unapologetically, find what motivates me, take time for myself, and to develop my own voice as the type of artist and person I wish to be in the world.  

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