After seeing photos of exchange student trips, I was excited to do something like this as soon as possible and the past long weekend was the perfect opportunity to go on our first group trip. The destination: New York City.
If I believed that the Americans are a little boring given that they go to sleep really earlier in comparison to Argentineans, NYC showed me that I was wrong. It definitely is the city that never sleeps. It was still 1 AM on Sunday and the street was crowded with people.
It was three incredible days, which seemed like a month given the many activities that we did, and at the same time, it seemed to be only an afternoon because the time passed so quickly given the fun times I had with the exchange friends.
The neighborhoods of Little Italy, Times Square, Central Park, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brokling Bridge, Ground Zero Memorial, Wall Street, China Town, Rocker Feller Center, nice restaurants -but good street food too- the Statue of the Liberty were some of the places that we went. I can’t believe that aside from the low temperatures, we enjoyed doing more than 15 activities in three days.
Stopping in the intersection of Broadway and Seventh Avenue in Times Square, – known as "The Crossroads of the World"- was one of the most astonishing places of the trip.
The quantity of people, flyers, videos, photos, noises, music, made me feel an overwhelmed sensation. I was talking with my family when my sister’s boyfriend asked me: if you have to think of the mountains and valleys of our little town in Argentina, and the same time think of that corner in NY, what do you feel? I said I can feel the most amazing contrast that I could find, so different places equally overwhelming.
Among the best moments, the snow fight in Central Park and the songs with Timo’s ukulele in the subway were my favorites. Timo and I enjoyed singing a couple of song in the subway and there was a good response: people cheered, ask for more songs, and took videos of us. If a can do a generalization: the Argentineans have fun drawing attention or at least Timo and I. Furthermore, I felt that Timo and I were one of the few Argentineans in US, in New York I felt that we were a million, I saw around 45 Argentineans: families, group of friends, couples, in each excursion we heard our distinctive Spanish accent.
Although we went to a lot of places, a long weekend was not enough to know all of the key places. My wish at the end: coming back to NYC if is possible, but when the weather is warmer, definitely. Coming back and continuing to tour this amazing city.
If I have to give details of each moment, I would use thousands of words. However, each excursion left me at least a good memory: a joke, a phrase, a talk, a noise, a song or simply some nice landscape.
It has been a long time since I did a group trip, although it reminded me how nice it is, this opportunity was especially different. So the trip not only offered me the possibility to enjoy the city, but also the opportunity to get to know more of my exchange peers. I shared accommodations in a nice apartment with Oceane, Candince, Mariam and Nadine, thanks girls for everything, especially for the funny talks at night! We also shared the activities with Alessandro, Nico, Marco, Ashraf, Timo, CK, Aaron, Nima, Patrick, Thais, Imane, Marlitt and Ariel. We were more than 15 exchange GW students enjoying NYC. It was funny how we were changing the language constantly: people around us could hear phrases in French, Italy, Arabic, Spanish, Korean, and our international English in all types of accents lacking the American accent.
While I was returning to DC, I read a friend’s post on Facebook, who talked about her exchange. She numerated his classmate’s different nationalities, and said something which expressed perfectly what I could realize in this trip but I couldn’t explain before read the post. She give the perfect word to express it: spending the trip with two French, two Italian, two Egyptians, one Libyan, threes Australian, one Moroccan, one German, one Brazilian, another Argentinean, experimenting such contrast of culture but in the same time laughing and enjoying with the same things means coexistence.