New York, USA

Because the field of study in 3.x mainly focuses on working internationally, a priority of ours is, through study trips, to gain insight in different cultures and interact with people across the world. For this year’s study trip, it was time to cross the Atlantic Ocean; we were heading for Hong Kong on the Hudson, the Capital of the World – New York City.

Visiting the Nightingale-Bamford School was the pivotal point of the international interaction on our trip. As a student attending a suburban public high school, the first impression of Nightingale-Bamford, a private (and pricy) girls’school, invoked equal portions of amazement and curiosity:

Our first impression of the school was that it looked like houses from the outside. We expected that the school would have had an entrance or maybe a front yard. The biggest difference between our school and Nightingale was the structure. Nightingale was divided into eight floors, and the students were separated on those floors by school year. Besides the number of floors, Nightingale was full of specialized classrooms for each subject. Especially the Biology classrooms were predominantly amazing. However, the classrooms dedicated to the creative subjects like ceramics, art and photography were equally as amazing, with cool tools and other amenities that we are not used to seeing or having in the public schools in Denmark. One of the most remarkable things was the amount of students in each classroom. On our guided tour, the amount of students in each class was on average ten students. Compared to our school with an average student density of 25 a classroom, this experience was remarkable and really made us realize one of the benefits of attending a fairly expensive private school in New York.

Following our guided tour, we sat down in pairs and talked with the students of Nightingale-Bamford. During my conversation with two of the students of Nightingale I politely and cautiously inquired into their opinion on Donald Trump. One of the girls told me something quite interesting about an experience she had had the morning after Election Day. She described to me her experience going by the subway train that morning. “Everyone was silent. No one said a word; no one read today’s paper.” She described the day as a day of sorrow. She had never seen the teachers of Nightingale cry before that day.

She convinced me that no one at Nightingale liked Trump – not the least bit. Her story had me reflecting on New York’s function of being a political bubble, a place that in its economic prosperity and international status of a global power city has distanced itself from the rest of the country.

Jonas Schou Meding, 3x.