NYU consistently tops the list of American universities sending the most undergraduate students abroad, according to the annual Open Doors report of the Institute of International Education. Oren Margolis, who graduates with a B.S.in media, culture, and communication, demonstrates NYU students’ enthusiasm for global research and service learning.
Margolis, a Steinhardt dean’s scholar, credits a sophomore year service trip to Peru with igniting his passion for global learning. Spending a week with a host family in Cusco, the seat of Incan heritage, Margolis and his fellow dean’s scholars worked in teams to install clean-burning stoves, perform community health outreach, and build clean restroom facilities for local schools in impoverished areas.
A junior-year semester abroad in Prague, studying advertising and architectural history, further complemented his academic work on Washington Square. In addition, a research travel colloquium organized by Steinhardt brought Margolis and fellow students to Istanbul, Turkey, for a week-long field work project studying identity formation among Muslim students with Selcuk Sirin, assistant professor of applied psychology.
Reflecting on his study abroad experiences, Margolis says “being able to see the world is transformative. It changes your basic assumptions about people and the way you interact with others.”
Margolis cites his experience abroad as a selling point when he leads campus tours of NYU as an ambassador. “Traveling has exposed me to so many different kinds of people,” he says. “In this job, where I’m interacting with all sorts of people on a daily basis, I really thank my traveling experience, which has helped me relate to everyone and understand where they’re coming from.”
Guiding tours and fielding questions from parents has also made Margolis quick on his feet, a skill that came in handy when he competed on a recent episode of Wheel of Fortune, a favorite game show. Margolis, who made it to the show’s bonus round, walked away with over $10,000 and a chance to experience another locale he has never seen: Lake Tahoe, Nevada.
To watch Margolis on Wheel of Fortune, click below: