This is the Class of 2017: Graduation Tribute

[ Music ] – When I heard about NYU Abu Dhabi, I was, like, how could I not apply. – Everything about it was just screaming “I am different, pick me.” – It was really the only university I wanted to go to. – I have never been exposed in my life to this extent of diversity in terms of the people I interact with on
a day-to-day basis. – I had the resources and the opportunities to be able to really engage with who I am as a person. – I wish the whole world was like NYU Abu Dhabi. Because there would be no war and there would be peace all the time. [ Music ] – I’ll miss everything. – It is been the best decision I’ve made. – What am I not gonna miss. – It’s difficult to pick out one thing. – It was a surreal experience. – What makes this place special is the people. – Definitely the people. – I would definitely miss hummus. [ Laughter ] – Manish is, like, the most incredible food ever. – I’m gonna miss the travelling. – Probably going to miss the intellectual discussions and arguments that kind of spur up out of the moment in the dining hall. – I’ll miss my friends. – I’m gonna miss getting so many
different points of view and so many different experiences in one space. – And after peeling through all those cultural differences realizing that we’re actually not that different. – I’m gonna miss having my views and
beliefs challenged. – NYU Abu Dhabi offered me a chance to explore different options in a really exciting environment and once I
heard about it, there was no looking back, that’s all I wanted. – I’m gonna miss the students, the
professors, the staff here. – I’ve had amazing professors. – They are our mentors, they are our second mothers and fathers. – They’re really willing to go out of their way to help us. [ Music ] – One funny way I have grown is that I
definitely eat more fruits and vegetables. – I don’t think I’ve been
pushed as much as I have here. – I’ve spent time in so many different cities over different continents over the past four years but where I’ve experienced most diversity has been right here, on campus. – I’ve made more diverse friends in my
four years of university than I did in my whole life. – The genuine desire to accept
other people and the genuine desire to connect with other people is what this university has that I don’t think I would
have experienced anywhere else. – It’s not just that we already understand other people. It’s that we really want to. – They definitely gave me perspective. – Any liberal arts college will tell you
that they teach you how to think, but in the case of NYU Abu Dhabi I
really see that my perspective has changed permanently. – My paradigm has shifted a little bit. – The world definitely seems like a smaller place. [ Music ] – I wanted to do something that was fun. So my capstone is actually building autofocus system for cameras. – My capstone is about the impact of mobile money on access to banking in Kenya. – Interlocking directorates in the UAE. – A comparative analysis of propaganda during the Afghanistan Civil Wars. – I’m writing about history of Islam in China. – I’m going to try to dumb us down. I’m building a particle detector. [ Laughter ] – I’m currently doing my capstone
thesis on social studies textbooks in the UAE schools and looking at how they help to shape national identity and historical consciousness. Being an Arab crossroads major, I realized that being in Abu Dhabi was a tremendous asset. You’re essentially studying the
environment in which you live and, so, you become implicated in the kind of phenomenon and ideas that you’re studying. – I love the city, it’s beautiful. It’s a hub for people who are creative and have wonderful ideas. – It’s the city that looks to the future. – Abu Dhabi will forever have a very special
place in my heart. It will mean something different than just
a spot on the map, it’s a second home. – As the last of the Sama Tower bunch, we came to a university that didn’t have graduates yet. We wanted to shape this place; to shape the ethos, to shape the traditions, and that’s pretty special, I think. You know, there are clubs and SIGs and sports that didn’t exist before we arrived. Building those together, sharing those memories, I’m going to miss that. [ Music ] – I would like to thank my friends. – I just want to thank my classmates. – Thank you so much for my parents, they’ve been so supportive with everything. – I really want to thank the first class. – I want to thank all the professors
that truly believed in me. The professors that looked into my eyes and went, “you are very smart,
you can do this”. – And also, thank you to staff for making really really good food and keeping a smile on your faces. – And of course a big thank you to Abu Dhabi and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed for their incredible generosity. – Their trust and their people and their vision is what inspires us to grow and to achieve our goals and dreams. [ Music ] – The whole experience is like a kaleidoscope of all the good memories. I will always have something good to remember. – I think of these as boxes that I will
store somewhere in my head and come back to to reminisce on all the good moments because they made me who I am today. – The ability to adapt to a new surrounding
is definitely a skill and asset that NYU Abu Dhabi gave me. – I’ve met a lot of good people here. And more than leaving this place, it’s leaving them. [ Music ] – I’m from Abu Dhabi, the UAE. – I was actually born and raised in Brazil. – I’m from Russia. – I’m from Switzerland. – I’m from Slovakia. – Oman. – Zimbabwe. – I come from Turkey, Ankara. – Born and raised in Australia. – I’m from Bulgaria. – Japan. – Senegal. – Bosnia. – England. – I’m from Cali in Colombia. – The next step for me is leaving to Hong Kong, where I’ll be working at J.P. Morgan. – I’m going to be staying in the
country. I loved it so much that I’ll be working at an international education consulting firm. – I’m going to be pursuing a master’s in public policy and I hope to come back to the Gulf to serve the region in the field of gender equality and coexistence and tolerance. – Next year I’ll be studying law at the
University of Oxford. – After graduation I’ll be moving to Dublin to join Citibank in corporate banking. – After graduation I will be pursuing a PhD
degree in civil and environmental engineering focusing on transportation systems analysis and planning at Northwestern University. – Next year I’ll be joining the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. – I am going to join
McKinsey & Company in Prague as a business analyst. – I’ve been accepted to the computer science PhD program at University of California Santa Cruz and I’ll be focusing on games, artificial intelligence, and design. – I will be pursuing a PhD in Arabic studies at Yale University. – Next year I will be on a Fulbright research grant to continue studying refugees in Greece. – My ultimate goal is to be the first female Arab and Emirati astronaut. [ Music ] – Congratulations, Class of 2017. [ Congratulations in different languages ] – You guys have been amazing. Thank you for the ride, good luck for everything life brings you. – Congratulations, my friends. [ Music ]

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