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English Language Institute Blog

3 Things You Should Know about New Yorkers

What makes New York City one of the most interesting and exciting places to live and study in the world?

Many will say that the people of New York are the heartbeat of the city. For those studying English in New York, getting to know and communicating with New Yorkers are the best ways to practice and improve your English. New Yorkers are passionate about life in the city and are known for welcoming international visitors and students.

When coming to live in the Big Apple to learn English, here is what you need to know to meet and connect with New Yorkers.

#1 New Yorkers are friendly and helpful

People in the New York StreetFirst, New Yorkers are famous for being friendly and helpful. If we see tourists standing on a corner holding a map, New Yorkers will usually approach them immediately to ask if they need help with directions. New Yorkers may also strike up a conversation with strangers in an elevator or on the subway. New Yorkers want visitors to enjoy the city as much as we do!

You can expect the same friendly treatment from the locals if you study English at Pace University. Everyone you meet at Pace will want to know all about you, where you come from, and how they can help you improve your English and enjoy all that the city has to offer.


#2 New Yorkers are fast

Use a Metrocard to take the subway to Pace UNiversity's English Language InstituteAnother important characteristic of New Yorkers is that we are fast. We walk fast, talk fast, and move through our day with purpose. A key to moving fast in New York is about maintaining the flow.

Keeping the flow, for New Yorkers, means always thinking about how to make life easier for the people who will follow behind us.

For example, when standing in line, New Yorkers will always have our wallets ready to pay in order to keep the line moving as quickly as possible. When entering a subway turnstile, Metrocards are already in our hand, ready to swipe. When walking down the street, we will often move to the right side if we need to slow down or stop to let others pass on the left.


#3 New Yorkers are diverse

Most New Yorkers will tell you that the number one feature of the people here is that we are diverse.

There's a lot of diversity in new york and at pace university's English Language InstituteDid you know that more than half of New Yorkers were not born here in the city? You might be even more surprised to learn that more than one third were born outside of the United States.

In New York, you can easily walk down the street and hear ten different languages within ten minutes. If you want to see a Chinese dragon boat race, attend a Brazilian food festival, or celebrate French Bastille Day, New York has got it all, and much more.

As one international student from South Korea explained, “Being in New York feels like being in the center of the universe.”

At Pace University’s English Language Institute, our students agree that the diversity of New York is what makes our city truly special. Tomoki Saito, a Pace ELI alumnus from Japan, explains that this New York diversity helped him improve his English: “A lot of people who come from various countries are in NYC. The students also come from some countries, therefore the English spoken in classes and in the city is various. If you can get used to listening such English, it will be your strength.”


To find out more about living and studying English in New York City, visit the ELI website, contact the ELI or apply here. To discover more about New Yorkers, check out the article “My Kind of Town: New York” by noted essayist Joan Acocella.


Word List:

  • the Big Apple (n.) – nickname for New York City
  • strike up a conversation (v.) – to start a conversation suddenly
  • locals (n.) residents of a specific area
  • flow (n.)continuous movement
  • turnstile (n.)an entrance gate, usually for public transportation or an event venue
  • Metrocard (n.) – the public transportation fare card for New York City
  • diverse (adj.) –having a wide variety in culture, gender, race, educational/economic background, and sexual orientation.

WRITTEN BY A. WOFFORD