New York English Academy Rookie blog

Hello dear classmates! I hope you all are enjoying your
living in this wondrous city. My name is Manuel Alejandro
Chavarria Blanco. I was born and raised in Guatemala, Central America. Soon after finishing my university studies in my country, I decided to join a Franciscan group in the Franciscan Province of the Immaculate Concepcion of New York. I hope to become a Franciscan friar and Catholic priest in the future, so I moved to the Big Apple just four months ago to improve my English skills and know American culture in general.

I enrolled in NYEA. Here, I discovered a nice and international learning community. Teachers and classmates are friendly, and all of us together share a glad feeling about being able to learn English in a great, diverse, and inclusive place. Now, I have more friends and links with different lifestyles than before; that is so precious. I give thanks to all, religious brothers, teachers, classmates, for being part in this rich experience.

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In the following weeks, the chilly winter weather that NYC has experienced for the past few months will begin to fade away. Instead we will be greeted by budding flowers, light breezes, and sunny days.  Spring’s arrival marks a reset for some plants and animals, but it can also be a great time for people to reorganize their homes and goals.  Typically, “spring cleaning” refers to the deep cleaning of one’s home at the start of the season. However, we asked New York English Academy students to respond to prompts that contemplated “a little spring cleaning in life”. Let’s see what they had to say!

Are you happy with who you have become? How can you grow or improve?

I am rather satisfied. When I meet great friends, I get good stimulation to grow as a person.

– Saaya, Japan

Happiness is necessary for growth. Being a medical doctor is one of the most outstanding

achievements I have earned, and I am delighted. I am meant to be in this position, I know that right now. I can improve my life by acquiring more skills outside of medicine and gaining a broader understanding of the world. Education never ends. 

– Oritseweyinmi Sanni, Nigeria

I’m very happy with the person who I have become. I never thought I would be able to experience such amazing things in my life, like traveling around the world, learning a new language, adapting to a new culture, and seeing my dreams becoming a reality. I love how much I have been growing, all the new things that I made, and all the experiences that I have now.

– Estefania, Colombia

Name 3 things that bring you pure happiness, peace, and joy.

I would say dog, dog, dog. The dog park is the place that brings me pure happiness and joy. No matter how hard the day is, just watching dogs playing around can make me feel calm. 

– Mei, China

Three things that bring me pure joy are nature, mediation, and traveling. I love traveling and seeing the beauty of nature. Traveling helps me relax and learn new things. 

– Sameera, India

The first thing that makes me happy is traveling; nothing can motivate my life more than traveling. The second thing is to get lost in reading. An interesting book that you can immerse yourself in for a couple of hours and not worry about time is amazing. The third thing that makes me happy is a calm day without rushing. 

– Mila, Russia

What are the top things that have moved you forward this year?

It is my first year living alone without my parents. It took twenty-four years but finally I did it. I was always trying to be an independent man but living alone is different. It’s been almost a year since I’ve left my country and this makes me very sad because I really miss my friends and parents. I said I am sad, but that is not actually true: I am really proud of myself for doing it. I will see my parents soon and everything is going to be alright.

– Archil, Georgia

I’m so happy when I wake up earlier than my alarm clock. I can go back to sleep again, or I can just get up and do something different; this allows having more choices than usual. 

– Naoki, Japan

Three things that have moved me forward are taking more risks, not compromising my goals, and taking care of myself and my peace. Some things that have held me back are overthinking and having a closed mind sometimes.

– Romina, Uruguay

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Things to Try This March March 2, 2023

February went by in a flash! As the weather warms up and spring begins to arrive in New York City, here are some activities to look forward to:

See an Off-Broadway Show

Off-Broadway week ends March 5th, so act fast to get 2 for 1 tickets on a variety of shows.  Check out your viewing options here:

Celebrate Oreo Cookie Day

National Oreo Day celebrates one of the most famous cookies in the United States. Originally produced in Manhattan, these cookies have grown in popularity and have been made using a variety of different flavors. According to, they are the world’s best-selling cookie. Enjoy milk’s favorite cookie on March 6th!

Visit the New York Botanical Garden Orchid Show

Visit New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx to view artist Lily Kwong’s designs at The Orchid Show. For its 20th anniversary, The Orchid Show features thousands of orchids to combine fantasy and nature. This exhibition is on view until April 23rd. You can find tickets at this link:

Ride the Roosevelt Island Cable Car

The Roosevelt Island Aerial Tramway provides a breathtaking 360-degree view of the Manhattan skyline. The tram crosses over the East River, reaching a maximum height of 250 feet above the water! The best part is, the ride only cost $2.75 each way and you can pay with your Metrocard!

Enjoy Free Fridays at the MOMA

The Museum of Modern Art, commonly referred to as the MOMA, is one of the largest modern and contemporary art museums in the world! It houses over 150,000 artworks in a variety of mediums and its free to all visitiors every Friday, from 4 pm to 8 pm.

The Spring Equinox is March 20th so if you’ve been waiting for warm weather, hang in there and enjoy these activites in the meantime!

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