New York English Academy Rookie blog

For the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, New York English Academy recently hosted an international food party! For this event, students, teachers and faculty came together for an afternoon of food and fun.  Starting at 11 am, Friday students began arranging their dishes in the break room. Since we had such an abundant spread, the neighboring classroom was converted into a dessert buffet! The food shared was delicious and diverse, with options like Indian samosas, Italian ravioli, beef and cheese empanadas, and yuca fries. Desserts were just as exciting. Students had brought Tango, a snack cake from Peru, and baklava, a flaky pastry common in Turkish, Iranian and Arab cuisines. We had a fair share of American staples as well, such as New York pizza and cupcakes. Food parties are not only delicious fun, but also a great way to learn about other countries and cultures. Students were excited to share their home country’s food just as their classmates were excited to try it and learn more. A benefit of studying with classmates from around the world is using English as a common language. This way, students get more conversation practice and strengthen their skills and confidence. The expression “Teamwork makes the dream work” was especially true when it came to cleaning up. Everyone did their part to make sure no trash was left in the break room and no food had to be thrown away! Students and teachers instead took home leftovers from around the world. NYEA’s first party of 2023 was a great success and we cannot wait to make it a tradition.

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Visit Outdoor Art Around the City

Seeing art in NYC is not limited to museums. The city is full of free outdoor art across all 5 boroughs. From sculpture to murals, there is something for everyone! In Manhattan, well-known spots like the High Line and Central Park are great places to view sculptures and mosaics while taking a walk. In Brooklyn, there is Cadman Plaza and Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens. For art recommendations, read through the article here:

Try New Foods at the 9th Ave International Food Festival

The 9th Avenue Food Festival is one of New York’s largest and oldest traditions, and it’s a vibrant celebration of cultural diversity through food. The fair offers both traditional festival treats like zeppolis, mozzarepas, funnel cakes, egg creams, and more fabulous food you won’t see at any other festival. Here you’ll also find Argentinian, Brazilian, Cajun, Cuban, Dominican, Ethiopian, Greek, Haitian, Irish, Moroccan, Ukrainian, and many other kinds of cuisine. The festival will be running May 20th and 21st. 

Rent a Bike 

Unlimited Biking opened its doors in 2010 in New York City and believe that the best way to experience a city like a local is by bike! With locations near various NYC landmarks such as Central Park and the Brooklyn Bridge. Renters can travel through the city and engage the local community on a guided or self-guided bike ride. Unlimited Biking delivers a unique sightseeing opportunity for families, couples, friends, and solo travelers. Find out more here:

Celebrate National Burger Day

International Burger Day is celebrated on May 28 annually. Burgers are one of the most popular foods in the world as they are easy to make, inexpensive, and tasty. To celebrate, try visiting a local burger spot in your neighborhood or test an interesting burger recipe!

See the 17th Annual Dance Parade

New York’s beloved and joyous Dance Parade returns to the streets Saturday May 20, 2023 celebrating its 17th year with 10,000 dancers featuring over 100 unique styles of dance, live bands, and DJs. Over 100 unique styles of dance will perform down Avenue of Americas, parade across West 8th Street, perform before the Grand Stand at St. Marks Place before reaching Tompkins Square Park.

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Our students visited campus this weekend for class and enjoyed downtown Manhattan’s accessible offering: the Staten Island Ferry. Unlike the subway or bus, the Staten Island Ferry is free to ride. Getting to the ferry from NYEA is easy, as the Whitehall Station is about a 10 minute walk away from campus. The Staten Island Ferry has been operating since the 1800s and offers spectacular views of the New York City skyline, the Statue of Liberty, and the harbor. On this trip, students saw Battery Park as well as Ellis Island. The trip takes about 25 minutes and ferries run every 15 to 30 minutes, 24 hours a day. Lots of NYEA students and faculty live on Staten Island for an easy commute. Like in Manhattan, Staten Island is also enjoying the blooming flowers of spring and there’s lots to see around St. George station and neighborhood. Our students posed together under a Japanese Cherry Tree while exploring the waterfront. Along with a free ferry, Staten Island also has its own train line making it easy for NYEA students to take more trips in the future. 

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Last week, teacher Nathaniel’s friday class visited the Macy’s Flower Show just before it closed for the year! 

Macy’s Flower Show is an annual event that takes place in Macy’s flagship store in New York City and other locations across the United States. Every spring, Macy’s showcases elaborate floral displays, featuring exotic plants and flowers from around the world.

Visitors can explore different themed gardens, take guided tours, attend workshops and demonstrations, and learn more about the art of flower arranging and gardening. The event is free and open to the public, making it a popular attraction for both tourists and locals alike.

The Herald Square Macy’s is a New York stable. Not only is it the original Macy’s department store, it is also the largest in the world, taking up a whole city block. Our students had a great time viewing flower arrangements and decorations, and taking pictures with large, interactive pieces.

If you’re interested, keep an eye out for the Macy’s Flower Show next year! It’s a great way to celebrate spring’s long awaited arrival. 

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Things to Try This April April 5, 2023

Try a Free Fitness Class

Shape Up NYC is running free fitness classes across all five boroughs.  Visit the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation’s website to sign up for classes all summer long!

Visit New Jersey for Fresh Tulips

Holland Ridge Farms in Cream Ridge New Jersey grows over 800 tulips every year. This Spring, visitors can pick and take home fresh tulips for $1 a stem. Visitors can also take photos with Dutch bikes and picnic on weekdays. 

Enjoy National Burrito Day

April 6th is National Burrito Day! Visit your favorite burrito spot or try to find a new favorite. Here’s a list of some of the best burrito spots in the East Village.

Go Roller Skating at Rockefeller Plaza

The Rink at Rockefeller Center has recreated the Los Angeles’ Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace. Skate while enjoying live DJs against a 1979 themed backdrop.

Visit the Easter Parade

On Easter Sunday, Fifth Avenue (from 49th St to 57th St) is closed for the parade beginning at 10 am. Enjoy the music and floats along with people wearing weird, funny, and inventive costumes.
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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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Valentine’s Day is every year on February 14th, right in the middle of the month. In the United States, that means cards, flowers, and candy exchanged between couples and peers.  Valentine’s Day is celebrated around the world, with varying traditions from country to country. Here’s a quick look at Valentine’s Day traditions from around the world. 


In Denmark, it’s tradition to send anonymous joke letters to your crush. These letters are signed with dots, so the recipient has to guess who the sender is. If they guess correctly, they get an Easter egg. But if they guess wrong, they owe the sender an Easter egg.

South Korea

Korean couples celebrate their valentine twice a year! Like the United States, Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 14th. However on this day, gifts are given to boyfriends and husbands. Women are treated to gifts on March 14th known as White Day. 


Chocolate is always exchanged on Valentine’s Day in Japan. If you have a crush or a partner, you give them honmei choco or “true feeling chocolate.” But if you’re giving some to a friend or relative, you give them giri choco or “obligatory chocolate.”  


In Mexico, February 14th is El Día del Amor y Amistad or the Day of Love and Friendship. Everyone, not just couples, celebrate with cute gifts and treats. 

The Philippines 

In the Philippines, the local government hosts mass weddings every Valentine’s Day. Couples gather to exchange their vows at the same time and celebrate together.  For many couples, this is an affordable way to have a wedding ceremony and reception. 

New York English Academy wishes you a Happy Valentine’s Day with friends, family, and loved ones.

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Happy February! February is the shortest month of the year, but it is also the most romantic. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner on February 14th, our students got into the Valentine’s Day spirit by using some English Idioms.  

What’s an Idiom?

Idioms are phrases that have a meaning that is different from its individual parts. Unlike sentences with a literal meaning, idioms have a figurative meaning. For example, the idiom “bite the bullet” doesn’t literally mean to bite a bullet. It means to accept an unpleasant situation. Idioms exist in all languages and have often been passed down by groups of people throughout history. 

Idioms with “Heart”

To celebrate February, our students used English idioms and expressions using the noun “heart”. Read some down below: 

When I was studying in high school, I thought about what occupation I will have to choose. I was sure that I would like to do something important in life and be useful to people. I had a heart-to-heart talk with my mentor, a teacher of biology, that had a heart of gold and she advised me to follow my heart. It’s the story of how I chose medicine. – Oksana, Ukraine

I love the USA, and I have always dreamed of living here. In 2021, I followed my heart and came to America. My dream became a reality. – Irina, Russia

I have my heart set on becoming the best market financial analyst ever. I’m not half-hearted about it. – Florent, Cameroon

Once upon a time there were two men. One had a heart of gold, and the other had a heart of stone. They wanted to be each other. – Avihai, Israel

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