New Paltz: small town, big dreams

Walking in New Paltz main street

The IIB journey starts in New Paltz, a small village in Ulster County, NY, about one hour and a half to two hours to New York City. If you’re coming in the Spring term, I highly recommend you to bring a lot of warm clothes and jackets because it is really cold and snowy (about -12 to -4 celsius degrees everyday).

Here I will write the best recommendations for you while being in New Paltz…

Start before it starts

In New Paltz you will study for about two months, which is the easy part. The hardest part is to get an internship! You should really be prepared to work hard, manage stress, be flexible and sometimes let things go. Before coming to New Paltz, after you finish all the application process for the IIB program, I encourage you to start looking for several internship offers in Indeed, Linkedin and other job posting webpages so that you have different options to present to Jeff in your first weeks. Yes, you need to start working hard in the internship search from week 1, well even before coming.

Work hard

I need to tell you that things will not be easy, and even though you think you have a great curriculum and everybody will be willing to work with you, do not get too overconfident. In NYC a lot of networking and recommendations needs to be involved, that is why Jeff will be helping you all the way.
You will dream big in New Paltz, a lot of things will be passing trough your mind and you will be willing to get the best internship ever. Yes you can get it but you must work hard! Do a lot of internship offers search, apply to the ones you feel you are a good fit, always improve your résumé, create networking with professors and classmates, and never stop doing the best of your efforts.

Do not worry for things you can not control

This is my best recommendation I can give you. Always do your best, give everything that is in your hands to make things work, but there are a lot of thing out of your control and worrying about them only stresses you more.

Main Course

Enjoy the calm city

Go for a walk in the nature, go to the skii trips with other SUNY New Paltz Students, take your time, relax and get ready for the speed of the city. My favorite place in New Paltz is main course, it has amazing brunches, delicious salads and breathtaking desserts.

And of course… enjoy, take photos, write down your experiences and be happy!!!

Not everything is Study!

Let’s get some Beers

Hi everyone! Hope you are enjoying our experiences here..

We have just one week left in New Paltz, so we decided to seize the time!

Bar Crawl Day 2018

Last Saturday we celebrated the Bar Crawl Day 2018 Edition. For those who don’t know what’s about, is Saint Patrick’s Day !

Actually, this festival is next week, but as most of students are not gonna be on campus due to SPRING BREAK, they’ve decided to move it one week before.

The streets were full of people who arrived at the afternoon to stay there until late night. Everyone was wearing green clothes and accessories related to Irish the culture.

The entrance to the bars was totally free, and they offer some special editions of bottles and beverages, but as well as in Irish Pubs, beer was the the most common drink.

After a long day of fest, we all meet on Pizza Gourmet (24 Hs open) to recharge energy and share our great experiences.

It was a very special weekend and we had so much fun!

This week we are saying Goodbye to New Paltz.. Next stop → New York City!


– Maximo –

And just like that, summer fell into fall.


Fall season has arrived! It is that time of the year where all you want to do is sit on a bench and enjoy the most beautiful view with a coffee in hand. And guess what? New Paltz has it. I am so happy that I actually will have the opportunity of enjoying all the seasons in one semester.Back in Mexico we don´t see seasons changing so dramatically, but here you will definitely enjoy it. When I arrived to New Paltz it were the hot summer days, now we have all the leaves changing color and falling into the ground, and while in New York City we will have the opportunity of enjoying winter wonderland.

While in New Paltz, the campus have really good places where you can go and take a walk while you have leaves falling all the place. I also recommend going to the Street Water Market where you can have a coffee watchithumb_img_6411_1024ng the mountain turn from green to red. It is really amazing!!! So, go out and appreciate what nature has given to us!!!

Let me know which is your favorite season :)[polldaddy poll=9546827]

New Paltz 101

Now that our time here in New Paltz is running out (10 days remaining as I am writing this) I thought I would share some personal favourites from my time here! Some tips for future IIB:ers

  • Brunch at Hasbrouck: A must for Saturdays or Sundays when you’re here, if you don’t have any of your 5 meals a week left then you can also pay with Dining dollars. There’s pancakes, bacon, bagels, fruit, granola, sausage and you can even make your own omelette.
  • Moxie Cup: Got this tip from Martha and it is a truly cosy and nice place. Coffee, cupcakes and some other selections.
  • The Diner: Jeff took us here on our first night and after that we went back a few times. Really good food, lots of different options and nice staff. The also accept Hawk dollars!
  • McGillicuddys: Everybody I’ve met in New Paltz might not agree but I had a lot of fun there and there’s always a lot of people on the weekends. If you want to dance, have a good time and meet new people then this is the place!
  • The library: If you need to go somewhere to really focus, it’s a good place. Open spaces, newly remade and usually quiet and calm.
  • New Starbucks: While we were living here they opened a new Starbucks on Campus, really close to the library. Great tip if you like me haven’t spent all your dining dollars (which they accept) towards the end.
  • The Cinema: Went this Friday with Teresa and Paula to see “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” (which I recommend). Close to the motel where we are staying, cheap (don’t forget to mention you’re a student) and a good thing to do when you’re bored!
  • The gas station: Right by the motel there’s a gas station, which I only mention because it’s open all night. Nothing wrong with it otherwise but when you’re on your way home from example McGillicuddy’s; it’s pretty nice to buy some chips or something. McDonald’s and Burger King won’t be open so this is your chance for some night snacks!

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Anyone else got any tips to add to the list?

Lots of love!


Finally Discovering New Paltz

Living for almost 5 weeks in New Paltz, it was absolutely unacceptable that we still haven’t had the time to discovered the whole town. Therefore, we decided to use one of the last sunny summer days to explore.

We walk down to Water Street Market exploring the beauty of this place and the little shops. In the antique market, we marveled at jewelry, porcelain, and furniture. Unfortunately, my suitcase is by far too small to bring a beautiful red armchair.


We walked down a beautiful alley along the bank of Wallkill River, noticing that autumn slowly but steadily arrived. Leaves covered the ground and some of the trees were already colored red and yellow. We enjoyed the view across the river, over the fields and up to Mohonk Mountain.


Tired after our walk along the riverbank, we decided to sit for a while in a beautiful café called “The Cafeteria”. Great coffee, tasty cake, cozy sofas, and armchairs.


Finally, we walked trough the bookstores, to buy some postcards to send back home.


Another exciting weekend @New Paltz!

And yet again, another week has gone by!! I can´t believe that in less than 3 weeks we will be working and living in New York City! This past weekend was also full of new adventures, and places to visit while you are at New Paltz.

It was Friday afternoon when the girls came up with the idea of going all together to the Cinema. Some of us had already signed up for the ISP Apple Picking trip whithumb_img_6637_1024ch was located near the campus in the afternoon and was really nice.

We were all going to wake up very early on Saturday so we thought this might be a great idea to hang out and don´t be so tired for next day. We went to the Apple Picking in the afternoon, and afterwards,Sully was playing anthumb_img_6649_1024d we decided to go and watch it. When I arrived I felt like I was in an 80´s movie theater as seen in movies. It was really different from the kind of cinemas we have in Mexico. We are used to big, and modern cinemas, where there are more than  10 movies playing and about 15 cinema theaters. Here at New Paltz there are only 4 or 5 movies and maybe just 4 cinema theaters. We arrived, bought our tickets, and of course popcorn and soda to watch the movie. Great experience!




7:00 am Saturday morning. Alarm went on. It´s hiking day! THE MOST AWESOME VIEW EVER!!!! The school took us to Mohonk Mountain were we met with the tour guides, and started hiking all the way up. We walked, ran, climbed on rocks, ate lunch in front of a beautiful lake, and everything was perfect. Could´t find a better way to end the outdoor wellness center activities. Really one should´t miss any of it! Register, register, register.


To finish up the weekend, let´s go shopping! We found out that there were huge outlet stores about 45min ride from New Paltz, so we decided to rent a car and go there. It´s called Woodbury Commons Premium Outlets.Why did we rent a car? We looked up for all the optionsthumb_img_6769_1024 to get there and the cheapest one was by car. We arrived and it was so big, that we thought we would´t finish looking, but we did. It is an easy way to go and buy some things before moving to the big city!





My New York Bucketlist

Before I came here to New Paltz I did not have any expectations about the program, the town or the campus. Since I have had friends who did this program a year ago I have heard some information, but mostly, that information was about the internship and the time on Manhattan. Okay, now I lied a little bit. I thought the life here in New Paltz would be a little bit more college-like. Like the ones you have seen on the movies, but a little bit less hectic. Besides that, I did not have any expectations which have been really nice since you not get disappointed if something does not go the way you want to.


Now, we have been here for five weeks and the time passes by so quickly. Because of that, and because of low expectations, I have done a New York Bucketlist! For those who do not know what a bucket list is, it is list of activities someone wants to do before he or she dies, in my case before I leave the states. So here we go:

  • Go to a Collage party – Since it is my first time at a real American college you need (read NEED) go to a real College party. We have tried to get to know some American students, but unfortunately with no further success. So we will see if we can make it in the three weeks we have left in New Paltz.
  • Fly helicopter over Manhattan – It was actually my friend who introduced this adventure to me because she did it the last time she was in New York. She told me that it was amazing and if you have the money and time you should definitely do it! So now I have been saving money to see Manhattan from above!
  • Go to Boston – A journey to Boston have I dreamt of before I even came to the U.S. Everybody keep telling me what a beautiful city Boston is and because of how relatively close it is to New York, this really is a must-do. We have actually booked a trip to Boston and we leave October 8th! So this “bucket” will actually be fulfilled.
  • Watch a Ranger’s game – Henrik Lundqvist is my idol and have been since I was a child so that would be so cool and watch him play in Madison Square Garden.
  • Eat a real, typical American brunch – I have not looked up any restaurants yet but something I do know is that I want to have one real, typical and big American brunch with egg, bacon, bagels, pancakes and avocado sandwiches! And a really good smoothie and fresh fruits.
  • Watch a Knicks game – I am a basketball player so this would be so cool! I saw a game in Chicago, Bulls vs Charlotte Bobcats, when I was 15 and that was amazing. But I think it is different now when you have been living in the city and be able to watch the game in Madison Square Garden.
  • Watch a late night show – If I could cheat a little bit, I actually put this “bucket” on the list when we got the tickets to the Jimmy Fallon show. I had not thought about it before Emilia hatched the idea. The show is the 24th of October, WOW! That is going to be so much fun!
  • Have drinks on a rooftop bar – This “bucket” I think will be completed first, after the Boston trip. I know that we all have been longing for a night in Manhattan on a really cool rooftop bar. It should preferably be with a glas of white wine in my hand when the sun is setting.

I will follow up with this post at the end of our New York adventure to see what “buckets” I have done. Do you think I will check all of them?

Workouts at Campus

Hi again!

When we had our orientation day at Campus we were told that we have free access to the gym and workout classes at the Athletic Center. I had been thinking a lot about the workout possibilities before we left, so the information was a happy surprise. Before the end of the first week we had already explored the gym and attended two of the cardio classes. It’s such a luxury to have an athletic center with classes and a fully equipped gym at
Campus. We definitely don’t have that in Sweden. Actually, almost everything about campus is different to Sweden. We don’t have dining halls, or as many cafés or restaurants as they have here. We basically have the University, the lecture halls and a couple of cafés/coffee shops and restaurants, the rest is located around town, like anywhere else.

However, back to the excitement regarding the exercise possibilities! So far my favorites have been the Zumba and the Hip hop Cardio classes. Both of them combine dancing and cardio and it’s great way to exercise and have lots of fun at the same time! The first couple of times the classes were so full that we couldn’t see ourselves in the mirrors because of the condensation… It was crazy hot and humid because they don’t have any air-condition (!) only one overworked fen in a corner of the room. Needless to say we have been dripping with sweat every class because of the heat (as you can tell from the pictures).

I would absolutely recommend future IIB-students to take advantage of the gym and the classes they offer. There’s two great and fully equipped gyms and a lot of fun classes, and I can guarantee that you won’t find a free gym (or the time) in NYC so take grab the chance while you have it!

Talk to you soon!

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Wandering around New Paltz.

It´s been 4 weeks now. It feels like yesterday I was getting on to an airplane and arriving in New Paltz, when suddenly it´s not. Time has been passing by so quickly that I feel I won´t be able to do everything I want in such a short time. This is why I decided to wander around the town. Here are some of the places I recommend you not missing.

This past Thursday we celebrated Mexico´s independence day! We all went to a Mexican restaurant in town called Mexican Kitchen , which btw totallthumb_img_6510_1024y tasted like thumb_img_6527_1024home, and I fully recommend it. After dinner we went back to the room and waited to do our typical Cry of Dolores at 12:00pm. VIVA MEXICO!!!!

On Friday we walked around and stopped for an ice cream in Delish. It was DELISHIOUS! You should really take advantage of the short hot weather in town to go and try the ice cream.

On Saturday it was another adventurous day!! Kayaking at the Hudson River. My arms are still swelling, but it was worth it. We started the day early and kayaked for around 3 hours in the lower part of the river. Don´t miss the wellness center outdoor opportunities… they’ve been the best!


And last but not least, on Sunday we went to the 26th annual Taste of New Paltz. It is a really good opportunity to feel connected with the town and to have small tastes of everything you can have and that New Paltz has to offer.

Birthday Bash: Celebrating life !

I am one of the very lucky persons who had the chance to celebrate her birthday during this wonderful stay in the US. Probably I look much younger but indeed, I turned 25 last week and all the people around me made it a very special day. Actually, it felt like celebrating birthday not only for one day but the whole weekend.

Happy me !It already started with cheering at midnight in our hotel room where my IIB girls had prepared a wonderful surprise with flowers, balloons, gifts, wine, and sushi. Although everybody was a bit tired of a tough week, we all had the power to dance and sing !
And the surprise continued in the moThe perfect birthday breakfastrning when I went to our lobby where I found a table prepared with the perfect birthday breakfast including chocolate dipped strawberries and waffles! And even more gifts! I felt more than thrilled and was super happy about how much effort the girls put into this, although we only hOutput rooftop view ad known each other for not even three weeks, simply amazing (it’s time to thank you again, girls, at this point!).

After this perfect start, I ran to the bus station to go down to NYC where my better half, my sister has already been waiting for me. She just flew from Switzerland to NYC to celebrate this day with me. I think we checked out all the nice rooftop bars, restaurants, brunch places and boutiques of this city. It would take too long to get into detail here, but I thought to share a top list of the best places we have visited in order to give you the opportunity to make your day the greatest day of the year. You should check it out even if it’s not your birthday. There is always a reason to celebrate. Let’s celebrate life.

Here is my “perfect-birthday-in-NYC-list“:

  • Get your day started with a fresh brunch at the stonework café in Brooklyn. You should better make a reservation, this place is always crowded, especially on weekends
  • Then head over to the Meatpacking district where you can just walk around and enjoy the neighborhood. Obviously, you can’t miss the Chelsea Market, where you will find a lot of nice boutiques and cafés
  • When you get tired of all the walking, grab a cooled Aperol Spritz and a little snack in a cosy Italian place called Barbuto
  • Especially for the ladies reading the blog, I’d suggest a little stop over at Bleecker Street where you have a huge choice of little boutiques with new, hip designers
  • After so much hard work, it’s time for dinner: this place is absolutely outstanding, with a beautiful decor and excellent Asian food. It became famous when it appeared in the series “Sex and the City”. Very fancy.
  • In order to finish your birthday while swinging your hips, you should go to Output, a rooftop bar/club in Brooklyn with an amazing view over the city. Absolutely breathtaking!

I guess seeing the pictures one can tell that we had a great time…