To bring together students and professors that may not otherwise meet and provide the opportunity for conversation over a nice meal, NYU Shanghai Academic Affairs has continued its Dinner With a Professor series which also ran in the Fall 2022 semester. Students that sign up are assigned to a random small group, generally around five students, and a professor. These small groups are aimed to be as diversified as possible, bringing people together from all different majors. 

The location of the restaurant is up to the professors and students. Due to dietary restrictions, Professor Paul Mellies and a group of students enjoyed a meal at Jujube Tree, a vegetarian restaurant located in the Jing’an District last Friday, February 17th. At this restaurant, the group was able to enjoy some meatless “meat” dishes as well as other vegetarian dishes while discussing the various meat cultures around the world. 

Attracted by the idea of meeting a new professor that she might not have otherwise had the chance to meet, Taojie Zhang, Class of 2025 majoring in Data Science, signed up and attended one of these dinners last semester with economics professor Emiliano Catonini. Besides getting to “know more new perspectives, something outside of your major, something that might be strange to you,” Zhang felt that a unique feature of the event is getting to know the professors better in a setting “outside of daily campus life.” By sharing a meal, there was more chance to “talk about something unrelated to academic life, for example, basketball, AMA, or even the COVID-19 policy.” 

Although the sign-up is now closed for the rest of the events in the series, students should be on the lookout for more opportunities to get connected with the NYU Shanghai community.