Would you go to the same university as your brother or sister? For many the answer is absolutely not. In select cases, however, this is exactly what some siblings have chosen to do. Throughout the student body there are a number of siblings who are currently enrolled at NYU Shanghai together, particularly amongst the Class of 2025 and the Class of 2026.

Attending university in China is a major factor which brought some siblings together at NYU Shanghai. This is the case for Landry and Lane Berat who, along with a third sister that does not attend NYU Shanghai, are triplets in the Class of 2026. With previous experience studying Chinese in the past, Lane and Landry applied to NYU Shanghai Early Decision I with the intention of continuing their study of the language. Some people joke that it’s a “family reunion,” according to Landry, since they also have an older sister, Lee, in the Class of 2025 and a sister, Lindsay, who recently graduated NYU Shanghai in the Class of 2022. 

The desire to come to China to study is also what brought the Lin siblings to NYU Shanghai together. Tiffany Lin, Class of 2024, first heard about NYU Shanghai from a friend and became interested in the school. She then introduced the school to her older brother, Anderson, (originally Class of 2023 but due to a gap semester is set to graduate with the Class of 2024), who enrolled in the university in 2019. After enjoying a semester in Shanghai (before the development of Covid-19), Anderson advertised the university to both his siblings and thus Tiffany applied and enrolled in the following year. With the restrictions of Covid-19, both Tiffany and Anderson were stuck doing online classes online at home, giving their younger brother Lucas, now Class of 2026, the opportunity to have a preview of what classes are like at NYU Shanghai.  

For twins Emma and Sarah Blosser, Class of 2025, attending university together was an option they were open to but didn’t necessarily plan for. Sarah applied and was accepted during Early Decision I, but it was only after Sarah was set to come to NYU Shanghai that Emma applied during regular decision along with a number of other schools. After being accepted, Emma recalls her parents’ view that “it is fate”, accompanied by the joy and relief of the opportunity for Emma and Sarah to be able to stick together like they have been their whole lives. Although attending college together was not the original intention, they are very grateful now to have each other. 

Among the advantages of coming to college with a sibling, most commonly cited was the built in support system unique to family. Especially for those moving to a new country while simultaneously starting college, Emma Blosser explained that the “familiarity” was a large factor that added to their “sense of comfortability” in the new environment. “You always know someone” noted Landry, to which Lane added “it’s not like we miss home that much since three of us are here.” Particularly emphasizing the emotional support, “certain conversations,” says Anderson Lin, “are easier to talk to family.” 

For all three sets of siblings, nothing jumped out as a huge disadvantage. Some may think that it’s harder to be independent or “branch out,” notes Sarah Blosser, but she finds that isn’t the case. While she and Emma are roommates,  share many of the same friends, and even take a few classes together, they each have their own majors and their own interests which helps them find their own spaces. 

Interestingly, all three sets of siblings said they found some overlap in terms of friends, especially those in the same grade or one year apart. Tiffany and Anderson Lin shared that on weekends they have a “double roommates dinner time” tradition where they, along with their roommates, order food and eat together in the Pusan common room. Going out for food is also what Landry and Lane share to be their favorite thing to do together. When not too busy with schoolwork, Tiffany Lin mentions watching movies as another favorite activity to do with her brothers.

Overall, there is a general sentiment that attending university with a sibling shares many similarities to attending high school or middle school together, just translated to a college setting. While NYU Shanghai is unique for its size and location, part of what makes this a unique experience for these siblings is that they get to have it together.