But a new partnership has been formed to bring US students together with Glasgow's sick kids' hospital.
As part of the university's TeamNYUGlobal Program, 25 members of the women's soccer team were given a tour of Yorkhill.
Janice Quinn, senior associate director of athletics, travelled with the team to the UK.
She said: "NYU has campuses in 16 countries, which we call our global network.
"Our students are often given the chance to go and study overseas for one year but because our athletes have to be available for sporting seasons there are only certain times they can travel.
"We wanted to come up with a different model that would give our sportsmen and women the chance to travel, experience other cultures and give back to communities."
The Global Programme aims to send at least one group of student athletes to a Global Network campus each year.
This year was the turn of the women's soccer team, who flew to visit the NYU branch in London.
They were accompanied by an expert in Medieval English Literature and took a course in the subject before leaving the US.
During the 10-day trip the women visited parts of Wales, Chester and Carlyle before reaching Scotland.
But as well as learning history and culture, university staff wanted the women to contribute to a local community.
Janice heard about the work being done at Yorkhill and contacted Yorkhill Children's Charity.
She was so impressed by the expertise of staff and the work of the charity she decided to bring the football team to Glasgow.
Janice, who has been at NYU for 27 years, added: "As part of the Global Outreach programme we want to introduce the idea of service to the women. Our university is one of the most elite in America and these women are healthy, they are strong, smart and they are talented.
"These young women have no barriers; they can literally do anything they want so we want to prepare them to go out into the world realising the positive impact they can have."
SHE continued: "When I heard about Yorkhill and had discussions with the charity it just sounded perfect for us."
As part of their visit, the football players brought NYU baseball caps to share with students.
They also made a special video for patients and toured the wards, meeting young people receiving treatment.
And the group has pledged to fundraise for the hospital on its return to New York.
Nursing students Karli Masengale, from North Virginia, and Anna Connell, of Pennsylvania, were both part of the group to visit Yorkhill.
The women organise football training sessions and games around their studies.
They said they were delighted to take part in the trip to Glasgow.
Karli, 21, said: "We have really enjoyed our trip here and we've seen parts of the UK that visitors don't always get to see.
"So far we've been very impressed by Yorkhill Hospital and it's been great to meet the patients."
Anna, 20, added: "The staff are very friendly and the patients have been very welcoming and open to us being here."
The squad also played a game against Hamilton Accies Women's Football Team.
Kirsten Sinclair, fundraising manager at Yorkhill Children's Charity, added: "We are very grateful to the NYU Women's Soccer Team for taking the time to visit the many children and their families at Yorkhill Hospital during their UK tour.
"Visits like these really help to boost morale, whether the patients are bed bound, are in isolation or are visiting outpatients so we are very thankful for this special visit.
"The children all received NYU caps which was a really nice touch.
"All the children, families and staff are still talking about the visit and will do for a long time I'm sure.
"Thanks again NYU."