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Alexia Kim ’17: Semester abroad in Melbourne

Uncategorized- - By Alexia Kim
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Alexia Kim ’17 surrounded by street graffiti art within the many alleyways of Melbourne CBD (Union Lane)

A lot of things were weighing on my mind as I prepared for my semester abroad in Melbourne, Australia. I was excited to experience a completely different culture, both socially and academically, but was also anxious about living independently without the familiarity of my life at Princeton and back home. Having lived on the East Coast my entire life, this transition in adapting to a completely different culture was a new challenge for me, but undoubtedly was an opportunity that I could not have missed out on while I was still a student at Princeton. 

About a month into my time abroad, I have already met so many new people from all over the world, and have seen countless numbers of beautiful sights in Australia and New Zealand that are simply breathtaking. Not only am I learning more about the Australian culture and how academics work here, but being abroad has also taught me a lot about myself as a person. Being in a new environment has allowed me to try new things each day, whether it be playing touch rugby or climbing up the New Zealand glaciers, and ultimately it has made me much more open-minded.

At the Loch Ard Gorge along the Great Ocean Road. Definitely one of the most beautiful places I’ve been to yet!

Best of all, I am able to experience this new life while still completing my required Princeton courses for credit, and am still able to conduct my junior independent research with Dr. Hong at the University of Melbourne, currently optimizing the design of new luminescent molecules for monitoring protein conformational transitions.