I once defined myself as a vector quantity. Regarding magnitude, I am 173 cm tall, seventeen years of age, and roughly 7 x 10^27 molecules in size. With the direction component, my personality travels alongside my aspirations. I am naturally a curious person, questioning concepts I learn in class and outside, as well as the different ways various groups in society are perceived.
In seventh grade at the International School Basel, my Physics teacher opened the class with: “Hello Team. Welcome to the most difficult, fascinating, and life-changing class offered at this school.” After I digested my teacher’s words, I told myself that this was worth my absolute best. Soon, I got lost in the world of forces, particles, and relativity. Then, four years later, in International Baccalaureate Higher Level Economics, I found myself captivated by micro- and macroeconomics. While at first seeing both interests as separate, I later became aware of the underlying relationship between the ways in which physical and economic systems function. I have maintained these interests as a college freshman, pursuing an Economics and Physics double major, increasingly attracted by the field of Econophysics (an interdisciplinary field in which specific physics concepts are applied to solving economics issues).
Another relevant angle to define me is my international student dimension. I was born and raised in a suburb of Basel, Switzerland, and the only move I had made before coming to Durham was a few blocks away. My mother was raised in Hickory, North Carolina (about 2.5 hours driving from Duke and known for its furniture industry) and my father is from the Alsace region in France (the area in which Germany fought in both World Wars, where they speak this interesting mix of German and French, appropriately named Alsatian). With this background, I speak English, German and French, and on a good day, some Schwyzerdütsch (Swiss German). Each of my nationalities factors into my life in unique ways. My “French-ness” is exposed with food (I’m a foodie, although a pescatarian) and my hopelessly romantic nature. My “Swiss-ness” is apparent in my love of nature, outdoor activities and cleanliness. Lastly, my “American-ness” is a further aspect of my personality, and aids in my self-motivation and the drive to challenge myself. And yes, I inherited the shopping gene from my mother.
My past semester at Duke, honestly a very tumultuous one, has made me grow as an individual, and has allowed for much self-discovery. Before Duke, I had never done laundry by myself, now a necessary chore. I had also never been away from my parents for more than two weeks, which now has changed to about every two months (I am an only child, my parents have served as my mentors and my inspiration). Thirdly, Duke has turned me into a feminist, according to the New Oxford’s American Dictionary’s definition as “an advocate of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men”. Through my involvement in Duke’s Women’s Collective, I have been able to learn more about the role of women at Duke, as well as their perception in society in general.
My numerous interests push me to discover the world in which I live. At Duke, I try to be involved in a range of activities, from Duke International Relations Association’s Away Team (Model United Nations team), to Rince Diabhal (Duke’s Irish Dance Team). I am trying to give back to the international community by acting as an International Ambassador at Duke, as well as by taking a place on the Executive Board of Les Diables Bleus (Duke’s French Club). Lastly, I am involved in Duke’s chapter of the Society for Physics Students, acting as their treasurer.
Finally, and most importantly, I am honored to have been selected into the Baldwin Scholars Program, and am looking forward to spending time with, and learning from all the wonderful women in Baldwin, for the next three and a half years at Duke, and many years after.
“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them”. - Walt Disney
Do not hesitate to e-mail me with questions about my interests, or life at Duke as an international student at firstname.lastname@example.org.