Allen Huang - Stanford in Australia
Major: Computer Science - undergrad, Biomedical Informatics - grad
College year while abroad: Co-term
About the photo: Taken in front of the Opera House with a friend during the Bing Dinner in the Sydney Harbour
Questions and Answers with Allen
Why did you choose to study in Australia?
I've always been interested in biology and wanted to understand more about marine ecosystems and science. Being in Australia and the Great Barrier Reef was the perfect place to do that!
What were your expectations before you went and how did they change once you were in Australia?
I didn't really have any expectations aside from knowing that each course would be at a different locations, and I think that really helped me live in the moment and adapt to each place we went to!
What were some of the academic benefits from studying abroad in Australia?
It's rare to have such an opportunity to interact with professors in such a capacity. Not only are they teaching courses, but in many locations you're eating, sleeping, and hanging out in the same place as them. As for the course material and fieldwork, it's something that simply can't be replicated anywhere else in the world.
What did you learn about yourself while studying abroad?
I'm a lot more extroverted than I thought! I got so used to having roommates throughout the quarter than I felt a bit lonely in the singles at the end.
What was the most challenging experience you encountered while abroad and what did you learn from it?
It was hard to adjust to the camping in Sheoak Ridge at first but I grew to enjoy the bonding opportunity it provided and the nature all around.
What was the biggest cultural adjustment you had to make?
I really appreciated how first peoples and indigenous cultures are much more a part of Australian culture, and that was something that surprised me a lot at first.
What was your favorite part of everyday life?
I felt like there was always just something new to explore in my free time, no matter where I was.
What was the most memorable experience you had while in Australia?
Snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef for a couple weeks!
What 5 words would you use to describe the experience?
immersive, nature, hands-on, exploring, incredible
What was your favorite food?
It's hard to choose, but there was a great Korean fried chicken place in Brisbane and also a mind-blowing boba place in Sydney.
What was the most valuable item you took on the program?
I brought a frisbee that turned out to be a great way to pass the time.
What was your favorite music/band you discovered in Australia?