Guest Student Reflection: Ms. Wangui Wangui Kariuki

Former Stanford Summer Session undergraduate student, Ms. Wangui Wangui Kariuki, shares her experiences from Summer Quarter 2012:

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Creativity, innovation, motivation, and dedication cannot be forced. These are intangible elements that are fostered by inspiration from open environments where people interact freely (encouraging individuals to achieve personal breakthroughs through exchanging ideas, and challenging one another). In my view, Stanford is a great example of this because I believe it is a hub of inspiration, excellence, and growth – comprised of both academic and social aspects in equal measure. Stanford Summer Session was inspiring because I finally realized what I wanted to pursue academically after a year of uncertainty in this area. This was achieved through a combination of interesting courses and fascinating conversations with my professors, particularly with Professor Linda Capello who challenged me, and inspired me to go into Communications after I took her Entrepreneurial Communications class.

The emphasis put on the social aspects of a student’s experience is one of the most striking features of the Stanford Summer Session that I did not anticipate when I was contemplating over what my experience was going to be like. I was rather anxious on my way to campus because I thought Stanford would be overwhelmingly focused on academics. To my surprise, I found that the same emphasis put on academic prosperity was also extended to students’ social lives and overall exposure.

I love that Stanford organized weekly trips and events for us. For example, we went to San Francisco, watched amazing games (e.g. the LA Galaxy versus the San Jose Earthquakes and the San Francisco Giants games), campus tours, and attended multiple “Lecture and Dinner” events with Faculty Club guest speakers.
My experience with Stanford Summer Session surpassed my expectations. It was incredible because it included amazing academic, cultural, and social experiences. I would recommend the Stanford Summer Session experience to anybody who is ready for a challenge, open to new experiences, and has the desire to grow. I want to warn them now that they will probably fall in love with Stanford because it is such an astounding institution. They should not be shocked when the time comes for them to leave, that they may find themselves desperately wanting to stay.

Best wishes,
Wangui Wangui Kariuki
Former Stanford Summer Session undergraduate student
Nairobi, Kenya

Learn at Stanford.

Current Stanford undergraduate and graduate students and visiting students from around the world are invited to experience the University’s fourth academic quarter.

Current Stanford Students

Continue learning throughout the summer. Registration is easy: visit Axess on April 9, 2017 to view courses and sign up. No separate application is required.

Visiting Domestic Students (U.S.)

Undergraduate and graduate students from around the world are invited to apply. Enjoy challenging academics, explore the Bay Area, and engage with top academics and industry leaders.

Visiting International Students

Students from six continents make our summer program truly international. We encourage all interested international students to apply.

International Honors Program (IHP) Students

Students from select universities around the world come to the Stanford campus to experience a transformative and global academic adventure.

Summer Online Students

Introducing Stanford Summer Online – experience a Stanford education anywhere in the world.

High School Students

Stanford High School Summer College (HSSC) is where exceptional students take Stanford undergraduate courses and earn college credit during the summer quarter.

Summer Courses

Over 170 courses are offered in 40 departments within the schools of Humanities and Sciences, Earth Sciences, and Engineering.

@StanfordSS

A Welcome from Charles Junkerman

Very soon, we will greet you in person and welcome you to Stanford – a university, a place, and an intangible culture that all of us here love and respect, and take great pleasure in sharing with you. A summer at Stanford will be “a place apart” for you – and an opportunity to explore new interests and establish new habits.

It would be a mistake, I believe, to come here and settle into your old routines, no matter how successful they have been for you. I urge you to think of the eight weeks of Stanford Summer Session as a precious intellectual, academic, social, and cultural immersion in new experiences that will transform your life. This goal of transformation is not out of reach. It is, in fact, what thousands of Summer Session students over the years have told us happens to them during their stay here. As a matter of fact, you will have to work very hard not to be transformed by your summer at Stanford.

Charlie

To begin with, you will be in class and in dormitories with a truly remarkable cohort of students – from all over the world and from every conceivable cultural, social, and religious background. As your roommate and on your floor and in your Psychology discussion section, you will be with students from China and Chicago, Pennsylvania and Pakistan, Sweden and South Carolina. And many of them will become life-long friends, business associates, and – who knows? – spouses and partners.

The other transformative experience you will have is almost guaranteed by the remarkable location of the campus. Hugging the Santa Cruz Mountains, on the Peninsula between San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean, just 35 miles south of San Francisco and in the heart of Silicon Valley, Stanford is a jumping off point for weekend exploration of some of the most magnetic places in the country (we’ll organize fieldtrips for you). But you don’t need a car to “get out.” Adjacent to the campus are the rolling oak hills affectionately known as The Dish, with miles of trails, waiting for your early morning run or a sunset stroll. The 8,000 acre campus itself (by some estimates the largest in the country because it started out as Governor Leland Stanford’s horse farm) is a walker and bicyclist’s paradise, and its swimming pools, golf course, and playing fields are at your disposal.

But you’re not coming to Club Med, right? You are coming (we proudly say) to one of the six best universities in the world — the others being Harvard, Cambridge, Berkeley, MIT, and Oxford — and it will be your time in the labs and libraries, classrooms and lecture halls, in informal office hours with faculty, and in late night discussions with fellow students where you will be most transformed. You will leave Stanford with new knowledge, there’s no question about that, but you will also leave with greater comfort and confidence in your ability to enter into the compelling conversations of humankind, and to help to answer the most urgent questions facing us today: “Can we avert climate change?” “Where will we find alternative fuels?” “Can we live to 100?” “Do we want to?” This list of questions, and many you have that I can’t even imagine, could be extended indefinitely.

As somebody who teaches literature, I’d like to close this post by quoting a poem full of questions — one aptly entitled “The Summer Day” by Mary Oliver. And I look forward to greeting you all at the end of June, and sharing questions and answers with you for eight glorious weeks this summer.

The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean – the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass,
how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

Mary Oliver

Learn at Stanford.

Current Stanford undergraduate and graduate students and visiting students from around the world are invited to experience the University’s fourth academic quarter.

Current Stanford Students

Continue learning throughout the summer. Registration is easy: visit Axess on April 9, 2017 to view courses and sign up. No separate application is required.

Visiting Domestic Students (U.S.)

Undergraduate and graduate students from around the world are invited to apply. Enjoy challenging academics, explore the Bay Area, and engage with top academics and industry leaders.

Visiting International Students

Students from six continents make our summer program truly international. We encourage all interested international students to apply.

International Honors Program (IHP) Students

Students from select universities around the world come to the Stanford campus to experience a transformative and global academic adventure.

Summer Online Students

Introducing Stanford Summer Online – experience a Stanford education anywhere in the world.

High School Students

Stanford High School Summer College (HSSC) is where exceptional students take Stanford undergraduate courses and earn college credit during the summer quarter.

Summer Courses

Over 170 courses are offered in 40 departments within the schools of Humanities and Sciences, Earth Sciences, and Engineering.

@StanfordSS