Taking a Course Outside My Field of Study

In "The Graphic Novel" course in the English department, student Laura Zalles inks a drawing. The final product of the class is the graphic novel "American Heathen."  by Linda Cicero via SALLIE

"By allowing myself to get uncomfortable initially, I grew to understand the class and greatly enjoy it. "  

- Alvin, '17 

Have you been happy to have taken a course outside your major field?

"As a prospective engineering major, I initially planned on filling out my freshmen year with engineering requirement courses and the assigned English core. However, winter quarter I realized I still had a free class spot. I scrolled through the class listings and found one that caught my eye: “Kangnam Style: Korean Media and Pop Culture”. Born in Seoul, South Korea but raised here in the US, I have lost a lot of my Korean knowledge and did not feel connected to its culture. I had an interest in its music groups and TV shows however, so I decided it would be a good experience to take the class. On the first day, I felt out of place. I was the only Korean in the class and I wasn’t sure if I would be engaged the entire quarter. However, I decided to stick with it and just see how the class went. By allowing myself to get uncomfortable initially, I grew to understand the class and greatly enjoy it. We proceeded to learn about the tourism industry, the impact of globalization, and different types of popular K-dramas. As I had taken primarily math and science-based classes before that quarter, this class was a refreshing change of pace. I had the opportunity to study and apply my thinking in a completely different way, and I realized that it would have been a shame to go through my Stanford career without taking advantage of the wonderful humanities classes they offer. I discovered through taking this class that I could learn all of the engineering material I needed in addition to enjoying myself in extra classes that would broaden my view of the world."

Alvin Kim

Electrical Engineering
Class of 2017