Undergraduate Student Blog, Speaking of Princeton

Undergraduate Student Blog

The Golden Plane Ticket

Exploring the world, thanks to Princeton

Pilanesberg

Pilanesberg National Park Safari, South Africa with the PU Glee Club

Greetings from Ireland!

I’m here helping organize my a cappella group’s tour of Dublin and Cork; we’re here for the week, and only a few days in, we’ve already fallen in love with the country!  I could go on about everything that I’ve learned from the experience (driving on the left side of the road is no longer terrifying), the incredibly generous people that we’ve met (try telling an Irish mother from Bandon that you’re not hungry), and the amazing opportunities that we had (we sang for the Lord Mayor of Cork! and yes, they are actually called “Lord Mayor”s over there).  But instead, it feels more appropriate to zoom out and talk about how much travel I’ve done as a direct consequence of coming to Princeton.

In the past two years, I’ve been to Los Angeles, Washington D.C., New Orleans, Louisiana, San Francisco, California, South Africa, London, Ireland, and Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.  Before coming to Princeton, I had never left the time zone, let alone the country.  Better yet, every trip that I’ve made has either been free or heavily subsidized by alumni generosity.  I was very excited to get into Princeton, but I couldn’t have imagined that saying yes would include a golden plane ticket that would take me around the world!

I’m a performer, so a lot of those places are because of my a cappella group — the Princeton Roaring 20 — and the Princeton University Glee Club (the university choir, bearing very little similarities to the Fox Network show). Similar to most other a cappella groups, Roaring 20 (or “R20” if you want to sound cool and in-the-know) goes on tour twice a year, so because of that, I’ve sung all over the country — and now Ireland!  Every two years, the Glee Club goes on an international tour.  Last year was South Africa, and they’re keeping us in suspense for next year’s destination (fingers crossed for India!).  So in short, if you want to travel, get involved in the music community here at Princeton!

This isn’t to say that these opportunities are exclusively for those involved in the arts.  I wanted to go to a quantum optics conference at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom, and the physics department helped pay for it; and since I was able to find housing through an alum (P.S. alumni are awesome), the whole trip was next to nothing out of pocket. 

I couldn’t have imagined these opportunities when first saying yes to Princeton. As I talk to and coordinate with people from every kind of background, the experiences not only informs my education, but my worldview as a whole. It is a part of my education that I hadn’t expected, but regardless am very thankful for.  And incredibly, Princeton is able to offer these opportunities to all students—it is safe to say that whatever of your interest, Princeton will be able to send you wherever you want to go!