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Sungmoon Lim

Sungmoon Lim

Portrait of Sungmoon Lim


Why I'm majoring in Urban Studies: Cities are an incredibly important part of our planet, and their influence will only continue to grow as our world becomes more and more urbanized. Understanding the significance of these urban spaces and analyzing their patterns in various ways — whether it's through a political, sustainable, economic, or sociological lens — is crucial in making decisions that will impact the future of our society. Urban Studies provides a unique blend of theoretical and applied knowledge in a wide range of subjects that allows us to do so.

What I like best about Urban Studies: The Urban Studies department is incredibly welcoming and caring. The faculty members provide unparalleled support — both academic and personal — to the students. My fellow Urban Studies peers are incredibly inspiring and thoughtful, and because of the small size of the department, we're a very tight-knit group.

Favorite class / professor (and why): Though not an Urban Studies class, I loved Russ Fernald's Neuroethology course in the Human Biology department. The topics, though unfamiliar at first, were fascinating. Russ is one of the most brilliant professors I've ever had, and both his lectures during class and our conversations during office hours showed that he really cared about his work and his students. His passion is inspiring and almost contagious. This class taught me the importance and value of sampling subjects beyond one's comfort zone.

Favorite book (and why): Blindness by José Saramago and Night by Elie Wiesel. The co-existence of both the tragic and comic in Blindness is what makes it so gripping, and Saramago's style of writing is exciting and entertaining. Wiesel's Night spurred my interest in history and in human rights, and it's probably the single most important and influential book I read as a kid. Both novels teach the reader invaluable lessons about humanity and human behavior. Oh, and I also love the Harry Potter books. My favorite one is the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Career goal / Future plans: I plan on attending law school after graduation and hope to explore careers in law and diplomacy. I'm also interested in working with international organizations that focus on economic development.

Other academic interests (major, minors): Modern Languages / History

Extracurriculars: Stanford Association for International Development, Stanford Pre-Law Society, Stanford Women in Politics, Stanford Journal of International Law, Boxing

Something else you should know about me: I've lived in 6 different cities on 3 different continents, and I'll be living in New York City this fall as part of the Stanford in New York cohort.