For Selam Melka, taking risks and exploring new fields helped her find her passion

Selam Melka Hamline alumni student

When Selam Melka '07 stepped onto campus for her first year at Hamline University, she was 7,600 miles from her home in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 

Melka had focused on the Twin Cities during her college search, in part because her sisters already lived in Minnesota. After learning about Hamline's biochemistry major and receiving a generous financial aid offer, she packed her bags for Saint Paul.

"It was an interesting time because I was transitioning in a lot of aspects of my life," Melka said: From Addis Ababa to Saint Paul, from high school to college. Having family nearby helped, she added, and the people that she met at Hamline quickly became her community. 

"Hamline isn't so big that you don't know anybody, and it's not too small," she recalled.

She participated in a summer research project for the chemistry department, "mainly because I wanted to know if research was the place for me or not," Melka said. Though it was a transformative learning experience and fun to boot, she realized that research wasn't what she wanted to pursue as a career.


My professors helped me navigate my career decisions and gave me a lot of advice."


Learn about international student admission, explore our biochemistry program, and discover how our students take their research to the next level.

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