Nelly Kontchou

T’13, Houston, TX

I am pursuing a combined major in Spanish and Italian Studies and a Biology Minor. I am very passionate about languages and have thus far carried out my plans to travel extensively throughout my college career. I traveled to Madrid to improve my Spanish the summer after my freshman year through the Duke in Spain program, then I went back home to Cameroon the summer after my sophomore year to shadow doctors and finally, I have just come back from a semester abroad in Chile through the program, SIT Chile: Public Health, Traditional Medicine and Community Empowerment. Tied in with my love of languages and travel is my final goal of becoming a neurosurgeon. Any prospective freshman who is interested in neuroscience should definitely look into taking a Focus course on this topic (with Edna Andrews!) first semester. I took her course, and she absolutely solidified my desire to continue down the neuroscience track. This coming semester, my plans are to study hard, get ready for the MCAT and plan a summer trip to do mental health research in Italy. I am loving my time here at Duke because I immediately felt welcome here, and I have met so many wonderful people. When I’m not studying, I mentor for a middle school girl in a great program called The Girls’ Club, and I strongly urge any incoming Reggie females to join. It is a fun program, the girls are great to hang out with, and also, it is an optimal way to meet many upperclassman girls from Duke who are also mentors. Come to Duke–you’ll love it and our Reggie family!! Feel free to email me with any questions at