Here are the details:
The Program: I have been accepted to an MPhil/PhD program at SOAS, University of London. The program is 3 years long and is hands down the BEST program I have found in the world for my work (and I am not prone to exaggeration). Here's a link to the program.
My Research: I work with Punjabi, which is the 10th most commonly spoken language in the world, and is spoken in north India and Pakistan. Even though it is widely spoken, it is really lacking in scholarly understanding. Heck, most people I know have never heard of it! So that's what I'm doing! I am researching TONES in spoken Punjabi. Simply put, I take audio recordings of native speakers then I analyze their recordings to document tone patterns. I started my research already: I earned an MA in Lingusitics from BYU, where my MA Thesis won my department's top award.
Like all good research, I found more questions and I desperately want the opportunity to track down more answers. Here's a link to my MA Thesis. Be warned: it's sciency.
My Problem: I can pay for tuition with regular student loans, but in order to get the UK Student Visa that I need, I have to show that I can pay my living expenses for my first 9 months there without relying on work. I am allowed to work on the visa and am absolutely planning on working, but I have to show that I won't have to depend on a job for that first year. With London's cost of living, that means I need about $16,000 before I will be granted a visa. The program is not open to study abroad, and deferrment is no longer an option.
Previous Plans: I was actually admitted for last fall, but I deferred my enrollment to have time to apply for funding, and save money. Right after I deferred, I was downsized from 2 of my part-time jobs. I juggle 3-5 PT jobs weekly, and work 50-70 hours per week, but I still only make ends meet. I tried hard to find FT work, but I haven't been successful yet. I also tried applying for funding, both with grant foundations and through the school. Unfortunately those are really competitive, and I didn't get a grant or a scholarship.
My Solution: I need some funding, and I need it pretty quickly. Please consider making either a donation or short-term loan so I can get a UK Student Visa. With it, I will be able to go to London and study at the world's leading institution for the study of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
I had to write a thorough research proposal to get admitted to SOAS, so if you want to see my overall goals before committing or have any other quesitons, let me know and I'll be happy to give you more information.
On a personal note, you may notice that my title is "Cranes & Cash for College". I'm a bit superstitious, and there is a Japanese legend that says if you fold 1000 paper cranes you will be granted one wish. Going to SOAS to further my research is my deepest wish, so while I am fundraising, I am also crane-folding and have incorporated the cranes, a symbol of my hope that this fundraiser will work, into the pledge reward levels.
As a reminder, this is an all-or-nothing campaign. Your card will not be charged until the end of the campaign, and only if I hit my fundraising goal. :)
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