When a friend of mine returned from his study abroad trip to Ireland, I was intrigued by his experience. I then got to thinking about the fact that I am now officially declared an Anthropology major and how a trip abroad is the universe trying to get my attention.
With the support of my friend, I applied to the Rutgers University Newark (RUN) study abroad program. I am still in awe at the fact that I was accepted.
Before heading off to college, I also knew that I wanted to someday study, live and work in an East Asian country. And, after being accepted into the RUN Study Abroad Program, I realized just how close I am now to achieving this goal. BUT… I need a lot of help to see it realized.
Following my acceptance, I had to chat with my parents. Those of you who know my mother know that she was like… “Don’t be upset if this whole trip doesn’t work out, because you know we do N.O.T. have that kind of money.” Me being who I am, I said, “Well, I’m going to put it out there any way. **smile**”
And, here we are!
So, why South Korea? It all goes back to my parents’ penchant to keep up with the latest in the world of anime. As I grew up, my own adoration for animation grew, and then morphed into something outside of my parents’ likes. Eastern Asia has had great sway over my life. Just look at the influences of K-Pop, East Asian dramas, and Japanese animation, and the impact they have all had on my generation.
My motivations for studying the Korean peoples/language and studying Anthropology mesh in my desire to debunk disparities between Koreans and Black Americans. The negative overarching stereotypes of and between Koreans and Black Americans—and people all over the world—must end. Yes, we all have something to offer each other if only a different perspective on daily life.
As it stands today, Ewha Womans University, in Seoul, South Korea, would be my host university. At Ewha, I will continue my studies in Korean (I’m in my 2nd year of study) in addition to taking other Korean-centric courses. Of the credits I’ll achieve while there, 80% of them will be directly applied to my Anthropology major AND general education credits needed to successfully graduate from RUN.
But it’s not just about me!
Thus, my mission upon returning from Seoul, is to bring awareness to other low- and middle-income college families about the opportunities of studying abroad. I’d then like to share this same information with the students back at my old high school, as well as the National Junior Tennis & Learning of Trenton. That is to say, through my experience, I vow to stand up as a social change agent, advocating as positively and strongly as I can regarding the life changing experience associated with studying abroad. Bottom line is that I want all of my RUN peers and Trenton youth to know that no matter your socio-economic background, or where you’re from, that there are opportunities out there for them (us) to expand our horizons outside of our communities.
THANK YOU EVERYONE!
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