Korea, a quest of a lifetime!
Ever since I was a small bean I had always wanted to explore new places and discover new things. I was so interested in it that I would spend hours and hours on our family computer looking at photos and blurry videos of people traveling to exotic places. Of course the videos wasn't enough so I came up with creative ways of getting there with my creative imagination. Those ways being imagining myself as an airplane and jumping on my bunk bed believing I would somehow fly there. As you can tell, I didn't get too far....
Growing up, I still loved to travel but being the youngest, my parents were real protective of me so I never really got the chance to do what I wanted. We also didn't have any money to travel so I'm sure that was a reason too. Food and entertainment was the main focus of why I loved foreign cultures. I had found the differences between my culture and their culture to be so inviting that I had to learn more. My first major interest was anime. I first discovered anime when I was 9 years old and I have been watching it ever since. Anime gave me the best adventures I had ever imagined. Somehow Japanese animation (anime) and its fans lead me to Korean drama and Korean culture. When I had first discovered Korean culture, I had become so intrigued. Not just because of the differences but because of the similarities between the cultures. I felt as though I could relate. Their values were similar to mine.
Not only that but food had always been the center of the world next to my family. I mean who doesn't love food haha. I'm even considering becoming a culinary master! When I was visiting Chicago and we were in Chinatown, I had found a Korean restaurant and decided I finally needed to try it. Now I had always saw how delicious Korean food looked in their dramas but when I had my very first bite of tteokbokki ( Spicy Korean Rice Cake), I literally fell in love. And in that moment, I knew that I had to go to Korea to learn the craft of their food and to eat it....everyday haha. That day was in 2014 and I had tried many recipes online but I don't think it will compare to the authentic Korean food in Korea.
The program that I am signing up for is QuestExchange's academic year for 2018-2019. I'm an honor student however the program does not give out scholarships. The program cost is $16,400 and it includes everything except the following:
Personal expenses (~ $300/month)
Visa and immigration fees
Transportation and travel within the host country
My family can only afford this much. We cannot afford the program fee. My father is the only person in my family that is a bread provider. He’s already stressed enough having to deal with bills and trying to have enough money to last the week. Recently an accident happened with my brother and my mother really want to moved out of the gang filled town I live in and I'm terrified about going out to hang out with my friends. Not only that but because we're moving I would have to transfer out of my school's education system. This would be terrible because some credits might not be transferred or I could potentially become behind. Instead I hope to spend my senior year doing something worth wild while learning new things. And that fun thing is studying abroad in South Korea. While studying in S.Korea, I could learn the culinary craft that I wanted to learn, and I could explore more of their values first hand. One thing that I do look forward to is experiencing the Korean education system. It would be life changing to learn from a very different perspective that what I'm used to. Also maybe I can even do things I've never done before like attend a dance class at One Million dance studio, a dance studio famous for their Choreography. I will also have the opportunity to learn a beautiful second language and encourage others that studying abroad is the best thing ever.
This is literally the only thing that I want now, other than the safety of my family and I would really appreciate if you were to help me. In the meantime, I will do everything in my power to raise some funds myself. Thank you so much.