Why Gap It? Extend it! Help Me Study Abroad in Japan!

Amber Hodges Start Date: Nov 11, 2017 - End Date: Nov 10, 2018
  • Cultural Exchange
  • Educational/Research Trip
  • Study/Degree Abroad

My Travel Story

by: Amber Hodges Start Date: Nov 11, 2017 - End Date: Nov 10, 2018
  • Cultural Exchange
  • Educational/Research Trip
  • Study/Degree Abroad
School will never end.

At least, not for someone set on becoming a Neurosurgeon. One day -- far-far away -- my goal is to work as a surgeon with Doctors Without Borders. As of writing this, I am only in my Junior year in High school, with more-current goals of studying abroad. 

Ever since I could talk I wanted to travel. See the world (from the Crow's nest of a ship growling "Arrrg," but priorities have changed slightly) and experience every culture and language I could possibly get my grasp on. My parents, though not disapproving -- more so perturbed -- denied any travelling experiences until I became eighteen. Now the world is opening up. The only problem? Expenses. 

Hoping to graduate high school with my Associate's degree, my already-empty pockets are bone dry. I've worked since the day I turned 16 (legal age). A mixture of part-time and full-time jobs isn't cutting it. So, aside from ten million and a half scholarships I put my efforts into, I've been advised to come to this site! 


Country(s) of interest: Japan

Reason: I wish to travel to Japan because the language and culture are so different from that of America. I wish to learn the meaning of some of the Japanese's appreciations, choices, and overall decisions. I believe that Japan is one of the best places for me to go as a student, as well. Also, it may broaden my borders for university! 

Program(s): There are multiple programs I am deciding against. I don't know if you're able to edit these things once they've launched, but as of writing this the programs I have been deciding between are: Take Me To Japan's (Takemetojapan.com) Cultural and Language course, Council on International Educational Exchange's (ciee.org) High school Abroad in Japan course, and Education First's (ef.edu) Language in Tokyo course.

Why these programs: Though there are countless programs offering to take students abroad, these are the three I have worked down to through speaking with the program directors/representatives and deciding which ones were the best choice for me personally. 
Cost: Cost will vary depending on the program, as well as whether or not the program offers to find a host family or boarding for their students. Courses range from 9k to 18k, respectively. Living costs will also be for me to find -- though I do plan to get a Student visa so that I will be able to work part-time while I'm there. So the things I need to pay for off the bat include
Rough estimate of cost
Airfare: TBA
Program tuition: ~$9-18k
Housing/bordering cost (if not included in the program): ~$500-1k/month
Books/other school material (uniform, etc): N/A
Student visa: ~$60
Passport: ~$200
Unexpected Expenses: N/A
When will this all happen: For all the programs listed, as well as others being considered, I will leave in March of 2019. Therefore I am starting this fundraiser early! 
International partnerships rely on culture and language study. My study session will only last a year, but the changes placed on me as a student, an active participant in the future, and as an American will be greatly influenced. With your donation, you are supporting personal growth, international ties, and the future of the world. 
"If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden." As so eloquently expressed by Frances Hodgson Burnett, the world is based on perspective. Perhaps it's naivety, but I truly believe that gaining a new interpretation of the world will better prepare me for future ailments in my life, as well as allow me to better appreciate the world and its countless virtues. It will also prepare me for university. Learning to think in a foreign tongue will act as training for complex problem-solving. This is an invaluable lesson that will not only help me, but it will help many others when I become an active medical doctor. 
International relations and struggles are denied countless times by the ignorant. For an American, born and raised on the foundation of ego and ritousness, it is easy to disregard foreign problems. Education is groaned over by the masses. Language is a silly concept -- come to America; speak English! When war isn't in the backyard, the world must be at peace. These are principals held by too many, spanning from three generations ago to my own. Not all hold these thoughts, however. It is important to recognize those who are moved to help -- to inspire. Hatred should not be backed. With your donation or share, you are not only helping a lifestyle of open-mindedness, but you are creating a voice. To have a voice is to be supplied a weapon in a war of money, of words, and of ideas. The voice you are helping create will vouch for change and for understandings between cultures. 
You, yourself, are vouching for a better future. The internet has confused wisdom with knowledge. To be knowledgeable, in my opinion, is to know of the subject. To remember it. Those with access to the free internet can look up practically anything. They can learn the facts of any subject. The internet is a valued; however, at times, it is pretentious. To gain wisdom of a subject one must study it in depth. One must learn the culture of the topic.  It is not enough to remember a fact or a formula. That is why I believe travelling and studying abroad will be a way for you and me to advocate for an educated future. By immersing myself, and encouraging others to do the same, in something, I am creating a habit early-on of culture rather than memorization. It is no good enough to remember something just to get a passing grade. Professors and textbooks will not aid those struggling in the real world. What is truly needed for humanity to grow is for its participants to learn how to apply knowledge to the outside world. Even one person can inspire an army to follow. An army motivated to become wise. 
In the end, travelling as one person can seem insignificant; but it's not. By endorsing me as a student, you are endorsing the idea of an educated future, strong international relations, and personal growth. It is the support that will allow my generation to become a strong and honourable foundation. Even with just a share via social media can show your support! Together, we can change the world.