A pirate's study abroad to China

Will Shanahan Start Date: Sep 12, 2016 - End Date: Jan 9, 2017
  • Chengdu, Sichuan, China

My Travel Story

by: Will Shanahan Start Date: Sep 12, 2016 - End Date: Jan 9, 2017
Ahoy, Scallawags!
This is a crowdfunding campaign to send me on a study abroad trip, but chances are you already knew that because I put it in the title! I’ll bet I even put the location in that title, and will say it again anyway! When will this pirate ever learn from himself?
I’m sailing across the western ocean to Chengdu, China (CALLED IT) this January wherein I will develop skills and resources for a rapidly shrinking world. I will attend Southwest Unversity for Nationalities through the University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC) and through Portland State University. Fun fact: Portland has a series of Shanghai tunnels through which sailors would be “Shanghai’d” onto ships bound for Asia after being drugged at a bar. Recent evidence says these tunnels were probably never actually used for that purpose, but it’s an awesome story with topical application. I’m shanghaiing myself, except for my own benefit and cross-cultural experience!
Aside from the experience six months in another culture will give, I can gain language skills, international networking skills, further culinary expertise, and other things generally not suited to piracy in any way! Developing myself is a challenge I most heartily will enjoy! I’ll even sing an ol’ sea chantey about it later if I get the urge.
So why should you sling doubloons at a pirate’s travelling expenses? Well if years of shenanigans has taught me anything, it’s that I’m at least moderately entertaining! I will entertain you for money! In fact, I intend to release a series of video blogs during my trip to Chengdu, and even a minimal donation will get you early access to those videos before I post them to the rest of youtube. If I somehow turn into an internet sensation, you’ll have seen it first!
Secondly, I  intend to give you other incentives for your trouble. I’m talking shout-outs, postcards, souvenirs, and even things I have made myself as thanks for your support. What kind of things? Wood things! BURNED wood things.
Come be part of the shenanigans and adventure. Help me tell a legendary tale!

Note: My expected total expenses are about $12,000 in United States currency, however the Pell Grant and Oregon Opportunity Grant have already covered a little under $7,000, and I myself have $1,000 in savings to help cover the costs.
  • Chengdu, Sichuan, China


  • 2nd Update: Scholarships

    2nd Update: Scholarships
    Earlier this year I applied for several scholarships attached to studying abroad, including the competitive Benjamin A. Gilman Award. While at the time I was optimistic about my chances of success, it turns out I was not among the nearly 900 hardworking recipients of the Gilman award. That alone would've paid for the rest of my expenses and then some, but there is good news along with the bad news.

    I did win $1000 dollars from the USAC-PSU Alliance Scholarship, which focuses on specifically on students from school going to study in my study abroad organization. This win brings me one step closer to completely covering my expenses, totaling about $9000 dollars before I even look into how much my wonderful donors have given.

    Thank you all, who have donated, and thank you all who will. I hope to create a wonderful video series for you all and bring back many excellent stories.

    (NOTE: Because I still can not figure out the website's design enough to "subtract" expenses as they are covered by scholarships and the like, I am simply subtracting it all manually and leaving behind the remaining value to be covered.)
    Image Credit: FISE website
  • 1st Update: Clarifications

    1st Update: Clarifications
    As mentioned in, "My Travel Story," I have roughly $8000 dollars already covered. To best illustrate what I am facing, I have put all the expenses on display without modification. The difference between what I have and what I need is about $4,000. However, I do not believe I will be able to cover so much with crowdfunding alone.

    The fact is, I can completely cover all expenses with student loans if I had to. There is no circumstance, barring an act of god, which prevents me from pursuing this study abroad. Of course, I like most people desire to avoid loans when unnecessary, but I include the fact that I can study abroad in all circumstances to illustrate that your money will absolutely go towards its intended purpose.
    My current major goal is in the application for the Benjamin A. Gilman Study Abroad Scholarship which is funded by the State Department and gives out awards to about 1 out of every 3 applicants. Because Mandarin Chinese is a, "critical language," the award is both more likely to be funded and worth $8000 (as opposed to the average $5000 award).

    But, while I am confident in my ability to win the Gilman scholarship award, I have no guarantee of a win, and finding other sources before the award is announced in December is both prudent and necessary.

    Finally, a word on wild success.
    If I both win the Gilman and some of the other scholarships I am applying for and your support in this trip, the excess money will either go towards better recording equipment for the trip, or to pay off the student loans already accrued. The final decision on where it is spent will depend on the amount over my goal I reach (because $10 doesn't buy better equipment, and $1000 is too much for better equipment when you're only one person), but again I must reiterate: no matter what happens, your donation helps.

    (pictured:Portland, Oregon's Chinatown gate. Taken from Wikipedia, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license.)

Adventure Registry

  • FAFSA grants

    $ 6,900
    US Government
    • Granted
  • Personal Contribution

    $ 1,000
    • Granted
  • PSU-USAC Alliance Scholarship

    $ 1,000
    • Granted