Paying Off My Trip to Seoul

We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.

Jesse Owens

For some reason, I had no doubt and no worry about paying off this trip to Seoul, South Korea (unlike the nerves I had with paying for the trip to Japan). I had a weird ease every time I thought of it. My mom even told me, “Don’t worry about the trip. It will be paid for.” And It was.

Financial Aid

I’m taking three classes between Jun 15th and 28th in preparation for my internship abroad. So, I applied for summer financial aid on the first day it opened. I ended up accepting two small loans, but those simply payed for my Asiana plan ticket. Financial aid paid for my entire trip as well as the two weeks of class I need to take. However, they took away my loans because I won a Gilman Scholarship. So now, I (actually my parents) have the pay the loan back because they took it away after giving me my disbursement. But that’s another story.

Gilman Scholarship

The second thing I did to pay off the trip was apply to the Gilman Scholarship. I found out about it through an email the Honors College sent out to Honor Students. According to Gilman’s main website, “The U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship is a grant program that enables students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad, thereby gaining skills critical to our national security and economic competitiveness.”

Since I was participating in a summer study abroad, I could apply to the scholarship twice for reasons I still don’t understand. But I’m not complaining because the first time I applied, I was rejected. But the second time, I was determined. I whipped up and fixed the essays before going to professors who worked with the Gilman program and asked them to look over the essays. They gave me wonderful advice and marked up the essays with comments and suggestions that highlighted the screen. So much needed to be fixed, but I revised it before having them look over it one last time. Finally, I submitted my application.

A month or so later, I got a congratulations! I was so excited yet mellow at the same time because for some reason, I felt like I was going to win the scholarship. I used that money to pay rent the apartment I needed, food, business attire, and spending money for the trip.

However, in exchange for the scholarship, I had to execute a proposal I made. I had to do something that would spread the name of the Gilman in a creative way. So, this is what I proposed:

Creating art and writing are interests of mine that will help me ignite my project. My project to promote the Gilman Scholarship and International education is a study abroad blog with a theme of a South Korean workplace, or internship, and culture that will be updated weekly during my time abroad. Short web comics will also be incorporated into the blogs upon my return. The comics will have me as the main character narrating gained knowledge about people I meet at the company I’ll work for, the courses I’ve taken within the program, and the different activities I’ve participated in such as sightseeing or tea ceremonies. Being a writer and artist majoring in Creative Writing and Studio Arts and Technology, I will build on my artistic skills while also promoting my work online. I will integrate my internship and networking experiences in my project by giving insight on the South Korean culture and history, business skills or attributes I have gained working for a company, and my improved networking and credibility.

I proposed a lot more, but this is the main idea. Still, I am really excited about this project, and I hope you all enjoy it because this blog is the project. At least part of it. You’ll see posts about the preparation courses I take at Purdue as well as my internship in Seoul. Who knows? Maybe you’ll learn something with me.

What are your thoughts? Comment if you so choose! …_〆(゚▽゚*)

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