Hello! I am a junior in college and this summer is my last chance see my grandfather before he passes away. I was born in South Korea and immigrated to the United States when I was five years old. Since then, I have never been able to visit Korea, either because my family was too poor or because I had to focus on my studies. This will be my first time seeing any of my extended family in more than fifteen years.
I worked very hard to get into my college and maintain a high GPA, and I am preparing to apply for medical school next year. This summer is my last chance to study abroad because my school does not let seniors study abroad. I have already been accepted to a study abroad program, but the price is very steep, amounting to an estimated price of more than $10,000 (this price is based on tuition, meals, airfare, additional educational costs and a mandatory quarantine period for which I have to pay out of pocket upon entry to Korea). This study abroad program is extremely important to me for two reasons:
The first is that this may be my last opportunity to see my grandfather before he passes away. When I was living in Korea as a child, I lived with my mother’s family, which included my grandparents and my uncle. In the last few years, my grandfather’s health has gotten increasingly worse due to heart disease, and this has only been made worse by the fact that COVID has restricted his ability to freely go outside. I would like to be able to see him in person one last time before he is gone forever. In addition to my grandfather, I would also be able to see my baby cousins and my grandmother. Again, I have not seen them in more than fifteen years and it would be my first time seeing my cousins in person.
The second reason is that I would like to learn more about my culture and language. In a society where Asian Americans are expected to bury their unique cultural identity, I am struggling to find opportunities to learn about this part of myself. I have fought to maintain fluency in Korean for my whole life, and although I can communicate well enough, I would like to expand my Korean language skills. During this study abroad program, I will be taking a Korean language class for three hours four days a week, which will allow me to fulfill this goal. I will also be taking Korean culture and history classes to expand my knowledge of my own culture, which is very scarcely taught in the American education system.
My college has informed me that they will not be giving me any loans for the summer, which means I will have to pay everything out of pocket. In addition, my parents just bought a house and they are still paying for repairs and renovations. They have told me that they will not be able to contribute to my summer study abroad at all, meaning that I have to raise all the money on my own. Anything helps and I am very grateful to everyone who donates! Thank you so much for taking the time to read this.
My paypal link: paypal.me/SooahS