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I have always been fascinated by Japan as a nation and its fascinating culture. While the language may be unfamiliar to me and the culture is very different from mine, everything about Japan has exceeded my expectations. The elegance of the native tongue made it so that in a few of months, it made more sense to me than twelve years of English classes ever did. I've made it my purpose to seize every chance that comes my way to fully immerse and enjoy the local culture and language. Even my life goals are sculpted around my journey towards understanding this country.
Upon graduation, I intend to seek employment as an English teacher in Japan through the JET program. This time as will be utilized as an opportunity to strengthen my grasp on the local language and culture. One issue that I feel needs some improvement Japan's curriculum which does not incorporate English so much in the learning process. I feel there is a gap that I could fill with the knowledge I have amassed. Despite most students taking English lessons in school, many cannot speak the language. Through some personal research, I have found some of the root causes being that many students do not utilize the necessary reinforcement for learning a language. The proof lies in the fact that English lessons are usually taken only once a week. Furthermore, most of the students do not feel compelled to learn the language. As an English teacher, I would plead my case to the school to offer optional English classes I could host after or before school. At the same time, I would also incorporate into my lessons reasons why learning an additional language such as English can benefit a person in a myriad of ways. Moreover, English is an international language spoken in many parts of the world.
In line with my passion for East Asian culture, specifically Japanese culture, I also intend to focus my efforts on expanding my current understanding of the culture and the connection between different variations of the culture. I wish to delve further and garner an understanding of the reasons behind the tension between individual countries such as Japan and China. I hope to use the understanding and knowledge I amass of the subtle nuances behind such issues to better tackle the problem itself. I see myself as a contributor to diffusing this issue and promoting healthy relations between the two countries in the future as a Foreign Service officer after completing my time as a teacher.
To study abroad at Japan's Waseda University will be critical towards achieving my professional goals as well as fulfilling a long-held ambition. The time spent there will be dedicated to challenging myself to gain as much practice with the language as possible and to embrace the Japanese culture and incorporate it in every facet of my life.
I am aware that to realize this dream, the Gilman Scholarship Program will without a doubt have a significant role to play. I am a self-motivated, self-sufficient individual intent on ensuring that my academic goals are perfectly in sync with my professional goals and therefore if I were to receive this scholarship, I would do all within my power to capitalize on the chance to study abroad. I believe that this scholarship will go a long way towards preparing me to achieve my ultimate professional goals post-graduation.
Follow-on Service Project Proposal
Studying abroad is a unique opportunity that every college student should aspire to take part. I would like to be an ambassador, spreading the importance and value that international education can impart on an individual, both personally and academically. To achieve this ultimate goal, I will make use of YouTube which is an immensely popular tool to share videos to a broad spectrum of people. To best inspire others to follow in my footsteps and seek the opportunity to study abroad, take in a different experience and learn to appreciate what else the world has to offer.
I intend to set up a channel on which I will be posting on a regular basis a series of videos depicting life in Tokyo, Japan as an exchange student at the prestigious Waseda University. Besides, I'll post detailed step by step videos on how one can best prepare for a successful study experience abroad, what to take advantage of at the host university, how to best apply for scholarships such as the Gilman scholarship program, and also promote study opportunities opening up abroad. Towards the realization of this goal, I intend to liaise with Waseda University’s outreach program to service me with useful material which I can post on my channel. My channel’s target population will mainly be students who may want to study abroad but do not know where to begin.
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