Gilman Scholarship Opens Gate For Two U.S. Students To Study in Asia
AsiaLearn Participants Clevis Taylor and Amanda Bolduc Prepare For Study In Japan and China, Respectively
Guest Post By Kelli Modica of AsiaLearn
Determined to make a lifelong dream of studying abroad come true, Clevis Taylor and Amanda Bolduc planned ahead and put in the hard work necessary to find funding for their experiences. Now, both are seeing the fruits of their labor as recipients of the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.
Taylor, a Metropolitan University of Denver student who describes himself as “fascinated with all things Japan for years now,” will study in fall 2009 at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU) in Beppu, Japan. Meanwhile, Bolduc, a student at the University of North Carolina – Wilmington, will spend an entire year beginning fall 2009 at Sichuan University in Chengdu, China.
Born and raised in Denver, Colo., Taylor has been an enthusiastic student of Japanese since ninth grade. Despite his years of study, he’s always known it would be difficult to become fluent in the language without practicing it on a daily basis. For that reason and more, he’s known he’d eventually be Japan-bound.
“Being a linguistics major, it was just a matter of time before I finally got myself over there to encompass myself within the language and culture,” he says.
Besides strengthening his language skills, Taylor also wants to experience Japanese culture first-hand.“Studying abroad allows you to see how other folks perceive the world,” he says. “And this is more than just me reading about their views from a book. You actually get to see the world through their scope.”
Bolduc says that if she can handle living in a different country with a language she doesn’t really know, then “I can take on everything.”
Studying abroad for a year became a priority for Bolduc while she was in college. “I know that I will have college loans and expenses to pay once I graduate, so I have to make the best of the time I have while I’m in college,” she says, “not to mention that I honestly don’t know if I’ll get to do anything like this ever again.”
Bolduc isn’t a stranger to world travel. She’s visited Greece, Italy, New Zealand, Tahiti, Canada and China. She loved every single location, but says studying and living in China will expose her to little things often missed when just visiting a place.
Both Taylor and Bolduc encourage other students to put in the time and effort to find funding to make study abroad a possibility.
“Look for as many scholarships as you can, research different study abroad groups,” Taylor says, “and make sure that you aren’t picking a company based on the cost, but rather what the program has to offer, and the staff that run it.”
“I have been abroad multiple times before and there is nothing like it,” Bolduc says. “You will be a better, stronger, more rounded individual for the experience and it really does make that much more of a difference for future jobs, careers, etc. – even if you plan on staying in the states for work.”
To learn more, visit scholarship opportunities for study abroad in Asia.