Jacob Rigby ’22
Class Year: 2022
Major: Political Science
Minor: History and Asian Studies
Sarah Moore ’21
Class Year: 2021
Major: Asian Studies
Minor: Korean Studies
I am currently studying Korean as a heritage-seeker and wanting to work/attend school in South Korea after graduation, if possible.
It was one of the majors that really piqued my interest. The world is quickly becoming globalized and it is crucial to know about different areas/countries for mutual understanding and to establish camaraderie and connections with one another rather than labeling and misinterpreting another culture.
Honestly, entering college was such a rush and a whole lot of confusion. As a first-generation college student, I didn't know what I wanted to be or what I wanted to really study, all I knew is that I wanted to graduate and get a high paying, traditional job. Through many trials and changing my major a few times, I finally decided that Asian Studies was the major for me because it is where my passions align. I love learning about my culture, being a mixed Korean American student, and learning about the many other cultures that affected Korea historically and even now. I figured that if I am happy studying what I love now, then later I will be just as happy with what career this amazing major gets me to!
I am honored to be a recipient of the amazing Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Scholarship as it paid for more than half of my overall tuition on the University of Utah campus. I have also received the Departmental Scholarship for Asian Studies and other academic scholarships on campus.
Foreign Language and Area Studies Scholarship (FLAS)
I study Korean on campus!
FLAS made it possible for me to make the final decision on majoring in Asian Studies. This award has honestly helped push me in the direction that I have wanted to go and supported me and my decisions (thank you Patrick Cheney and immense thanks to Professor Koeun Park and Professor Deberniere Torrey). This scholarship has also excelled my language learning opportunities and now I am happy to say that I have and can comfortably communicate with my family in South Korea without worrying about a huge language barrier. This award has allowed me to connect with my family along with getting a degree- how many awards can you say do both?
APPLY! If you are interested in a language and are determined to continue your studies with the language, please apply! It has been such a huge help to my academic career and has allowed me to attend school without worrying about tuition. The application process does seem daunting, but it is all worth it in the end. I used to be the student that if I saw an application that was longer than one page, I would just pass it up. I am forever grateful that I didn't do that with the FLAS scholarship.
I hope to study abroad in South Korea for a few semesters after I graduate. I want to experience being abroad within a community that I am familiar with but at the same time a stranger to. While in South Korea I want to pursue a degree in Psychology while also engaging with the community, such as teaching English to students.
When you are a part of FLAS, you are a part of a community. I am so lucky to be a part of this fellowship because I have gotten to know more faculty within the University of Utah and more opportunities have been opened to me because of being in this fellowship. Meeting and networking with individuals within FLAS has helped me connect with individuals across multiple disciplines on campus. A language isn't something that you stop learning or using within school, it is a highly sought-after skill post-grad and will continually bring opportunities to you.
I study Vietnamese and received a FLAS scholarship to study in Vietnam summer 2019. (I do not know if this next part is necessary but...) Vietnamese is a moderately difficult language to learn, there are tones, different words you use for specific situations and grammar structures, and there are numerous different accents with their own vocabulary which is both unique and confusing when listening to people from different parts of Vietnam.
By being able to study abroad in Vietnam I was able to learn more about my culture and heritage and can improve my Vietnamese language skills. I hope to be able to use these skills in a future career as a collegiate professor or in the Intelligence community. The skills I learned abroad are irreplaceable and extremely valuable in helping me appreciate media and art in Vietnamese.
I would tell every student to try and apply for a FLAS scholarship. Having that experience is priceless and is extremely helpful when applying for various jobs and internships. This can only help you, and at the very least, you learned a second or third language.
I hope to be a collegiate professor and teach Vietnamese history or Political relations within Southeast Asia, alternatively, I also would like to work as an intelligence analyst for the NSA or as a linguistic analyst.
Living in Vietnam during the summer was fantastic, I had lived there before, but now I could have a genuine college experience as I studied there. I was also able to meet relatives and travel with them to my mother's hometown and explore my ancestral lineage and experience for myself what life was like for them. After I initially lived in Vietnam a few years before my FLAS scholarship, I fell in love with the people, the country, and the beauty that exists within this hidden gem.