I’m so nervous about writing this post.
Suppose it doesn’t come through. Suppose this step leaves my feet behind as it dissipates into just another memory that could have been but wasn’t. So I’m nervous…
In 2014 I made a firm decision that I wanted to study in Korea. Of course, I knew I wanted to do it before 2014 but like everything else I make such small movements in decision-making that it takes me a year to get from one step to another.
An example of this would be my hair. I knew I wanted to cut my hair some two years before I actually did anything. It wasn’t about being uncertain, and it never is. I think it’s closer to my complete acceptance and confidence in standing in my decision, so as to be able to defend myself without feeling defensive and also being resolute in the face of being questioned, condemned, and presented with alternatives.
If I had not made a firm decision before going to the salon I might have had my mind changed for me. But I didn’t. I didn’t love my hair then. My hair now? It’s fabulous, and soft, and mine, and kinky, and just the kind of sexy I like. It’s very me. It takes a lot more work and patience than the straightened hair I had before. But I just love my hair. And I am as comfortable with my decision then as I am now. And that’s the type of unwavering attitude I like to be attached to life-altering decisions.
So it took me about a year to make my move. I researched various universities and their history, narrowed them down to those which catered and spoke to me, then I look at what they offered students during their time at the university and after. I chose Seoul National University(SNU). For me, it was perfect. I would even be able t wiggled my way into the research and translation being done of English Classics from a Korean perspective.
I got all of my documents together. But I needed a scholarship. At present I still suck at finding scholarships. I don’t know how it’s possible. I think I can find a good bit of information pretty easily. But I truly suck at finding money for things I need to do (education, and charity events). I am not eligible for any of the scholarships offered by SNU. I am not eligible for scholarships offered by Korea either. That’s not true in the technical sense. I am eligible. However to get a scholarship from Korea it must go through Korea’s government to students country.
So I went to my government. I was told that there wasn’t one for that year but that Korea had offered a scholarship for the year before which had not been used. My heart jumped with joy at the possibility and I asked if it could be transfered to this year for my studies and was told they’d speak with Korea. I returned the next week, and the next week, and the next, and the next for the next three months. And then I began calling weekly, and visiting monthly. I would always get something vaguely positive like “We’re still waiting”, “They responded with a list but I can add your area, and then we’ll see”, and “We sent them a message and we’re waiting on their reply”.
On my sixth monthly visit I decided to be a tad more aggressive and was told that Moscow was the closest place to Korea to which they scholarships. Those scholarships aren’t for Literature but for Mass Communication. I felt blind-sided, and yet I said “Okay, I’ll think about it.” And I returned the application and the required documents a week after. Unwavering decision….I obviously don’t know the meanings of either word on its own or in this phrase. It would seem that way.
Despite the fact that I began this journey in an effort to gain my Bachelor’s at SNU in Literature I knew I wanted to study abroad before I was fourteen. And I feel pretty certain that I won’t be getting funding to go off to university anytime soon. So I have adjusted the scope of my decision. I will be studying in Korea, and I will be studying Literature. I simply won’t be doing it for my Bachelor’s. However, before saying yes to the Russian scholarship, I did a little research and found that the relationship between Russia and Korea are more amicable than I presumed. This played a great part in my decision to apply for the scholarship.
In March I gave my application to the relevant authority. I am still waiting for the final okay on my application for the scholarship to Russia but as you may have noticed I am an optimist. Of course, I am human too so this optimism does have some foundation. Upon inquiry I was informed by a student in Russia that she was only informed in December that she had been accepted.
Russia isn’t exactly the first choice by most Westerners, and I am aware of the goings on being described in the news. My eyes, ears, and mind are awake and attentive.
I’ll keep you updated and I wont forget to touch on the cultural aspect either. But those are for much later posts.
Next week I’ll tell you of my writing dilemma with social networking sites. They are dreadful.