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Study Abroad from Study Abroad

Updated: Jan 27

|Author: SuKyong|


When I was an undergraduate, I asked my professor, "Why do I get so much support from society? What does society want from me?’" The professor answered, "Study hard, and give back your talent to society." I got a full scholarship for tuition fees, some allowances per month and study abroad opportunities from the government. This amazing and comfortable environment always made me uncomfortable because I felt like I owed something to society.

Moreover, I never felt like I had a special talent to contribute to the society. All I could do was just study and talk about the problems without solutions. This sense of responsibility, discomfort, and incapability made me want to know how to apply the knowledge that I have learned to the real problem. That’s the time when I found the GCIL program, and it made me study at UW. After one year in Seattle, now, I am India. Honestly, I was not sure whether coming to India would be worthwhile enough compared to finding a job in the United States and giving up my soft bed. Besides, I was unsure whether I could really learn how to solve these grand challenges. However, after a few days, I feel there is hope that I can achieve the purpose of this study abroad program. Everyday, I have learned about the diverse grand challenges of India from professors, street people, and shoppers. Although these challenges still make me uncomfortable, I do not feel helpless. I feel there is something that I can do about them at the end of the program. The major reason for this empowerment is because of those people who have already worked to solve the grand challenges., such as theHungry Buffalo team working for the sustainable food system, Akshay Patra working to solve childhood hunger and Parikrma center working to provide educational opportunities to students from the slums. Just hearing what they have done for their target challenge gives me a clear vision that humanitarian development is possible.


There are still about 7 weeks to go. Although I would not be able to change the world. I truly believe I can change a small part in ‘a better way’. For my next blog post, I would like to talk about what ‘a better way’ means based on the observation that I had in Bangalore.  


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