Clifford is one of FEA’s 2015-2016 Rainbow Scholars.

Aloha! My name is Clifford Alonzo, and I am from Honolulu, Hawaii. I am currently an Accounting major with a Japanese Studies Minor at the University of San Francisco, aspiring to be an accountant. Coming from a first generation Filipino immigrant family, I am the first person in my family to pursue a traditional academic path. I can speak two different Filipino dialects (Tagalog and Ilocano), Japanese, and Korean. My interest in Asian cultures first sparked when I immersed myself in Vietnam with the Pacific and Asian Affairs Council in high school. In 2012, I was fortunate enough to be awarded a 2-week scholarship from the Council on International Education Exchange (CIEE) to gain first-hand experience of the Korean culture in Seoul. In 2014, I returned to Asia for a semester exchange program at Sophia University in Japan as a recipient of the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.

During my free time, I enjoy watching Korean-dramas and listening to Korean-pop music. Although I am American, I have the heart of a Korean! Many of my friends consider me as a Quasi-Korean. I will return back to Korea to strengthen my Korean through Seoul National University’s 10-week intensive Korean language program this summer. In addition, I plan to volunteer with local charitable organizations around Seoul to help the underprivileged. I am really looking forward to utilize my Korean skills, try authentic Korean food, and actually visit the places that I only see in Korean dramas! I strongly believe that having the ability to speak several languages promotes all connections from business partnerships to friendships and provides people with an extraordinary understanding of life and culture.

Journal entries by Clifford