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on May 4, 2019 on 5/4/19 from

Reach the World

05/04/19. 15:31. P16

/Reach the World/

/Category: Leadership/

/Guide Question: Describe a time while abroad when you achieved something by motivating others. What was challenging? What was rewarding?/

Besides my work for the Fund for Education Abroad (FEA), I am proud to share my work with another organization, the U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. Like FEA, they also provide grants to deserving study abroad students. One of the institutions they work with is Reach the World (RTW) https://www.reachtheworld.org, a nonprofit that recruits Benjamin A. Gilman scholars as travelers that write about their experiences abroad in a variety of specific topics while working with two editors and share them with a matched K-12 classroom in the United States. I’m very honored to be chosen as a traveler and I have been enjoying my RTW journey for the past nine weeks.

Throughout those weeks, I have been sharing photos and articles about life in Seoul to my matched students in Kentucky. On my video call session with the students, I was quite surprised that most of them have not travelled outside of the United States and most of them did not know much about South Korea before my posts. It was very rewarding to know that I taught them new things and hopefully inspired them to see the world and pursue their dreams by finding the right opportunities to do so.

When I first applied to the program, I was a little hesitant because of the amount of work that was involved. I had to submit two articles per week in addition to my impending schoolwork. Sometimes it was quite challenging to manage my time and sometimes I also ran out of things to say. Sometimes it would take a long time to finish a post because I had to consider how my words would impact the many different kinds of people who would be reading it. I wanted to be honest with certain opinions and yet respectful with how I presented them. Perhaps the most challenging- to both my work with FEA and RTW -was opening myself up and sharing my thoughts in a public forum. Nevertheless, I wanted to do a good job and I wanted to represent well not only myself, but also the people behind me.

To me, I was just simply sharing to others a country I loved. But I think joining this program gave me so much more than what I have given. I’m developing certain leadership skills such as planning, time management, and working under strict deadlines. I get to work with two editors who never fail to give me constructive feedback and better my work. I would like to believe that my writing skills, as well as communication skills have grown and are continuing to, and as a treat from RTW, I am currently being matched to a local professional in Seoul for a mentorship opportunity! This is such a blessing, given that only a few months ago I was worrying where to network with professionals. I will be sharing that interview and experience in a later entry.

This is the link to my work at RTW: https://www.reachtheworld.org/chelseas-journey-south-korea.

I was featured as “Traveler of the Week!” So exciting!

Feel free to look around as our blog requirements are a little different from FEA. I particularly like doing field notes as they focus on one particular subject that I can describe indepthly. One of my favorites is a feature on Seoul’s cherry blossoms at the beginning of April, entitled “Pretty in Pink.” You can read it using this link: https://www.reachtheworld.org/chelseas-journey-south-korea/nature/pretty-pink. What’s most fascinating about these flowers is that they have a very short bloom period. When the flowers first open, it only takes about a week for the trees to reach full bloom.  A week after that, the flowers already start falling from the trees. It’s for this reason that people from all over rush to the parks after news of the first bloom comes out. I too appreciate them more as it will be another full year before they come back.

 

Cherry tree before blossoming.

 

Yeouido Park’s cherry trees in bloom.

 

I can only stare, entranced at the flowers’ beauty.

 

Installed lights that highlight the trees’ beauty for evening visitors.

 

The pink color is common to most cherry species.

 

There are also white cherry blossoms.

 

After a week after peak bloom, the flowers start falling.

 

Enjoying a bike ride near Han river during the weekend.