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Scholarship Essay for Study in China

November 27, 2013

I am applying for the XXX Scholarship to study Mandarin language and chemistry at the XXXX University in Hong Kong. Since Hong Kong is now part of China—the principal gateway where East meets West meet in Asia—I will have the opportunity to learn a great deal about Chinese language, culture, society, and politics. This will prepare me professionally to contribute to the advancement and preservation of America’s national security interest because China is now a superpower that is widely seen as having the potential to surpass America in military strength within only a few decades. I am convinced that my chosen field of study, chemistry, will also be of critical importance to our national security interests over the long term since chemistry is one of the principal foundations of scientific and economic advancement, as well as being of instrumental importance to the development of weapons systems and security concerns.

I am scheduled to graduate from XXXX College with a degree in chemistry in 2012; but, if chosen for your program and given the opportunity to study in Hong Kong for one year, I will graduate in 2013. Mandarin language studies are not offered at Georgetown College. Thus, the Boren Scholarship will enable me to develop language skills critical to my contribution to America’s national security. This is especially important since Mandarin Chinese is widely thought to be on track to become the world’s dominant language of the future, second, perhaps, only to English. I currently speak Spanish, also a widely used international language. Thus, I am convinced that mastery of both Spanish and Mandarin Chinese will provide me with the optimal platform for developing the academic foundation that will be most conducive to my future service of my country in the area of national security. 

I have chosen to study in Hong Kong for a variety of reasons all of which are related to my long term desire to become a professional in the area of national security. Hong Kong is one of the most advanced societies in the world. It is where China has especially distinguished itself in scientific and economic development because of the long and sustained Western influence that has gone on for centuries. It has one of the world’s most advanced economies and its universities are especially distinguished in the area of the physical sciences. Thus, it represents the optimal location for me to receive the finest of education in both Chinese language and science, based on a mixture of modern and ancient traditions. The Chinese people are extremely diverse and multicultural, consisting of 56 different ethnicities. As a result, my studies in Hong Kong would also greatly advance my understanding of and appreciation for diversity and multiculturalism. I would also develop a keen sense of many of the intricacies of Chinese/Western relations and would be in a critically important position to observe and learn about many of the issues that will be of especially critical importance to the future of US/Chinese relationship: democracy, human rights, trade, international business, and the ongoing influence of the US in terms of the development of China’s relationships with its Asian neighbors, particularly Japan and the two Koreas. As a center or Asian commerce, I will be able to closely observe the way in which Hong Kong represents a center of Asian communication, not just with the above countries, but all of Asia: Thailand, Vietnam, even India and Russia. I would have the opportunity to become a fully international student and to develop a keen appreciation for the numerous ways in which America’s security is determined by our relationship with the entire world, especially Asia, as this security relates to economic and scientific development as well as academic, scientific, and business exchanges.

I feel that I am a strong candidate for this study abroad opportunity because I have been fascinated with Asian culture since I was a child learning to help my parents prepare Asian dishes: sushi, rice bowls and steamed vegetables from a bamboo cooker. Later, I took cooking classes taught by Asian chefs. In a city that mixes the new with the old, I will learn so much about cultural as well as political history and benefit from the great inspiration to be found standing in the presence of the Great Wall of China. I have overcome many obstacle that have helped me to greatly mature for my age. I have a two-year-old little boy who has helped me to grow up fast by assuming the responsibilities of parenthood while still a teenager. This experience inspired me to focus on my studies and long term goals. As a result of my good grades and rigorous course of study, I am on track to receive a Harper Gatton Leadership Medallion upon graduation.

I am working hard to prepare myself for leadership roles in the future. In fact, I co-founded a male organization called M.A.L.E. 8 for this purpose and I have learned how to write grant proposals to secure funding. Participation in our Global Scholar Program has introduced me to different cultures and helped me to understand how globalization is important to our development as a unified world. I have advanced computer skills and have practiced skills in writing newsletters. I am avidly engaged at increasing my spirituality and helping other teenagers to cope with parenthood, helping to prepare them to attend and graduate from college.

My father has taught me to pursue my dreams, believe in myself, and develop a never quit attitude. My close friend XXXX, serving in the Air Force, has helped me to learn how to love my country and have courage of heart. Dr. XXXX, the President of my college has inspired me to become the very best person that I can. XXXX, my mentor and an FBI Analyst, is showing me how to improve my professional image and articulate my thoughts, ideas and feelings, channeling my energy in increasingly productive ways. XXXX, an exchange student from Kenya who I met in our Student Life Office, is inspiring me to continue to improve my leadership skills, academically and socially. Dr. XXXXX, my religion professor, is helping me to learn how to live positively. My mother is Jewish and she has long inspired me to learn a great deal about Judaism. Finally, Dr. XXXX, head of our Department of Kinesiology selected me for participation in our study abroad program on self-life in Ireland; and this experience helped me to learn how to reach inside myself.

 Receiving the XXXX Scholarship and having the invaluable opportunity to study in Hong Kong will prepare me to utilize my training in chemistry to fight terrorism, especially by through the development of my abilities to contribute to scientific and economic advancement so that China and the US might continue to develop greater levels of cooperation and collaboration in addressing the root causes of terrorism, poverty, hunger, inadequate education. I want to help find curses for diseases and to better understand why and how diseases develop in the first place. I want to work in the development of clean energy so as to decrease our dependence on fossil fuels at the same time that we care for our mother earth. By simultaneously buying less oil from the Middle East, there will be less need to spend America’s money on weapons systems. At the same time, we can fight against global warming, one of the most prominent threats to our long term security.

I have chosen Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU)  to continue my studies because they offer chemistry and language courses that are not offered at XXXX College. Their program focuses on analytical and environmental chemistry and they offer classes in instrumental analysis with laboratory, environmental, and industrial components. My academic course plan is as follows: Analytical Chemistry 1 with Lab, Integrated Chemistry Tutorials II and III, Biochemistry, Mandarin I and II, Instrumental Analysis with Lab, and Polymer Chemistry. HKXX focuses their chemistry programs in the area of Environmental as well as Analytical Chemistry and I am especially interested in environmental issues. I hope to have a lifelong share in the work of building greater collaboration between these two great superpowers, China and the US, so that we might be better equipped to meet the vast challenges that we face as a global society in the preservation of our planetary home. HKXX offers integrated chemistry tutorials, something that is not offered in my own undergraduate program. These tutorials enable students to engage in small group discussions and find solutions to real-life problems. Tutorials II and III, in particular, are geared towards my areas of greatest. These courses will vastly increase my knowledge and enable me to make rapid and sustained advancements in my academic preparation in such a way that I will be able to lay the optimal foundation for better understanding national security issues, especially the development of new energy sources, issues in chemical weaponry, and, in particular, ways to survive exposure to nuclear radiation.

I long to participate in HKXX’s Study Abroad Program for the multicultural experience, enhanced by the fact that students are housed with local Chinese students, sharing common areas for music/TV, recreation, karaoke, computer/Internet, exercise, study, and laundry. They also provide one LAN point connection to the University’s network system.  The program also provides extensive academic support and guidance to as to enhance communication between foreign/exchange and local students which helps to foster a sense of community and “belonging” within the University environment. They encourage incoming student’s involvement in all aspects of university life. Their East-West Encounters program forms local and non-local students into groups with student ambassadors who facilitate the exchange students becoming familiar with local cultures, customs and traditions. Activities include a one week orientation program, bi-weekly gatherings at the Global Café, a city tour, and regular monthly activities such as visiting sites of historical value and museums, and finally, a farewell party. Some of the monthly activities involve visiting historical places or museums. I would experience first-hand cultural experiences such as major festivals, Chinese New Year, the mid-autumn or lantern festival, and the dragon boat festival. Finally, being selected for your program would allow me to make life-long friendships with local and other exchange students. This environment will give me the opportunity to practice speaking the Mandarin language with local students and other students studying the language. The East-West and Student Affairs programs will give the opportunity to see China and learn about Mandarin history; and I have developed a plan to continue speaking and learning Mandarin once I return to the states since I already have a conversational partner lined up to continue speaking Mandarin with me in Lexington, Ky, along with a fellow Global Scholar on Georgetown College campus. I have another Chinese language partner lined up near my home in Edwardsville, IL . Currently, I am labeling everything in my dorm room in Mandarin. If selected for your program, I will also make my email signature bilingual, Mandarin/English.

China is especially distinguished for its educational advancement in the areas of mathematics, the physical sciences, engineering and medicine. Graduates from Chinese programs of higher education are especially well received by leading universities around the world as well as well as leading international corporations. The Hong Kong Baptist University offers world-class laboratories and cutting-edge instruction in Chemistry on both theoretical and applied levels. Thus, if honored by being a recipient of the Boren Scholarship, I will have the opportunity to live and interact with some of the most advanced and best educated Chinese people in the world and to fully immerse myself in Chinese culture and society as well as language. I will have the opportunity to develop new ways of visualizing the world and its problems: through Chinese eyes. I will be able to develop an advanced understanding of the special concerns of the Chinese people, the challenges that they face, and the obstacles that present themselves to advanced collaboration with the West. I will be able to better understand the history of Western/Chinese relationships and how this history continues to influence both the myriad tensions that exist between China and the West as well as the myriad opportunities that exist for overcoming these tensions and building new opportunities for increasing collaboration.

As a result of the historical tensions and rivalries that result from the Cold War and historical antagonisms between Capitalism, on the one hand, and Communism, on the other, there remains much work to be done in building bridges between America and China. Your scholarship program would provide me with the key foundation for building a long and distinguished career as a Chinese specialist in the critically important area of Chemistry and the wide array of issues and challenges that present themselves in this area, with its numerous applications from sustainable development issues to questions of chemical weapons systems. I look forward to developing a better understanding of the physio-chemical and biological bases of various environmental problems and our search for solutions, especially since the department operates an environmental monitoring station along with chemical testing and science consultancy services, none of which are offered at Georgetown college. They also have equipment that I can learn how to use that is not present at Georgetown college, such as gigh-field superconducting NMR and EIR spectrometers, a Luminescence Lifetime spectrometer, etc. In fact, the department is equipped with a broad range of cutting-edge instruments for state-of-the-art research.

I am currently being mentored by an FBI agent and I am tailoring my academic study program so as to be of value to our Homeland Security Department in the future. Thus, learning to speak Mandarin Chinese and learning all that I can about China is of central importance to my long term goal of using my training in Chemistry in the fight against terrorism and to help our security forces to cope more effectively with the many challenges that they face. I intend to continue my studies in forensic and pharmaceutical medicine and as well as international affairs. I dream of helping to develop an antidote for nerve gas and to work in the area of preparation for surviving exposure to nuclear radiation. I keenly look forward to classes in environmental chemistry so as to prepare me to make important contributions in the areas of sustainable development and the global fight against disease. Learning Mandarin Chinese and everything that I can about the Chinese people will prove highly complementary to my career in chemistry and help to prepare me for a career in national security with HS or the FBI. I will have the opportunity to exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international challenges. In addition to the critical importance of China to our national security of Chinese-US relations, this program will also prepare me to help meet the critical threat to our national security represented by environmental degradation and the long term consequences of industrial pollution so pronounced in China. I thank you for considering my application.

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