I have wanted to study the Japanese language, culture, and history for almost my entire life. I was extremely disappointed, however, to find out that none of my local high schools offered the class, and that if I wanted to learn Japanese, I would have to do it on my own. Without the resources, materials, and spare time needed to foster a good knowledge of the three subjects, I thought that I might never be able to learn anything. For a while, this was the case. I would never be able to learn Japanese. After many months passed, I had stumbled on to a website for a non-profit organization that allows high school students to travel to foreign countries, learning the language, history, and culture of the area. That organization is AFS.
AFS-USA (formerly the American Field Service) is a leader in intercultural learning and offers international exchange programs in more than 40 countries around the world through independent, nonprofit AFS Organizations, each with a network of volunteers, a professionally staffed office, and headed up by a volunteer board. They have been exchanging students throughout the world for more than 65 years. That’s six decades of history and experience in international education with an exemplary record of safety, security, and service to students, parents, and educators. AFS-USA works toward a more just and peaceful world by providing international and intercultural learning experiences to individuals, families, schools, and communities through a global volunteer partnership. I plan to use the AFS program to learn Japanese and to study the culture and history of the country.
During the summer before my senior year in high school (just about two years from now) I plan to use the AFS Summer program to go to Japan for 6 weeks. There, I will receive 80 hours of language classes at a professional language school, opportunities to visit cultural and historical landmarks, meet fellow AFSers from around the world who will be in my classes, and participate in activities such as shodo (Japanese calligraphy) and sightseeing trips. I will stay with a host family in either Sapporo, Nagoya, Osaka, or Tokyo that will provide food, shelter, and a first-hand immersion experience that will teach me what daily life in Japan is like. When I get back to the states, I hope to inform my classmates all about the Japanese and their culture, history, and language. It will truly be the experience of a lifetime.
Now, here is where you guys come in. This 6 week program to Japan costs $9,400. I am already working and saving up money, so I project to have about $5,000 in about two years. I have come to this website to see if it can help push me the extra distance to reach my goal. With your help, I can receive this trip, which could help tremendously towards my future, given the fact that employers often need Americans with experience with the Japanese language to help conduct oversees business. Plus, colleges may give scholarships to students who have studied abroad, so this will greatly effect my future, as I aspire to go into the feild of Internatial Relations. I will be eternally grateful for every penny you donate, and even just supporting this project would mean the world to me. Even by reading this, you are supporting my dream.
I am now also offering Reward Levels!