The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Choose your own adventure-next stop education

City College student Xee Yang stands in the streets of Korea, courtesy of the Los Rios Community College’s Study Abroad Program.

Foreign language is a required subject for graduation in the Los Rios Community College District. It is not required, however, to go study in a foreign country, yet some students choose to attend school in a different country and completely immerse themselves in that culture.

One such student is Pachia Vang, a 20-year-old cultural anthropology major who won a scholarship to study abroad in Korea.

“I’ve always wanted to go to South Korea because I used to love Korean pop culture, and I’ve also met a lot of great Korean friends over the years. I thought this would be a great opportunity to learn more in depth about the culture, the people, and the country itself apart from pop culture,” Vang said.

Vang applied through the Study Abroad program at Cosumnes River College. Director Ellen Arden-Ogle, of the Los Rios Study Abroad Program, assisted Vang with the process.

“She helped me with everything and was really supportive of us applying for the scholarship,” Vang said.

Arden-Ogle, who has worked with the program for 10 years, was fully involved in the process. After Vang completed her application and turned in an essay, Arden-Ogle wrote a letter of recommendation.

“I look for students who would be a good ambassador of the United States. They bring their transcripts and I help them apply,” Arden-Ogle said.

Most programs can cost up to $5,000, excluding airfare. However, the Korean study abroad program offers a scholarship that covers room, board and tuition and allows up to $800 for airfare.

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Vang arrived in Korea in August and will be there until the end of December. She is currently studying Korean language and writing classes as well as Korean calligraphy, literature, culture and society. All classes can be applied toward her cultural anthropology major. Along with her studies, Vang is also required to teach English to Korean students.

“We are here as cultural ambassadors to represent our country and help Korean students learn more about the world and the English language,” Vang said.

Vang says the hardest part of living in a different country is being homesick. She says she misses her family, boyfriend, friends and comfort food, but that she is getting an experience she would not receive in Sacramento.

“Just being in a different country and breathing different air and feeling out of place can help you learn many things about yourself that you would not normally at home,” Vang said.

Arden-Ogle agrees that being homesick is a small price to pay for what students get in return.

“The student who leaves on a Study Abroad program is not the same student who comes back. You get the chance to live in someone else’s culture,” Arden-Ogle said.

The Study Abroad program gives students an opportunity to explore other countries and have fun while working hard.

“Set a goal and don’t give up. I always told myself that I was going to study abroad one day… and the perfect opportunity just came knocking on my door despite so many of the other study abroad opportunities that I had let pass me up,” Vang said. “Think good thoughts, and good things will happen to you.”

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