We are pleased to announce the winner of the $5000 CEA scholarship that we were hosting on our site last month!!
Congratulations to Kristopher Minter from the University of Toledo for writing a compelling essay on why he deserved the scholarship, and for creating an incredibly successful campaign that acquired over 2,900 Likes on his response, which earned him $5000 towards a semester abroad in China!
We had an opportunity to interview Kris about his participation in the scholarship campaign, as well as his interest in China and what his plans are once he’s abroad.
Interview with CEA Scholarship winner, Kristopher Minter
Can you tell us a little bit about your campaign experience? You entered for the scholarship with only a week remaining. How did you manage to be so successful so fast?
My campaign experience was favorable. With less time to compete than most contestants, I set relatively impractical goals and worked as if they were attainable. I shot for the stars and hit the moon.
Family and friends tapped into their various networks – asking personal and professional contacts to provide me assistance in winning this scholarship. I attribute my timely success to them.
You said your interest in Asian-studies stemmed from a family vacation to Japan. What made you ultimately choose China as your destination of choice to study abroad in?
The traditions and cultures, art, fashion, holidays, festivals, food, cities and landmarks made me choose China. Not to mention, I am a former martial artist, and since the age of four, a die-hard Bruce Lee fan.
And ridiculous as it may seem, with more that 50 percent of the items in my home reading “Made In China,” I already feel a connection.
What are you most excited to explore or learn about when you’re in China? Are there any places you’ve already pin-pointed as “must-see” sites?
I am most excited to learn the dialect and etiquette. The unfamiliarity is fascinating.
Yes, indeed. The Oriental Pearl Tower, Shanghai World Financial Center, South Bund Soft Spinning Material Market, Great Wall, Garden of Contentment, and Nanjing Lu are some must-see sites, among others.
In your scholarship entry (see below), you mentioned growing up in a diverse community. Because China does not quite have the magnitude of diversity as it sounds like you’re used to, do you have any expectations going into the experience coming from such a diverse background?
From a racial standpoint, it would seem that diversity in China is scarce; however, the rich culture suggests otherwise. For this reason, I find myself more eager than concerned.
As an African-American, I will contribute to the mere 4 percent of us studying abroad in postsecondary schools across the nation. I am blessed to be a minority within a minority, but statistics like these are upsetting and need to change.
Today, the preconceived ‘lack of diversity’ and ‘lack of acceptance’ has resulted in culture shock. All students, not just African-Americans, are becoming more discouraged about exploring what this beautiful world has to offer. Through sharing my experiences, I hope to change this dynamic.
Do you think your participation in this scholarship experience had any impact on friends or family members interest in China?
I certainly do. Several friends and family members, who have never been to China, are excited about me breaking the ice. The feedback I provide will help them determine if China is a suitable destination for their future travels.
Participation in the scholarship experience with CEA & Abroad101.com made it evident that financial support – a leading impediment to college students wishing to study abroad – is available if you are willing to put in a little extra effort.
We want to thank Kris for taking the time to tell us about his experience in this campaign and his exciting plans in China next semester. We also want to thank all the participants in this scholarship for candidly sharing their stories with us and for demonstrating their strong desire to study abroad.
Lastly, we would like to thank CEA for providing students with this scholarship opportunity and supporting our mission to increase the interest and participation in study abroad! Visit Abroad101 to learn more about CEA’s programs and read amazing reviews from students who have already participated on their programs!
Kristopher’s Scholarship Entry: