Valencia BriseusValencia Briseus
2017 Fund for Education Abroad
Valencia Briseus, originally from Boynton Beach, FL, is a proud recipient of the 2017 Fund for Education Abroad Scholarship. The goal of this award is cultural emersion and exchange in Japan. While in Japan, Valencia has participated in numerous community activities such as rice harvesting with members of the local community, exploring the local culture of Akita, and teaching local schoolchildren English.
"This scholarship has given me a renewed sense of purpose – I actively seek out new ways to interact with my local community, learning everything I possibly can about Japan's language and culture while also putting forth my knowledge of American and Haitian culture," she says.
Throughout the application process, Valencia worked closely with ONS. "Receiving this award wouldn't have been possible without the help offered to me by USF and ONS," she says. "I wasn't even aware of the Fund for Education Abroad scholarships until ONS provided me with the information. My ONS advisor was with me every step of the way – with each application I completed. They answered every question I had and steered me in the right direction."
Valencia feels that having a clear goal in mind largely contributed to her success. "I've always wanted to visit Japan and I aspire to work with Japan in the future. Having this clear goal made it easier to fill out applications," she says. "Due to the scholarship's structure, I am quite busy both on and off campus, experiencing all I can and then recording it on my blog. Having a blog to attend to gives my experiences more purpose and more meaning, plus it makes a great journal!"
This award also encouraged Valencia to meet other like-minded passionate individuals. "Being able to participate in this program has already provided me with friendships and connections in Japan that I never would have had otherwise," she says.
Upon returning from Japan, Valencia plans to earn a graduate degree in social work. Her intention is to work with diverse clientele, focusing on underrepresented populations. She is interested in observing how culture affects human interactions – which is crucial to social work. Valencia hopes to fully understand a wide variety of cultures and languages as a result of her experience.
Congratulations to Valencia on winning the 2017 Fund for Education Abroad Scholarship!
Interested in Education Abroad opportunities? Please contact Ms. Lauren Roberts: firstname.lastname@example.org.