For Kristina Kaizer, a Portland State University (PSU) student from a small town in Washington, studying abroad was a life goal made possible by the scholarships she was awarded. She was awarded a University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC) Asia Regional Scholarship and the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to make study overseas.
Her year-long study abroad program with USAC in Nagasaki, Japan, enabled her to develop a “globally conscious perspective” while developing her Japanese language skills and giving back to her host community through volunteer work.
“My most treasured memory [in Nagasaki] was picking up oranges with Japanese seniors who wanted to practice their English skills,” Kaizer said. “I remember the kind, yet amused, twinkle in the eyes of some of the older Japanese women watching me put so many oranges into my backpack. … the orange garden looked like it was taken straight from my all-time favorite Ghibli movie, with the rustic Japanese ryokan houses, lush green rice fields, and quiet narrow streets. It is a picture of the beauty and uniqueness of Japan that I will never forget. It motivates me to encourage others to experience such a unique country.”