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Scholarship Essay - The University of Technology (from Vietnam to America)


Student Teacher    29 | -   Freelance Writer
Mar 18, 2017 | #1
Where do I belong? This is, to some extent, an existential conundrum: an idea that people struggle with, no matter what their circumstances. I have particularly struggled with it because I am an immigrant, and so this question became for me both an intellectual exercise and extremely important in an actual physical sense.

Technology ScholarshipComing from Vietnam as a young student, I thought I would quickly assimilate to the United States. My major interest was in technology, and I reasoned that this was something that did not have to do with language or culture, and would transcend those issues. Although I excelled in school, I found myself trying to engage with the issue of my identity and where I belonged more and more as I continued my education further. I searched out other immigrants from a variety of cultures, talking to them about whether they felt American, members of their original culture, or something in between. Talking to family and friends in the Vietnamese community in Seattle, I found a wide range of answers-some felt American, others were fiercely proud not to be American, even if they had lived in the United States for decades. Some children of immigrants that I met in my classes and other activities expressed a feeling that they had strayed too far from their origins, and wanted to get closer to the home culture of their parents.

This kind of anecdotal information was useful as I was thinking about my own identity, but as someone with an analytical mind, I wanted more. I began to seek out academic research on this topic. While I had never studied sociology or anthropology, the topic was interesting enough to me that the dense language did not cause me to give up. Reading with a dictionary next to me, I looked for essays, scientific studies, and memoirs to get the perspectives of the many immigrants that have come to America before me, both Vietnamese and others.

Ultimately, I have not yet discovered an answer to the question of where I belong, but I am on my way there. The answer that I have begins with education. With an education, I have a wide range of choices: to return to my home country, to build a life for myself and assimilate into American culture, or to have the best of both worlds, able to influence the lives of my family and friends back in Vietnam with my success in the United States. Working on new and innovative technology and business systems will mean that all of these options are available to me.

I speak two languages, eat two kinds of food, and am comfortable in two different cultures. I am a hybrid, something new. I can combine the best of my experiences and the life I love in America with the things I love about my background and the values my family instilled in me. These values, including a strong work ethic and a determination to succeed, are what are going to make me successful in my future ventures, from higher education and beyond into the global business world. I know that having wrestled with the challenge of my identity both intellectually and emotionally has made me stronger, and I am ready to take the next steps toward success. The University of Technology is the perfect place to do it, and I can't wait to begin.



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