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Local Student Eager To Head Abroad

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By BRANDON OLAND
The Carroll County Times

WESTMINSTER, Md. (AP) — Like so many of her McDaniel College classmates, senior Hayoung Kim is trying to finalize her post-graduation plans.

It could mean graduate school. Or a full-time job. She’s not sure yet.

But she has figured one thing out: She’s leaving the United States.

So many places are worth visiting, she said. So many global issues worth understanding more about.

Kim, of Rockville, was named a 2013 Newman Civic Fellow recently as one of 181 student leaders who demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities all over the world, according to a McDaniel College press release.

Newman Civic Fellows are selected through their basis of making the most of their college experiences to better understand themselves and the root causes of social issues.

Kim was nominated by McDaniel College President Roger Casey, an avid world traveler, for the honor.

Kim, a political science and international studies major, has traveled abroad to China, Tibet, Macedonia and Nicaragua. She eagerly joined discussions featuring students from all over the world to discuss global security and conflict resolution.

She learned so much that she felt compelled to start her own business with other students her age. The Bridge Education Abroad Institute offers opportunities for students to study abroad and learn more about other cultures. Ten-day sessions featuring college lecturers will be held in Jordan, Kosovo and the Ukraine this summer.

Her hope is that participating students will broaden their knowledge, diplomatic skills and improve their leadership qualities through the program.

Plus, if more students from the United States studied abroad and met students from other countries, they would have a better understanding of complex global issues, she said.

“We believe that more interactions between younger generations will improve the world,” she said.

Kim grew up in Seoul, the South Korean capital, as the daughter of a banker. Her family was part of South Korea’s upper class, and Kim was enrolled in one of the most competitive school systems in the world. Students study hard. The pressure to succeed is enormous, she said.

Her parents, hoping she could get a more well-rounded education in the United States that lacked the relentless competition of South Korea’s educational system, moved to Rockville, she said.

Appreciative of her family’s sacrifice, Kim has crammed as much as she could into her time at McDaniel. She’s interned at the Department of Commerce and the Department of Justice in Washington. She’s also served two years with McDaniel College’s Student Government Association and the Global Fellows program.

While studying abroad, she made some surprising discoveries, she said. For example, after speaking with students from China, she discovered that many in the country are content with the socialism practiced there and pleased with the government.

She’s eager to learn much more and is looking forward to a future where she can visit more places of the world and learn more about how those countries operate, both politically and economically.

“I’m not sure where I will be,” she said, “but I can say it will be far, far away from here.”

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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