Dieungoc Nguyen, BSSP ALUMNI AMBASSADOR
I am currently a sophomore at Smith College, MA. I was born and raised in Houston, TX a city that I deeply cherish. As a lucky recipient of the 2018 British Studies Summer Scholarship, my life has since evolved in ways I never imagined, and this year, I am honoured to be chosen as an Alumni Ambassador for the British Studies Summer Program (BSSP).
I am honored to represent an organization that strives to give students, who may not have the means to do so on their own, an opportunity that cultivates their wonder, their curiosity, their hunger, and their love for the globe in which they live, an opportunity that dares them to dream limitlessly.
I was sitting in my English class when I heard about the British Studies Summer Scholarship program at ACS International Schools. I remember thinking, "This is too good to be true." I remember the incredible amount of boiling excitement inside of how I couldn't wait to feel small next to the Stonehenge or walk along the beautiful art exhibits of the Tate Modern. And how far away from home I'd be, for the first time in forever.
Traveling on my own outside of the country was a luxurious dream somewhere in the back of my mind, yet there I was, on a no expenses, fully funded trip to visit the country of my dreams. My breath caught in my chest. The shock hadn't truly hit me until I put in my baggage in the overhead, and readied myself for the take-off across the Pacific Ocean.
As I explored England and walked upon hundreds and thousands of years of history, I began to find bits and pieces of my adventurous spirit that I had suppressed for years. I rediscovered the girl who still idealized history, truth, and justice as I traversed through the Imperial War Museum. I discovered the girl who talked about how fresh the breeze felt and how incredibly blue the ocean was as I sat down and devoured my first authentic plate of fish and chips in Brighton with my best friends.
For me, after my trip had ended my dreams lived on... "what are my next steps to getting into the college of my dreams?" Following my trip to England, I worked hard and spent the rest of the summer applying to college. England taught me that I can be thrown into a whole new world and still flourish and that is an aspect of myself that won't go away any time soon.
Today as a sophomore at Smith College, I have yet to finalize my major. I am driven towards refugee politics as I reconnect with the history of how I came to be in the US. I do not yet know what desiring this future would mean for me. However, I do know that my trip to England allowed me to see how interconnected and beautiful the globe that we share is. I hope to fit more pieces of the globe into my mind as I grow and to use the knowledge that I cultivate to help efforts made to improve it.
To the applicant: I need you to imagine what it is you want to create in your life. Don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid to dream limitlessly. Don’t be afraid to apply. A trip to England is more than it sounds. You’ll be thrown into a whole new world with new people everywhere. It is in your power to apply to this opportunity and to use everything that you will undoubtedly learn on this trip, bring all of that knowledge back to where you began, so that you can create more and create better after. This scholarship trip is more than just a trip to England, it will be a trip where you meet some of the kindest, most driven, biggest dreamers you’ve ever encountered and to that, you will never be the same. You’ll come back feeling more inspired than ever. I can’t wait to see what you’ll create.
To ACS Alumni & Friends: Thank you for considering donating to the British Studies Summer Program. US students that benefit from your generosity are dreamers, to-be adults, creators, artists, trailblazers, and so much more. These are students that may not necessarily be able to afford to travel outside of the country, students that may never have been on a plane before, students that will change our world for the better. Your contribution gives each student the opportunity to grow in ways that they can never imagine. This trip to England will challenge them to adapt into the cultures of a different country, to cultivate a love for lifelong learning, to create new memories, to be inspired in the presence of other powerful youths and leaders of the British Studies Summer Scholarship and to dream limitlessly. And that is priceless.
DIANA OLMOS, BSSP ALUMNI AMBASSADOR
I was a recipient of the 2018 British Studies Summer Program and saying that the experience was transformative is an understatement.
Casey Perez - BSSP Alumni ambassador
"The British Summer Studies Program undoubtedly has been one of the most invaluable, once in a lifetime opportunities that has ever come my way. In just two weeks, I became so much more cultured, knowledgeable, and worldly than I began."