Two Countries, Four Perspectives

Alyssa Young '14

Alyssa Young '14 visits an art museum in Korea. Photo courtesy of Alyssa Young.

Alyssa Young ’14

As a high-school student in Lititz, Pa., Alyssa Young studied abroad in Japan and learned that she wanted to major in East Asian cultures. At Dickinson, she co-founded a Japanese-drumming club and studied abroad again—this time in Korea as one of just 13 students nationwide to be awarded a U.S. State Department Critical Language Scholarship (CLS). Alyssa discusses her experiences on campus, and as student and intern in two Asian countries—and the job offer that resulted.


East Asian studies and political science.

Clubs and organizations:

Liberty Cap Society (volunteer tour guide), Taiko Club (co-founder), the Mermaid Players and Alpha Lambda Delta.

Favorite class:

Infectious Diseases. I had the opportunity to research multiple sclerosis, a disease that two of my family members suffer from. I think the professors at Dickinson do a great job of making science accessible and rewarding for non-science majors.

On choosing Dickinson:

I chose Dickinson because of its focus on global education. I knew that I wanted to be an East Asian studies major, and after meeting with [Senior Lecturer of Japanese Language Akiko] Meguro, I was convinced that Dickinson was the place I needed to be.

Favorite books:

The Stranger and The Night Circus.

As a kid, I wanted to be …

… in chronological order: Tinkerbell, a lawyer and an actress.

Favorite place on campus:

For napping or studying, the East Asian Studies Reading Room (Waidner-Spahr Library).

Favorite Dining Hall food:

Anything from the KOVE.

On interning in Japan and Korea:

I completed an internship at a company in Tokyo the summer before junior year, and that experience taught me that a place that brought you joy as a study-abroad student will not necessarily be the best place to begin your career. On the other hand, while I studied abroad in Korea, I also completed an internship at a local orphanage, which I enjoyed. I had never considered teaching as a profession before that, but now I am excited [about that prospect], and I feel prepared to work with children next year.

Post-Dickinson plans:

I have accepted a position to teach English to children in Seoul. If my work is even half as rewarding as my internship, I will be completely content.

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Published April 11, 2014