French Educational Help

One man's quest to become an omniglot!


In A World Growing Ever Smaller and Yet Ever More Vast...

My name is David Hardie and I have a goal. Ever since I was a child I've always had a way with words. I've written, told stories, excelled at reading, writing, and every way one can play with words in English. However, I don't believe this will be enough for me anymore. I want to become multilingual, and that dream has been in the works since high school. It started then, with a vague affinity for language arts and a foreign language requirement that I began learning a language.
Now, I am an undergraduate student at Spokane Falls Community College taking French, the tongue I've chosen as my first acquisition, and I am faced with an opportunity. My school is hosting a summer study abroad program in Lyon, France in the month of July this year. I want to go. Badda-bing! The opportunity to go to France and study language and art straight from the horse's mouth? Sign me up! I'm packed already! Let's go! I'm gone!
The trouble, and the reason I am here today, is a question of finance. The program is, sadly, out of my price range. In order to be eligible, I need a chunk of change that far outstrips my current means.
Let me paint you a picture: I live with my mother currently. We are happy and I pay her what I cannot pay in money in chores and busywork. While I do this, I am going to a community college, paying my way through federal grants which I don't have to pay back. I've been able to go through almost 2 years of schooling so far without needing to take out a loan, and I'd rather not have to start plunging into the icy waters of debt until I transfer out into a four year institution. I've resigned myself to taking out some loans, but there's only so much subsidized funding I can get before I have to start dipping into the stuff I have to start paying back immediately.
Hopefully that's where you come in.
The Impact
I want to tell you that this is a worthy competitor to the other causes begging for funding on this website, but in the grand scheme of things, I can't claim to be equal to cancer research or ambitious artistic endeavor. All I can appeal to is in the scope of my life. With this fund, in the short term, I'll be able to study abroad in France, work my butt off, and come out the other end older, wiser, and with a beautiful language under my belt.
In the long term, I want to be able to take these opportunities more often, and having international study looks good on a resume. If there's anything that scares me, it's the uncertainty of whether or not there will be a place for me wherever I'm going, and so I want the possibilities for my place in the world to be as wide and as numerous as possible. Translation, interpretation, writing, editing, all of these are possibilities I could aspire to. I've never had much in the way of bankable skills except for my own voice, so giving that voice as many avenues as possible to succeed and impress.
Eventually, I want to learn wide-reaching languages, such as Major East Asian languages, and Major Western European languages. All of that starts here today, with this trip. If I can make it there I can make it anywhere.

Where Does the Money Go?

And now for the gory details. Given a rough estimate from the program director, the cost per each student should be around 7000 dollars in total, which includes room and board, educational costs, travel expenses, and food. I am more than willing to take out as much in subsidized loans as I can, which my financial adviser has estimated at around $3500-to-$4500. Assuming the worst, that leaves a gap to the tune of $3500 which I'll have to fill with Unsubsidized loans or personal cash.
Let me describe the program for you: On or around June 30th, we will pack up and leave for Lyon, France. Once there, we will move into dormitories, and begin classes in french at the Lumière University in Lyon. I will have 3 courses once there; An intensive, international french class with a student body made up of students from all around the world; an online art appreciation course offered by the an art teacher at Spokane Falls Community College, punctuated by many trips to museums and public art locations; and a sketchbook tour, wherein I'll put together a memoir of my experiences along with a basic sketching course. These classes will last four weeks in France, getting back on or around August 1st.
In between classes, I will be living in Lyon. I'll have to buy my own food, converse with people in my neighborhood, and generally cope with massive amounts of cultural dissonance, all in a language I was not born to speak. As part of the art courses, there are field trips offered to other towns in the country, including Arles, for an exploration of Vincent Van Gogh, Aix en Provence, to visit the studio of Cezanne, and of course Paris, for the obligatory visit to the louvre museum.
The $7000 dollars stated above is, of course, an estimate put forth by the program director, and includes costs for food. If the program attracts more students, the cost will actually go down slightly, but I can't see my needed funds dipping below $6500, if that. Out of that, at least 3500 is taken up by subsidized loans. The amount I need before I have to start putting in for unsubsidized loans (Which I'll have to start paying back immediately) or throwing in my own money is at least $3500. Every bit helps.

Also keep in mind, that I'll still get any money that goes over the $3500 goal. That money will still go into the trip up to $7000 and will ensure that I have less and less loans to pay and more spending money left over to actually live on during the trip.
And Rewards?
Yes, rewards. In order to make my cause a little more lucrative to prospective investors, I offer the following incentives, with more details located on the sidebar to your right:
$1: No reward, but you get my eternal gratitude.
$5: You get emailed a picture of me throwing you a high-five.
$15: Postcard
$50: Postcard and Souvenir
$100: Postcard and CANDY
$250: All three!
$1000: A copy of the sketchbook/scrapbook I will be putting together while there.
$3500: Because it's worth a shot right? I will do a dance for you and post it to Youtube.

Other Ways You Can Help

I've always felt embarrassed asking for help, but I'm willing to swallow my pride on this own. The way you can help, even if you can't contribute directly, is to spread this around. The more people that can hear my appeal, the more chances I have at raising the funds I need. Please, spread it around on facebook, retweet it, email it to two friends, so they'll email two friends, and so on. I'm grateful for any help I can get!
Thank you!

Created By:

  • 20120217150409-cestmoi
    David Hardie

    My fate is held in your hands, thou lord of man, dispenser of hope, be ye malevolent or benevolent I bend to your decision.