Bridget Harding is a recipient of the Summer 2019 and Academic Year 2019-2020 Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship. The award provides undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students with financial support to develop fluency in less commonly taught languages (LCTLs) and expertise in the regions in which these languages are spoken. Every year the Center for Global Studies awards between 12-15 fellowships to UW students. Click here to learn more.
After completing a two-year Fulbright ETA Fellowship in South Korea, I am now a candidate for a Master’s degree in Marine Affairs at the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs here in Seattle. Last summer (2019), I found myself back in South Korea, this time with a summer FLAS Fellowship through the Center for Global Studies, which allowed me to complete six weeks of intensive language courses for the Korean language through Lexis Korea in both Seoul and Busan. My intensive studies gave me ample opportunity to practice speaking Korean and allowed me to explored my areas of interest, such as social and environment issues. After completing the language course, I traveled across South Korea to conduct interviews with environmental and peace activists, presidents, and founders of environmental NGOs in South Korea. FLAS was the key to me finding the confidence to go through with and prepare for this ambitious endeavor. The FLAS Fellowship continues to be a crucial experience for me in my second year at SMEA as I translate interviews and work on my thesis on the organizational sustainability of environmental NGOs in South Korea. I am very grateful for the experiences, which I would not have had without the FLAS Fellowship and Center for Global Studies.