We are excited to announce the winner of the TEAN Full Ride Scholarship for Summer 2022! Congratulations to Tagalsir Osama, a Psychology major & Biology minor at University of Houston, who will be studying at Korea University this summer.
Tagalsir shares that “I’m really looking to gain a more global perspective on how various societies function and the different approaches taken to tackle problems and create solutions. I’m planning on volunteering at a health clinic while there, and hope I can gain experience in cross-cultural communication and navigating a language barrier. This will be useful for me personally and I think in my career as a physician.”
We asked Tagalsir a few questions to learn more about his story and what he’s most excited to see in Seoul.
“My parents immigrated to the US on political asylum fleeing the genocide and civil war perpetrated by Sudan’s then dictator. I was born in Colorado and moved to Houston with my family 10 years ago. I graduated high school a year early and currently am a third year student at the University of Houston majoring in Psychology and minoring in Biology.
My goal is to become a physician who can advocate for and serve his community. One of my proudest achievements is a nonprofit I founded, The Sudanese Funeral Fund of Houston TX, at the start of the pandemic to fund the funeral and burial expenses of Sudanese families (and later opened to all Muslims) in the Houston community who could not afford it and offer financial support in covering bills and related expenses for families impacted by the virus. The organization grew very rapidly and we ended up offering aid to hundreds of people while raising tens of thousands of dollars from corporate grants and grassroots donations. It felt good to make a significant impact in my community and see how many people benefited from our work and effort. In addition to that I volunteer at a homeless shelter near my house where I help take care of the local unhoused population and help provide access to social and governmental services to get back on their feet.
The main inspiration for my actions comes from my father. My dad was a longtime member of the SPLM (Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement) until the overthrow of Sudan’s dictator, and seeing him fight hard for democracy and freedom while putting himself at risk taught me that if I wanted to make change I have to really strive for it and work hard to get it, regardless of the obstacles and opposition. This has been my mantra ever since.”
Why did you choose South Korea for study abroad?
“South Korea’s culture and historical background have always fascinated me. From an economic perspective only 50 years ago Korea was not a very developed country, but since then has seen some of the most rapid economic growth and prosperity in human history. This was very interesting to me and gave me the desire to see Korean life for myself up close. Koreans have always appeared as hardworking, yet friendly people, and so I wanted to immerse myself in their social environment and see firsthand the inner workings of what makes them tick. They also have beautiful beaches and mountains and plenty of tasty looking food I’d love to try.”
WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO IN seoul?
“Korean BBQ. 100%. We have a couple over here in Houston, but it’s nothing like the real thing. Besides that I want to hike in the mountains near Seoul and travel to the beach in Busan while I’m there.”
Does this upcoming experience relate to your future career?
“Yes, absolutely. A lot of the traits one develops while abroad are vital in providing competent and culturally sensitive care to patients. Studying abroad I think teaches empathy, compassion, resilience (many, including myself, will be living on their own for the first time) and to view one’s self more as a global citizen than just as part of a single country. I think going abroad and having this personal development will make me more prepared to deal with patients from many different populations in an appropriate way.”
What does this scholarship mean to you?
“It means a great deal. Financially it helps out a lot, and takes a lot of stress away from planning for this trip. Thanks to the TEAN Full Ride Scholarship I can give my full attention to maximizing my time abroad and making the most of it personally, academically, and professionally in terms of my future career.”
ABOUT THE FULL RIDE SCHOLARSHIP
The TEAN Full Ride Scholarship covers tuition, program fees and orientation, and is awarded in addition to our regular collection of semester and summer scholarships.
You can learn more about our programs and opt to receive updates from TEAN including future scholarship announcements by submitting your information here.