This is the supplement essay for the Huntsman Program at UPenn. Please give as much feedback as possible!In light of your personal interests in language, business, and international affairs, please discuss a current global issue and explain how the Huntsman Program would allow you to explore it in greater depth. (400-650 words)
Being born and raised in a country that hasn't yet truely risen above the influence of the French Colonization, I came to notice that there are major incoherencies in our educational system. While my classmates and I were discussing our future goals, I realized the distrust we have developed in our educational system and the fear of "what comes after high school". Our talents are burried, our penchants ignored, and our misguided path is traced by fear and conformity. Consequently, this disorientation and lack of acquired values and of opportunities eventually lead to many of the deplorable global issues we witness today, issues that the failure of many aspects of education is responsible for.
One of the shortcomings of adopting the French educational system in Francophone Africa is the gap between the objectives of this system, and the deficiency of the economical resources and cultural means to attain them. This establishes a conspicuous imbalance in the students' education. Pursuing higher education mandates a certain proficiency in foreign languages, one that is not stressed in seconday education. Similarly, and in a time of globalization, the business world is highly contingent on the mastery of the foreign business languages.
Globally, not only is the quality of education inefficient, but the access to education remains unequal between sexes, races, and social classes, creating a steep fissure in societies. It is needless to cite the shocking numbers of uneducated suppressed women, disabled children, street children, and elderly. This entails many aggravating issues: unemployment, poverty, crimes, segragation, "brain drains", illegal immigration. To offset this gap, there needs to be a harmonization of the languages of instruction, a use of sustainable, non-exorbitant didactic resources, and more focus on the student's self development and readiness to take part in the outside world.
I spent a year in the United States as a student ambassador on a cultural exchange program. Exploring various dimensions of the American educational system was an eye-opening experience. I learned the true meaning of the latin words "educare" and "educere": I was being shaped into someone whose image used to be distorted, just as much as I was growing out of the monotonous robotic being I had been obligated to be, into the creative, active, and flourishing human being I had always wanted to be. I felt like a plant being watered, but I thought of all the derelict, infinitely large fields of flora that aren't.
Education is about gaining a well-rounded knowledge and the literary and behavioral skills to play a lead role in life rather than to live in passivity, all while clinging to ethics and continuously gaining a global understanding of the world we live in. So far, I have merely been able to witness facts and "generate" thoughts on issues affecting our world. The Huntsman program, on the other hand, would make me a doer rather than an observer.
The Huntsman program offers the opportunity for students to shape their own education experience based on their own visions of what lead role they want to play, what challenges they are willing to face, and what causes they are willing to stand up for. I want to mature my passion for languages, travelling, and international interchange, and take it to a more professional and productive level. Through business, I want to stand in a towering position that defies the prevailing stereotype concerning women from my cultural background, and have the power and the means to take action internationally in issues I share concerns for and feel strongly about.
The Huntsman program provides simultaneously the freedom and the perfect frame for me to nourrish that desire, and to pursue my ambitions with confidence that I will have acquired a true education. It would not only water a thirsty plant, but will turn it into a fully burgeoned, distinguished living organism, ready to spread its own seeds and bring life to its milieu.