So, I decided to go on a study abroad a while ago. I found one my school, BYU, has for London. It imitates the Bloomsbury group to a certain extent in that it has writers and artists working together in the cultural setting of London and most of the surrounding area. I'm an English major, emphasizing in creative writing, with a minor in Visual Arts, so...well, let's say that when I found it, I was bouncing up and down. Mentally. Mostly.
There was one hitch--it cost a lot. Like, >$10,000 a lot. But I had a job, I planned on working more over the spring/summer, and I figured I could make up the rest in scholarships. So I began the search for scholarships. I started with the English department, expanded to the foreign studies program, and also went online looking for English, Creative Writing, and Study Abroad scholarships. And I found a lot.
But there was a problem.
"Great scholarship! We'll give you $1,000, 2,000, 5,000 and more! We love you!" the programs all loudly proclaimed. "I mean, assuming you're a minority?"
...Um, nooo...I've got a lot of different countries in my background, but they're all European. So no, not really.
"So, you're planning on a humanitarian mission to a third-world country?"
Wow, thanks for making me feel guilty. No, I'm not; I'm going to a rather prosperous country to learn. I'd like to do that sometime, but...now's not that time.
"Well then, you're going into medicine, right?"
...Hadn't planned on it. I can't even watch shows like NCIS without getting slightly queasy.
"Oh, that's fine. So long as you're planning on foreign service."
Nah, that hasn't ever really been a career plan for me.
"Hm. Well, you're going abroad, right? So you'll be learning a foreign language and we can give you money for that."
No, I'm going to London. And quite frankly, I'm going a tad to the highly irritated side.
I kept looking. I'm fairly sure I saw at least 200 that said "This scholarship is for ANYONE! Except females studying English who are 1/4 Italian, attending BYU, AND share a name with either of Henry VIII's daughters." Okay, maybe not, but it sure felt like it.
I'd pretty much had it with scholarships. But here I am, still thousands of dollars short, so I kept plugging ahead. Then, I found it. The link practically glowed as I clicked on it. "THE PERFECT SCHOLARSHIP," it boomed as I opened the page. A fanfare played. There was a halo of light surrounding my laptop as I scrolled down the page. "We give money to females in English, Creative Writing, and other studies in the Fine Arts. We want to let you study abroad. If you're going to an English speaking country, it doesn't hurt your cause at all--it may help, in fact. We understand you're not all planning on leading the biggest humanitarian project this side of the 1800's, and that you are really excited about this program you're going to. In fact, we'll pay you at least half of the money you need. Are you ready to sign up?"
Did they need to ask again? YES! Sign me up!
That's when I saw it. Hiding down at the bottom. In tiny letters.
Deadline November 2010.
I could hear the imps hiding online screaming in laughter.
I'm going to go cry now.