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Jake's Study Abroad Fund

Organized by: David Gryzick

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Hello! My name is Jake and I am currently a freshman in high school. I am attempting to raise $14,000 (offset by my working for the money) in order to spend my sophomore year studying abroad in the country of Japan.


Since 4th grade, I’ve wanted to study abroad. I’ve only recently first visited the world beyond America, having spent about a week in the city of Cancun, Mexico. Even then, the area we had been was highly touristy, not particularly demonstrating any hispanic culture. I’ve lived in America my entire life and I’ve wanted to experience a culture outside of the western fashion. My first choice of country in 4th grade had been New Zealand. New Zealand’s scenery and location had drawn me in. (Around the time of 4th and 5th grade, our classes had a massive appreciation for Australia and New Zealand, similar to that of awe from a child towards unicorns.) New Zealand would be highly expensive, though, costing near $34,000 for one year abroad. At first I thought I could totally rack up $34,000, but then I started getting really in depth in self-teaching finances. This showed me how this would not happen.


Luckily for my budget and I, around the end of 6th grade, I discovered Japan and anime. This new form of cartoon, anime, hit me hard, and I seriously binged every series I could get my hands on until I burnt out. At this point, I started doing serious research on Japan to figure out its culture to discover it had no anime premises/foundation at all, but this came as no disappointment. Though I was hoping for a strong anime foundation, what I found was far more interesting than what I had hoped for. The culture of Japan appears to me as absolutely amazing (such as that of tea ceremonies, kendo, kids cleaning up their schools, two Saturdays of school every month) and as I do more and more studying on the culture, I love it more and more. I’ve been self-teaching myself Japanese (with the help of my best friend, Paxton, who is joining me on the language-learning journey, but I have yet to discover if he’ll be studying abroad (and if he does, where he would be going.)) and I’d say it’s rather going well, but with the help of being immersed into the fantastic culture that is Japan I believe my language skills would be highly increased and my open-mindedness and knowledge for cultures outside of America would be as well. To go to Japan would be to complete the biggest goal of my youth.


In order to raise this money, I will work odd jobs (such as that of mowing lawns, washing cars/windows, walking dogs and babysitting) and find work wherever possible. As I make physical money, I will track it and put it in my safe (location undisclosed). I also plan on cutting all unnecessary spending and I will stop attending my music lessons (the music lessons aimed at raising money for an orchestra trip to Germany and Ukraine in March). If I am unable to attend sophomore year, I will try again junior and senior year. If all else fails, the money will go towards my college education or my little step brother studying abroad who would like to go to England. Thank you so much for helping me out!

How I plan on getting to $14,000:

-Doing odd jobs (i.e. lawn mowing, washing cars)

-Doing actual jobs (i.e. working at friend's/family's stores)

-Scholarships (very limited)

-Budgeting and cutting extracorriculars (stopping music lessons, not spending money at stores)


Programs, costs, and how $15,000 spreads out:


AFS-USA ($15,900 program cost):
-Tuition (high school program + Japanese language)
-Homestay (2 meals/day)
-46 weeks
-Plane flight to Japan from Los Angeles and back
-Three scholarships available
-March to February


YFU-USA ($14,000-$16,000 program cost)
-Tuition (high school program + Japanese language)
-Homestay (2 meals/day)
-43 weeks
-Plane flight to Japan from Los Angeles and back
-3-day orientation in Berkeley
-No scholarships available
-March to January


Aspect-Foundation ($13,900-$15,750 program cost)
-4 to 7 week summer language-intensive training prior to leaving
-August to June (excl. 4 to 7 week)
-Orientation in Tokyo
-Homestay (2 meals/day)
-Tuition (high school program + Japanese language)


Both recommend bringing approximately ¥10,000 per month abroad in order to cover casual spending, totalling up to approximately ¥110,000, or roughly $1010 according to current exchange rates (which could change drastically over the next 7 months). With a CitiBank card, I get free withdrawals at Japanese ATMs.


+ $1,010 (spending money)

+~16,000 (program cost)

+$200 (round trip flight to and from LAX)

= about $17,210 needed

*+ more*


Organized by

David Gryzick

This is a direct to organizer fundraiser.

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