Chelle Jones entered her Fulbright grant with a curiosity for learning – learning the Korean language, Korean history, and about human rights movements in the Korean peninsula. As an undergraduate in history at the University of Chicago, Jones became interested in the Gwangju Uprising of 1980. Embracing her placement in Gwangju as an ETA, her motivation to pursue graduate studies on Korea intensified.
Jones remained in Korea and went on to earn her Master’s Degree in Korean Studies from Seoul National University. The opportunity to continue to study the Korean language and participate as an observer in contemporary social movements allowed Jones access to additional relevant background knowledge. As she became more confident in the language, she dug deeper into other civil rights movements throughout Korea, learning from the adoptee, unwed mother, and queer communities.