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Study Abroad / Study Away

Interested in study abroad or study away programs that connect to your interests in history and geography? We value experiential learning and encourage our students to participate in educational opportunities outside the classroom, whether abroad or here at home.
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The Alcazar of Segovia (Spain).
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Our departmental faculty have led or participated in study abroad programs to Ecuador, Egypt, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, Spain, and Turkey, among others! Several of our faculty have active research programs in places ranging from Europe and the Middle East to Africa and Central and South America.

Closer to home, faculty research focuses on the coal mines of West Virginia, the Underground Railroad in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, and the Shaker communities of Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio. Students have spent summers earning academic credit while excavating at Historic Jamestowne and Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. 

If there is a place you would like to explore, we can help!

Within the department, contact Prof. Quinn for details on various study abroad programs she is currently associated with through the Kentucky Institute for International Studies; contact Dr. Medlicott for opportunities to study away in the United States; contact Dr. Watkins for details on department-specific funding opportunities like the Steely Travel Fellowship; and contact our chairperson Dr. Miller for assistance on getting your study abroad program credits to work with your major or minor!

For more information about the process or other travel opportunities, visit the Office of Education Abroad.


Catching up with 2020-2021 W. Frank Steely Travel Fellowship Recipient

Jacob Wolfe, History

Nicole Clay
During June 2021, I went on a solo adventure to Iceland after my planned Scandinavia study abroad program through KIIS was canceled because of COVID. It was certainly an unprecedented time to travel internationally, but I knew I needed to do it after receiving my B.A. in History in May and before starting my M.A. in Public History at NKU in August. My passion for history has always focused on Viking and Medieval Norse Studies, and Iceland is the best place to visit for that subject. The artifacts in the National Museum of Iceland and all the historical sites dotted throughout the island are amazing and full of history! One of my favorite parts of my time abroad was experiencing a different culture, language, and state of mind. Iceland is consistently rated one of the top ten happiest countries in the world, and after spending a whole month there, I can see why. The best part of my self-designed program has been that I was able to get a head start on my master’s program and earn graduate credit for my work abroad. If you are an outdoors type and love nature, Iceland is beautiful. Waterfalls, volcanoes, glaciers, mountains, hot springs, and more hiking trails then you could ever dream of. In the picture above, I am standing on Reynisfjara Beach next to basalt columns formed by lava; this is the most famous black sand beach in Iceland. I am so thankful to have received the Steely Travel Fellowship and International Study scholarships which made this program possible. I had an adventure that I will never forget.

Why study abroad?

With only 10% of American undergraduates studying abroad, an international experience will certainly add to your resume and show potential employers that you are able to step outside of your comfort zone, navigate new situations, problem-solve solutions, interact with people from other cultures, and bring an awareness of diverse, global communities into the workplace that can help combat cultural stereotypes and foster collaboration and innovation. Our department encourages students to get out and explore the world. 

In fact, the Department of History and Geography has had a long association with study abroad programs, a connection made stronger by our own Dr. Francois LeRoy’s assumption of duties in the Office of International Education, first as the Director of International Education (2009) and currently as the Executive Director of the Center for Global Engagement and International Affairs, including the Office of Education Abroad. Here, Dr. LeRoy oversees the Office of International Students and Scholars, the American English Language Program, and the Office of Education Abroad. Under his leadership, faculty from across the campus have been encouraged to develop or participate in study abroad programs of varying lengths to meet the educational needs of NKU’s busy student population. 

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