Begin Your Education Abroad Experience at the Study Abroad Fair Sept. 17

Sam Fister enjoyed some time this summer playing jazz in the mountains in France. See a photo gallery of Sam's trip.

“My year abroad changed my life. It made me see the world differently,
it made me appreciate my own country, and it made me want to see it all…”

By Tom Ramstetter
NKU Marketing + Communications

Sam Fister recently spent a couple weeks this summer playing jazz in the mountains in France.

Shawn Faller returned this summer after spening a year in Germany studying, interning, and living with hosts on a cultural immersion program.

“My year abroad changed my life,” Shawn says. “It made me see the world differently, it made me appreciate my own country, and it made me want to see it all. There are so many different cultures and different kinds of people. The world is an amazing place.”

Sound good?

Do you have your own education abroad aspirations? Maybe you’re interested in studying abroad, but don’t know where you’d like to go, how to pay for it or even how to get started…

The Office of Education Abroad has you covered with the Study Abroad Fair Wednesday, Sept. 17, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the James C. and Rachel M. Votruba Student Union Ballroom.

There will be information on multiple scholarships, as well as representatives from Student Financial Assistance to answer questions regarding funding. There will also be snacks.

“The Study Abroad Fair is a full day dedicated to showcasing everything NKU has to offer students, faculty, and staff by way of studying, volunteering, interning, and teaching abroad,” study abroad adviser Alyssa Roby says.

Northern Kentucky University has a wealth of education abroad opportunities for students just like those experienced by Sam and Shawn and the Study Abroad Fair will present those chances for academically rigorous, culturally immersive programs.  

Sam, a 23-year-old senior electronic media & broadcasting major and music minor from West Chester, Ohio, experienced back-to-back education abroad trips this summer. He spent 16 days in South Africa with his spring 2014 EMB 495/COM 594 classmates before enjoying the Jazz in France program as well. Shawn returned this summer from his yearlong experience with the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) program in Germany.

Sam Fister in South Africa and France

“This trip was definitely the experience of a lifetime,” Sam says. “I did two studies abroad back to back in South Africa then France. The sights were definitely some to behold, and everyone we met was incredibly friendly and welcoming. In South Africa, we got to see the huge differences in class, visiting townships and speaking with locals. We also got to experience so many new cultural things, such as haggling in the open markets, trying new and interesting food, and hearing stories from people about the history of the country. We also got to stay on an Afrikaans farm, where we saw interesting animals, climbed the mountains, and even shot targets! All the while, we were shooting documentaries in our respective teams."

That was just the beginning.

“In France, we were basically on a miniature tour with the jazz combo and vocal jazz ensemble," Sam says. "We spent the first few days working with the students at the Gap Conservatory, getting to know them and teaching what we knew about jazz.

Junior electronic media & broadcasting major Shawn Faller spent a year in Germany studying, interning, and living with hosts on a cultural immersion program. See a photo gallery of Shawn Faller in Europe.

Sam Fister's Reflections from South Africa and France


Shawn Faller's Green Wheat Fields Forever from Germany

"Then, we went to Queyras, where we played the Jazz n' Cheese festival with the Gap students in the Queyras Fort (12th century old castle on top of the peak). The rest of the trip was just a gig every night, and during the day we would do activities such as whitewater, zip lining, rock climbing, and jamming with other musicians from all over the world. 

Shawn Faller in Germany

Shawn is a 21-year-old junior electronic media & broadcasting major and German minor from Covington who had never been outside the United States before he took off for Germany in July 2013. While abroad, he attended language school at the Carl Duisberg Centrum, studied at the Technical University of Dresden, worked at internships for five months, and visited 10 different countries. Among the new places Shawn experienced were Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Paris, France; Prague, Czech Republic; the border of Poland; Vienna, Austria; Bratislava, Slovakia; and “many cities in Finland where I stayed with my good friend Janne and his family;” Tallinn, Estonia; London, England; and many different cities in Germany.

One of Shawn’s internships was for Mitte Deutsche Rundfunk (MDR), which is a major news station in Germany.

“Through working at that internship, I finally figured out what I wanted to do in life,” Shawn says. “I changed my major to electronic media and broadcasting, and I'm absolutely loving my EMB classes this semester. This is the right major for me. This is what I want to do in life.”

Begin Your Life-Changing Experience

A life-changing experience abroad like Sam’s and Shawn’s is available at NKU. The first step is the Study Abroad Fair.

“We hope that students who never considered studying outside of Kentucky, as well as students who have always dreamed of doing so, will come away from the fair with an understanding of all the opportunities available to them and the information they need to seize these opportunities,” Alyssa says.

Now is your chance to start making your own experience happen.

“Both of these experiences were totally unforgettable,” Sam says.

“I made great global connections for both music and film, as well as gained footage to use for my demo reel. I learned a lot about production and got to work with very talented pianists to help hone my skill.”

Sam Fister in South Africa and France Photo Gallery

Shawn Faller in Europe Photo Gallery