Study abroad fair encouages jet-setting for college credit

The Office of International Programs held its annual Study Abroad Fair Sept. 26 to inform students about the experiences and academic credit they can get by taking one of the program’s courses.

The destinations range from Belize to Japan and from London to Australia, but Carlos Gomez, a senior studying leisure time management at the YMCA University in Mexico City, said the program is worthwhile because of the unique experiences each one offers.

Gomez came to the United States and spent an “amazing” week with a NKU host family. While he was here, Gomez visited his NKU friends, whom he met when they made the trip to Mexico during the alternate spring break program.

During that spring break trip, students stayed with a Mexican host family and helped out in poorer communities where they “live, cook and exchange ideas,” Gomez said.

Sean Pace, a senior at NKU, spent the spring semester in Scotland and part of the exchange program, described it as a “unique semester.” He said there is so much to do and see that studying abroad might seem overwhelming. He advised students who decide to make the journey to familiarize themselves with the school, area and travel details.

Pace said he enjoyed the experience, as it “gives a lot of different perspectives in life.” “The food wasn’t the best,” he added.

Dmitry Moseykin, an exchange student from Russia, is working on his MBA at NKU. Moseykin has been in America for just over a year, but this is not his first experience in the states. In 1999, he participated in a Russian-American cultural exchange, staying in New York for six months. He said it was the “best experience.”

Moseykin said he was “shocked” at the way people dress at NKU, adding they’d never let someone attend class wearing flip-flops and shorts in Russia. He understands it’s part of the culture, though. “If you want to succeed in life, you have to know other cultures.”

Amye Day, a international program specialist, spent her trip at Transylvania University in Toledo, Spain. “The experience changed the course of my life,” she said. “It altered how I look at the world.”

Day agreed with Pace, saying the first step in studying abroad is believing in the possibility. She added that students should educate themselves about their destination prior to the trip to alleviate culture shock and confusion. However, she also said no amount of reading can substitute for being there. “Studying abroad is a great way to enhance your education,” Day said.