NKU students embark on a trip of a lifetime

July 13, 2018

For most college students, the ideal summer trip would be the beaches of Cancun or Florida. But for a group of NKU student filmmakers, their trip into the Guatemalan countryside would leave memories that last a lifetime.   

When the group of students embarked on a mission to film in Guatemala, they emerged with far more than just footage. They emerged with an understanding of a culture and an altered perspective on life.

In Guatemala, students embarked on a journey, with EMB assistant professor Tracy Songer, to a remote volcanic village and archaeological site. Students interacted with villagers and learned the local way of life.

“You can’t teach as much about a culture in a classroom in one month as you can by just being there for a week,” said Songer.

One memory the students said they will never forget is just how close their trip came to ending in disaster.

Less than two weeks after the team left the country, the Volcan de Fuego volcano erupted, killing at least 250 and devastating many of the local communities seen by the group during their travels.

Students’ films ranged from stories about tea plantations, to hydro-electricity and its impact on the country. Video shoots lasted all day in the heat.

NKU’s Study Abroad Program is rapidly growing with more trips planned each year. Special Projects Coordinator Candace Gibson has been working with the department to take students to places such as the UK, Iceland, South Africa, Tanzania and more.

“Study Abroad Students stand out to employers as they are more willing to take risks and step out of their comfort zones,” Gibson said.

The program is currently planning trips to places such as New Zealand and Australia. NKU is attempting to kickstart a strong international department with NKU President Dr. Ashish Vaidya emphasizing the need for international student representation on campus.

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