Student customizes education through study abroad program

Study abroad ambassador Nate Hovee shoots footage of the Eiffel Tower for his collaborative journalism class in June. Hovee traveled to Paris for the course taught by WKU professor Kerry Northrup.

Maciena Justice

Students who study abroad typically only go for one semester, but Paintsville native Nate Hovee has made the trek abroad three times and is preparing for his next adventure.

The Honors College student and fifth-year senior took his first trip abroad to Harlaxton College in spring of 2010.

“I was doing the history class that is required, and I could actually travel to these places,” Hovee said. “I could see Roman ruins. I could go out and see St. Paul’s Cathedral, take a tour.  I could go to the National Portrait Gallery and see the pictures you would normally see in a slideshow or a textbook.  And that made it more interesting.”

The following year Hovee attended Victoria University of Wellington, in New Zealand.  Hovee, 23, is a broadcasting major concentrating in television/film production and is a self-proclaimed nerd. So being where “The Lord of the Rings” was filmed, was special for him.

“I auditioned for ‘The Hobbit,’ I went to a casting call,” he said. “I didn’t get in, but it was just really exciting to be in the culture capitol of New Zealand.”

In June, he traveled to Paris with Kerry Northrup’s collaborative journalism class.

Hovee said he fills out scholarship and grant applications daily to fund his travels. He’s able to find things to apply for by working with advisers in his department along with the study abroad office, financial aid and the office of scholar development.

This fall he will spend time in Istanbul.

“I’m customizing my education to really make the most of my experience at Western,” he said. “It may have taken me five years to get through it, but those five years were spent doing so many things out of the box. I’m only investing in myself.”