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Kelly Masker during her study abroad trip in Austria/Germany

Kelly Masker: Studying Abroad in Austria/Germany

By Jessica Burns '17

Kelly Masker during her study abroad trip in Austria/GermanyKelly Masker, a 2016 graduate, fulfilled her high school dream of studying abroad during her time at Kutztown.

"I decided to study abroad after seeing the poster for the Austria/Germany program on a poster in the Academic Forum my freshman year in fall of 2013. I was immediately hooked because I always wanted to study abroad. I studied German all four years of high school and knew I wanted to visit there some day. It was fate, I suppose, that enabled to me go on the Austria/Germany trip at the end of my freshman year at 18 years old."

Masker found that she gained more than anticipated from her trip. When taking classes in this new part of the world, she had the opportunity to gain different perspectives that would not be possible otherwise.

"I got to experience a culture that was totally different from the culture here in the United States. I also got to practice my German. I loved being able to see a different way of life in another country. I also loved that we were able to travel to other places on the weekends. I traveled to Switzerland one weekend and got a completely different experience than I did in Austria/Germany."

The Austria/Germany trip is one of Kutztown's faculty-led, study-abroad programs. This means that a faculty member facilitates the trip and is around to support the students in their time abroad. Masker felt that it made a difference entering a faculty-led study abroad program. She mentioned how greatly she appreciated the help from Dr. Gregory Hanson, Dr. John Delaney and Dr. Derek Mace.

 "It made a difference having a faculty member there, it was someone to keep in touch with while there, and I even took classes with Dr. Hanson afterward."

Masker has found that her time overseas continues to benefit her in many ways.

"I always talk about the experience I had there and it's a once in a lifetime experience. It's a good conversation starter and good way to network. This experience has given me memories that will last a lifetime. It also gave me the goal of hopefully being able to travel the world one day. It has been two years since I went on the trip and I still talk about it to this day. It is a trip that I will be talking about for the rest of my life."

Masker offered a last bit of advice to anyone who wants to study abroad: "Travel if you have free time. You learn so much from traveling aside from classes, you have the opportunity to become immersed into the culture."

Kelly Masker during her study abroad trip in Austria/Germany

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