Hey! I’m Nate Hovee, and I’m proud to be a senior (5th year) Honors student at WKU. I’m currently majoring in both theatre and broadcasting with concentrations in acting and TV/ film production. My original hometown is Portland, Oregon, so I’m quite adventurous by nature. Now I live in Paintsville, Kentucky, though I’m hardly ever home enough to call it “home.” For the most part, I keep myself busy customizing my education by pursuing exciting academic and career-building opportunities both in Bowling Green and overseas.
When I arrived as a freshman on WKU’s campus over four years ago, I knew I wanted to incorporate travel into my education. I realized early on that studying abroad would enhance not only my academic endeavors, but also my personal growth and “out-of-the-box” learning experiences. In the spring of 2010, I studied abroad at Harlaxton College in England through the WKU Honors College – University of Evansville overseas partnership. When I returned from my fantastic experience in Europe, I immediately started thinking about my next international adventure. The following spring, I found myself in Wellington, New Zealand, studying film production and physical theatre at Victoria University. For years I had wanted to visit the “Middle Earth” of the South Pacific, a destination made world-famous by Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. From rafting rapids on the wild South Island to hiking a massive volcano in Egmont National Park to seeing myself on the big screen inside Peter Jackson’s own movie theater in Miramar, I definitely made the most of the “Kiwi” study abroad experience, and honestly I can’t wait to go back.
Last summer, I had the privilege of once again traveling abroad with a unique Honors opportunity offered through the WKU School of Journalism and Broadcasting. As part of Kerry Northrup’s Collaborative Journalism course, I worked as a “Fusion Journalist” at the Global Editors Network News World Summit in Paris, France. This media work offered professional training and international experience with real-world challenges and expectations. As for this fifth and final academic year, I decided to extend my graduation so that I could take advantage of an international exchange program in Istanbul, Turkey, offered through the WKU Office of Study Abroad and Global Learning. This last study abroad opportunity would allow me go beyond what is expected to simply obtain my degree; I would be able to tailor my education to my specific interests and future career, and I would challenge myself in a very different foreign location. In other words, I wanted to go far beyond my comfort zone, because I knew this would offer unparalleled academic, personal, and professional learning experiences.
Thus far, my exchange program in Istanbul has been nothing short of amazing! I have been able to work on numerous independent media projects around the city, make friends with creative people from around the world, and immerse myself in a culture, language, and population very different from my own. Daily discoveries and challenges (along with becoming more confident in myself and my ability to problem-solve independently abroad) make all my experiences in Turkey not only exciting, but also life-changing. Over the next several months, I will continue my year-long exchange program at Yeditepe University, and I invite you to be a part of it! Through online articles, pictures, and videos, I look forward to sharing my overseas adventures with the WKU Honors College students, faculty, and staff. I hope my experiences will not only demonstrate how far and wide you can take your education, but also inspire future WorldToppers to step “out of the box” and customize their education on a global scale.