Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

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Marshall Students Use Study Abroad Program to Bring European Culture to Huntington

Photos+showcased+of+study+abroad+trip
Jada Mills
Photos showcased of study abroad trip

“These are the memories that will start to fade first,” said Alaina Laster, a student at Marshall University who studied abroad this summer. “I feel like I never left when I look at the pictures from my trip to Paris.” 

Laster and another Marshall University student, Bryce Lusher, participated in the KIIS study abroad program to Paris, France over the summer. 

“This specific program highlights the study of art and fashion design, and we were able to take a course in photography,” Laster said. 

The KIIS study abroad program is a non-profit study abroad that is faculty-led. Students can choose from over 20 countries and over 140 courses.

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Laster and Lusher were assigned to take roughly 300 pictures over the course of their trip, several of which are on display in the Student Gallery at the Marshall University Visual Arts Center in Pullman Square.

“Being able to bring something so amazing back to Huntington, where it is not as diverse with different plants and people, is an awesome way to showcase our experience in Paris,” Lusher said. “We want to showcase what the rest of the world is like through our pictures.”

The students were tasked to take pictures in several sections which include human portrait, close up/texture, landscape/architecture, shadows/reflections and photos featuring any subject using only a cellphone. 

Only 40 of their photos are showcased at the student gallery. 

“By the end of the trip, we had thousands of images to sort through, it felt impossible to bring it down to only 40 images,” Laster said. 

“For me, personally, I wanted to use the photos as a way to take people on the trip with us,” Lusher said. “The pictures that we took over the summer were a really good interpretation of that; you can see the beauty behind the architecture of the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame.”

The study abroad program allows students to explore other parts of the world while also attending class and being responsible for assignments. 

“This trip gave us the chance to explore our artistic style,” Laster said. “I developed a passion for street photography and capturing people within their element while Bryce found his love for landscape and extreme close-up photography.”

The students chose images out of both of their collections to showcase for the exhibit. 

“Our exhibit flows together even though we have different styles because we were able to make them collaborate; they each highlight our favorite parts of the trip,” Laster said. 

Students who have completed their freshman year and have at least a 2.50 overall/cumulative GPA are welcome to apply for a study abroad program through the Office of Study Abroad in Old Main. 

“I don’t think a lot of students know about the study abroad program because only a few professors push for it,” Lusher said. “For me, I have heard people talking about it, but I never thought I could be a student who could do it.”

Most study abroad programs require that students apply at least six to nine months in advance before departure. There are three programs that students can go through including Marshall Led Programs, Exchange Programs and Affiliate Programs. 

More information on these programs can be found on marshall.edu under the Office of Study Abroad section. 

Their exhibit will be displayed in the VAC for the public and students to see from Aug. 21 until Sept. 8. 

Alaina Laster is a staff reporter for The Parthenon.

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