1. K-State home
  2. »Office of the Vice President for Student Life
  3. »K-State Today Student Edition
  4. »K-State student works to achieve career goals through study abroad

K-State Today Student Edition

November 19, 2013



K-State student works to achieve career goals through study abroad

By Mary K Pyle

This International Education Week story is part of the on-going collaboration between the office of international programs and the MC 280 Public Relations Writing classes. 

Barb DeSanto, professor at the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications, chose the office of international programs as the client. The summer and fall classes write about the office's international initiatives.

The following is by MC 280 student Joseph Wenberg, junior in mass communications:

K-State student works to achieve career goals through study abroad

 College can be a huge culture shock for incoming students. For most, they are on their own away from their homes, their families, and for many, their closest friends entering boldly into a new environment to discover who they are as individuals and as intellectuals.

Logan Gauby, a recent K State graduate, took this experience of shock to a different level when he studied abroad. It can be strange enough going from home to college, but imagine going from home to college and then going to a completely different culture to study. The itch to study abroad inflicts many college students and it struck Gauby and pushed him to travel the world, and in turn gave him a completely different outlook on life. “If there’s one thing I learned while studying abroad, it would be that I learned how to understand myself better,” Gauby said. “It’s very similar to going from high school to college, but on steroids. If you lose your bank card in the U.S., you think, ‘Oh, I can just call my mom or call my bank and it’ll get fixed,’ but when you’re in Sweden, it could almost be a do or die situation, so it teaches you to become more independent and self-reliant.” Gauby, who graduated with a degree in general human ecology in May 2013, went overseas to study abroad in three separate locations. The first trip he took was a weeklong faculty-led seminar in 2009 to London, Munich and Paris to study international business practices.

“You spend a semester in the U.S. studying international business practices, but everything is theoretical,” Gauby said. “When I was in Europe on the faculty-led trip, I got to actually see the things we learned being practiced in front of me, so it was a much more handson learning experience.”

Faculty-led trips tend to be a good starting point for students looking to study abroad. These trips are usually only a week or two long, and due to the short time span are very affordable options for students new to study abroad programs, or concerned about their financial situation. His second trip was a summer trip through International Service Teams at K-State.

He and four other group members traveled to Kenya to work for the Children and Youth Empowerment Center’s new drop-in center in the town of Nyeri. The drop-in center gave the children and youth opportunities with vocational and life skills to enhance their development as individuals and young adults.

“By the time we were packing up to leave we had seen these incredibly talented, intelligent youth accomplish so much,” Gauby said. When Gauby’s team came back, he and fellow team member Kaitlin Long came up with a business plan for the Next Big Thing competition in Long’s social entrepreneurship class. They created a fair-trade organization that sold some of the handbags that the youth made in Kenya, and the proceeds went back to the CYEC. They called the business Rafiki Bags, and it eventually won the competition where they received startup money for the business.

Finally, Gauby’s most recent study abroad venture landed him in Sweden. In his time there, he had both finished many undergraduate credits, and begun his masters at Linnaeus University in Växjö. He plans to complete his master’s degree when he returns to the country in the fall of 2014. After that, he hopes to join the Peace Corps as a stepping-stone to achieve his ultimate career goals –performing peace and development work in the Congo and becoming an ambassador for the United States or United Nations. Gauby’s biggest word of advice to current students is to simply check out what study abroad opportunities the Study Abroad Office has to offer. “With K-State’s study abroad program, there are so many options,” Gauby said. “Whether you study for a week, a semester or a year, the possibilities are endless and there are so many different ways to customize the experience to fit your needs. Also, most countries study English from a very young age, and usually learning the language before traveling is not a big deal.” Logan Gauby could be considered by many to be the poster child of K-State’s study abroad programs. He’s been on multiple trips, stepping outside of his comfort zone,to different destinations and has utilized his experiences with these cultures to help shape his ultimate career path. He tells the story of a small town kid from Washington, Kansas who has traveled the world, and it has made a difference in his life ever since.

For more information on K-State’s Study Abroad programs, visit the study abroad office, located in 304 Fairchild Hall, or contact them at 785-532-5990.