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### EKU Student Embarks on Exciting Study Abroad Journey

Major opportunities are unfolding for Kelsi Howard, a current student at Eastern Kentucky University (EKU).

Scheduled to commence her academic journey at Massey University in New Zealand on February 11, Howard will be pursuing a dual major in aviation management and Spanish, complemented by a minor in American Sign Language.

In a strategic move to enhance her marketability to a broader spectrum of employers, Howard aims to achieve trilingual proficiency. Her primary focus lies on mastering Spanish, recognizing its status as the second most widely spoken language in the United States.

The 20-year-old’s passion for aviation took root during a trip to Greece last winter. Influenced by parental figures and her firsthand flying experience, Howard found herself drawn to the aviation industry as a promising career path. Reflecting on her decision, she expressed, “It seemed like a very good field that I wanted to go into.”

Guided by insights from her study abroad advisor regarding the career successes of former aviation students at Massey University, Howard was convinced of the institution’s merits. Citing positive outcomes in both domestic and international job markets, she was reassured of the university’s potential to bolster her own career prospects.

Howard attributes her enrollment at Massey University to a series of scholarships that have fully funded her study abroad experience. Notably, she secured scholarships from EKU as a first-generation student, as well as study abroad scholarships, including the prestigious Gilman Scholarship—a nationally competitive award. Her Gilman Scholarship application highlighted her Appalachian roots and upbringing in an economically disadvantaged area. Encouraging her peers to explore scholarship opportunities, Howard is particularly keen on assisting students from North Laurel High School, her alma mater, where she initially received scholarships to attend EKU.

While currently focusing on airport management at EKU, Howard’s academic pursuits at Massey University will delve into airline management. Expressing her career aspirations, she shared her keen interest in air traffic control, envisioning a role in directing aircraft movements and ensuring airspace safety.

Upon her return from studying abroad in July, Howard plans to leverage her cross-cultural learnings to benefit her local community in London. Eager and grateful for the opportunities ahead, she looks forward to applying her newfound knowledge and experiences to make a positive impact.

Howard’s journey abroad is not just a personal milestone but a testament to her dedication and perseverance in pursuing her academic and professional aspirations.