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Alumni Stories

The Adventure of a Lifetime!

by Jacob Vallandingham

This program introduced me to what life is like in Europe, let me explore like never before, and gave me the confidence to travel on my own. I had so many opportunities to see historic places, try amazing foods, talk to people that don’t speak the same language, experience different cultures, and take in beautiful scenery unlike any I have ever seen. I could not have imagined what my time in Bregenz, Austria would be like, I still know my way around the town, I miss the bakeries and cheeses, and I really enjoyed seeing the ways they do things differently from back home. My host family was great and I could not be more thankful for them hosting me. Their hospitality has inspired me to be a better host. After the program ended I felt perfectly comfortable traveling another month around Europe, which was remarkable! I will probably always be comfortable with returning to Europe and exploring on my own now!

Bregenzerwald hike!

Looking back there are so many reasons I would tell you to study abroad. A few years ago I never thought that I would get to travel like this, especially before I lost my job due to the pandemic. Several other events had to occur in my life before I realized that I was the perfect age, this was the perfect time, and I can recover my savings later. You might not believe in God, but I cannot post this without giving him the glory, because there is no doubt in mind that the only way this all worked out was because of him. From the events that lead up to me learning of the opportunity, till the time I returned home safely. It was because of God, and sometimes he can work in weird ways, you might find yourself in foreign lands and receiving blessings you couldn’t have ever expected and he still continues to work in my life today.

Ran out to get a quick picture of the sunset on the mountains right after it rained in Bregenz, Austria.


Jacob Vallandingham

KIIS Austria 2022
Mechatronics Engineering
Northern Kentucky University

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