Student Spotlight: Kailyn Topper, Study Abroad Fall 2013

Around this time last year I called up my mom to tell her that instead of starting my first year at a “real” university (after community college) I was going to drop out and backpack Europe. She, like most mothers reasonably would, cried and told me all the reasons that just wasn’t a great idea. This year I’m sitting in an apartment in Rome starting off a semester with a full schedule of classes – this time over 5,000 miles from “home”.

Our agreement was pretty simple. Finish college, go to study abroad. You’ll have your adventure and get your education. For the last year my motivation for getting through classes was just knowing that come Fall again I’d be on that plane half way across the world. That my last week of Summer would be spent in England, Holland, Denmark, then finally Italy – and for the next four months, home.

So, this is me. My home university is California State University, Fullerton and I am the first kid to ever be sent to John Cabot in the newly introduced bilateral program (they called me the guinea pig). My major is Communications, Entertainment and Tourism, I’ll graduate in Spring. Back at home, I’m in the Advertising Club, on the leadership team for Adventure Club, and was previously on the International Education Committee. My production team, Fresh and Fly Productions, throws dance events and has a clothing line. I really love ice cream. I really love being outside and going on adventures. I really love going on swings and doing silly things. But in all reality, I really don’t know much of who I am.

So here’s to a semester of self-discovery in Rome. Some sort of balance between adventure and productivity, between the wild and the rational, between home and away – and to the experience of a lifetime.


Kailyn Topper
California State University, Fullerton
Communications, Entertainment and Tourism Major
Study Abroad Fall 2013

Student Spotlight