International Student Spotlight: Kirsty Fraser

by Saniya More

February 7, 2018

For this British magazine journalism major, the world is her oyster

A photo of Kirsty Fraser
Kirsty Fraser Saniya More

Kirsty Fraser has been on the move her entire life.

The senior magazine major is originally from Edinburgh, Scotland, but left the United Kingdom when she was 11 years old. Her family moved to Albania, and eventually to Kosovo. Not long after that, they moved to Israel, where Kirsty graduated from high school.

Fraser credits her decision to attend Syracuse University not just to its well-regarded communications program, but also to its just-right location.

“I wanted to be in the New York area, but I didn’t want to be in an overwhelmingly big city,” she says.

Initially, Fraser was a newspaper and online journalism major, but switched to the magazine track and added a minor from the iSchool because she was interested in multimedia journalism. Fraser also spent a semester abroad in London.

“It was ironic to go back to my home country and see it [through] a different lens,” Fraser says. The study abroad program has been one of her best college experiences, she says, because it offers students a unique overseas learning opportunity. She says she particularly enjoyed interning at Communicate magazine in London because she was able to network and get some hands-on experience.

Fraser says Newhouse has taught her to dig deeper when it comes to reporting on the news.

“When I came in as a freshman, I had a very romanticized idea of what a journalist was. But it’s not like that at all,” she says. “What Newhouse is really good at is that it grounds you in reality. The classes get you up to speed in the current industry, besides just teaching important skills.”

As an international student, Fraser says she has sometimes felt a little isolated in the campus community, and says many of her close friends are international students, too.

“There is a separation between international and American students. I think it’s quite difficult and inevitable—no one’s to blame for it. It’s a natural boundary. You tend to stick to people you can relate to,” she says.

However, Fraser says the situation is improving for her and other international students at Newhouse, primarily due to the emergence of forums led by Professor Hub Brown, where international students can voice their concerns and suggestions on how to make Newhouse more accommodating.

Fraser will graduate in less than four months, but says she is still unsure of exactly what she wants to do. Currently, she is interested in writing and producing content for brands. She says she doesn’t want to stay in the United States because she wants to explore the rest of the world, but doesn’t have a solid plan yet.

“I still want to use my degree in some shape or form, just perhaps not the way I always imagined. My future is still being figured out,” she says with a laugh.

Fraser says despite being away from her family, she doesn’t regret coming to Newhouse.

“Although Syracuse is so far from home, I do feel like I belong here,” she says. “After a while, one finds their place."

Saniya More is a junior broadcast and digital journalism major at the Newhouse School.