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Actuality Abroad

Why choose Actuality Abroad?

Actuality Abroad (formerly Actuality Media) is an organization that believes in "changemakers." We travel with student crews from around the world to produce short documentaries and tell stories that matter. Students who are interested in documentary production have the opportunity to travel the world and live out their passions, while helping communities all over the globe.

Actuality Abroad are part study abroad, part service learning, and part real-world internship - for anyone who considers themselves a storytellers.



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Yes, I recommend this program

Great Experience

I recommend this program very highly. Robin and Aubrey are great leaders and I learned a lot from them about the process that goes into making an effective documentary.

If you are interested in absorbing other cultures and filmmaking, then this is a perfect opportunity. I went on one of the trips to Guatemala; every aspect about the trip was outside of my normal comfort zone. But by the end of the trip I felt like I was a stronger person, and a better filmmaker.

I am still in close contact with many of the people I went on the trip with. Some of them have even thrown a few jobs my way!

I cannot say enough nice things about Actuality Media.


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Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Audrey Fancher

Job Title
Location Coordinator
Audrey Fancher is currently the Location Coordinator for Actuality Media. She organizes the logistics of the summer documentary study abroad outreaches. From surveying and talking with change makers, Actuality Media works to secure accommodation and plan excursions. She does a little bit of everything! During the summer, she is one of the Production Supervisors who leads the outreaches.

Why is language learning and cultural immersion important to you?

Having studied Spanish for many years and some Korean as well, I haven’t just learned the languages. When studying language, you inherently learn about history and world views so different from your own. When you immerse yourself in a culture, the experience is so much richer because it involves all aspects of culture: language, food, art, and people!

When I was living in South Korea as an English teacher, learning to speak Korean (poorly, but I tried!) really opened a whole new world and gave insight to those countries in ways that brief travels never would have.

What was your favorite traveling experience?

This is a tricky one; I have two favorite traveling moments. Watching he sunrise over Mount Bromo in Indonesia was magical. From the blackest of starry nights, to the most colorful sunrise over a cloud-filled valley and volcanoes below—it was remarkable.

The second was going on a safari last August while on an Actuality Media outreach in Uganda. Watching an elephant meander through the grasslands in her natural habitat—those creatures are majestic. I’ll never forget either of those experiences.

What unique qualities does your company possess?

Actuality Media is really different from other companies out there because it's not just a study abroad program. It's not just a film program. It's not just cultural immersion, nor is it only volunteer service. It's a new concept that encompasses media, international development, and innovative ideas.

In each country where we have a documentary outreach, we partner with local change makers who are working to solve societal problems in their own communities. We tell their stories using documentary film as the platform. The work that they're doing matters. I think the whole concept is unique and a refreshingly positive use of media in this day and age.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?​

At the end of each month-long documentary film outreach, we have a film premiere screening in the community where we worked. It is really fun, a celebration with the change makers we've worked with, and a chance for dialogue among interested community members. Some of the students from the Malaysia trip last summer told me that at the premiere, apparently all of the change makers were inspired by each other and ended up connecting and supporting each other in different ways.

For example: one change maker had a bunch of extra bicycles he was going to donate to a change maker that worked with youth in a residential, educational center. That center wanted to partner with a third change maker organization and film a dance together with one of the boys from their youth drop-in center. The youth drop-in center was going to have bike trips around Kuala Lumpur with the first change maker.

It was fantastic to see great change makers learn about each other and pool resources and talents together. That's what we're all about.