CCI students prepare two-week trip to Prague

Jacqueline DeMate

Waking up in a military camp for a two-day training course isn’t a typical study abroad experience, but it will be for the 10 communication studies and journalism students going to Prague, Czech Republic, this August.

“We’re doing a two day boot camp at a military university. They do a two week boot camp for journalists who are going to be embedded in the military, and they’ve got a special thing set up for us to do a two-day one,” said Associate Professor Candace Perkins Bowen, who is the instructor from JMC for the class. “It’s not how to write stuff, but more what you would do to avoid land mines and what happens if you get kidnapped.”

Along with the two-day course at the military university, students will experience Prague culture through art and architecture tours as well as visit landmarks such as Prague Castle. To echo what the students will be studying, there will be plenty of exposure to Czech media, including a stop at Radio Free Europe which is headquartered in Prague.

The course, titled “Modern Media and Democracy,” goes from July 15 to Aug. 17. The students will spend the first three weeks of the course on campus in Franklin Hall learning about Czech culture and working on their chosen research topic for the course. The final two weeks they will spend in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. While there, students will be blogging and working on their final project.

Modern Media and Democracy marks the first time two schools within the college of Communication and Information have come together to create a study abroad program. While the students will all take part in the same research process, it will be the final product that makes the difference. Bowen and Catherine Goodall, the communication studies professor for the course, both said they want students to use their different skill sets to come up with their final presentation, which may come in the

form of a video, story, or research paper.

“The best thing about this class is that it’s not just limited to journalism students, so our group that’s going has a variety of skills and career goals,” said Kaitlynn LeBeau, a junior broadcast major in the class. LeBeau said she wants to focus on video journalism and broadcast for her final project.

The course is a collaboration with Anglo American University in Prague and is being completely funded by the Prague Freedom Foundation. Students taking the course are only required to pay for food and their Kent State tuition.

The partnership with Anglo American University is an exchange. Ten of their students and two of their instructors will be coming to Kent State University this January 2014. This class and the new partnership with the university and the foundation may lead to more in the future.

“I don’t know if it will always be a five-week class, it might turn into something

larger, or it might be annual. It’s just kind of the pilot,” Goodall said about the class’s

future. “We’re testing things out, seeing what we like, but again the goal is really to

create a long term partnership with the foundation and the university.”

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Contact Jacqueline DeMate at [email protected].