College of Communication and Information offers students new study abroad programs

Alyssa Flynn

Sixteen students left for Brazil March 15 as a part of the International Storytelling course.

This course, and other study abroad courses offered by the College of Communication and Information, allows students to see the world while gaining knowledge.

International Storytelling has been offered for the last three years in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. The course takes place over two weeks, and the students will return March 31.

“Our students will partner with the students from the host university,” said Mitch McKenney, assistant journalism professor at the Stark campus. “Those students are working with ours as collaborators, translators and usually become friends, too.”

Caitlin Restelli, senior magazine journalism major, is taking the course and said she is really excited to study abroad in Brazil after previously studying in Florence, Italy for a semester.

In the past, McKenny and journalism professor Gary Hanson have taken students to China and India.

The School of Visual Communication Design is also taking a group of students abroad for two weeks from March 15 to March 27. Design Abroad: Berlin and Prague is a new study program offered for visual communication and design majors.

The program was created to fit the strict schedules of visual communication design students, according to Gretchen Rinnert, an assistant professor in the School of Visual Communication Design.

Jillian Coorey, an assistant professor in the School of Visual Communication Design, is also a part of the Design Abroad program.

“The cities are perfect locations for the design students,” Rinnert said. “We are going to Prague after Berlin and it’s a contrast [from Berlin] because Prague Medieval city centers that most cities in Europe no longer have.”

Other new programs that were introduced to the College of Communication and Information are a semester in Madrid and a summer session in Prague.

Katie Smith, sophomore public relations major, is currently one of three students in the Madrid program. Smith said she notices the cultural differences between Spanish students and American students in the ways each culture dresses for class.

Students also have a chance to travel near-by cities during their free time on the weekends.

“We went to the Mezquita,” said Smith over Skype, describing one of her many trips outside of Madrid. “It was a originally a mosque, but a Christian Catholic king came in and made it a cathedral, but it is still mosque with a church inside of it.”

This summer, 10 students will have a chance to visit Prague. Larry Armstrong, an architect and alumni of Kent State, thought of the summer session Prague program. Thor Wasbotten, director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, said Armstrong was working with a company in Prague and wanted to get funding together to have students study abroad.

The College of Communication and Information also offers aboard opportunities with courses in Geneva and London. The Office of Global Education also offers exchange programs, which students in and outside the College of Communication and Information can participate in.

Contact Alyssa Flynn at [email protected].