College of Communication and Information Offers New Education-Abroad Course in Prague
The schools of Communication Studies and Journalism and Mass Communication will offer a new education-abroad opportunity in Prague, the capital and largest city in the Czech Republic, during Summer Session III.
Modern Media and Democracy is a five-week seminar designed for undergraduate students who are interested in gaining an overview of the Czech culture, taking a more focused look at the media and democracy, and improving their research and storytelling skills. The course, worth 3 credit hours, is co-sponsored by the Prague Freedom Foundation.
Applications will be accepted from any undergraduate student from the College of Communication and Information. Admissions will be competitive, interviews will be required and only 10 students will be admitted. Course and application information is available online.
The new course will run July 15 through Aug. 17. Students will spend the first three weeks in Franklin Hall reading, researching and preparing for the trip by gaining an understanding of Prague and the culture, government and media of the Czech Republic. In the third week, students will select a research topic to explore while in Prague. The final two weeks of the course, Aug. 3 through Aug. 18, will be in Prague, where students will study at Anglo-American University located near Old Town Prague.
While in Prague, students will regularly report on topics related to media and democracy, posting their stories and images on a course blog and website.
The course is a collaboration between School of Journalism and Mass Communication Associate Professor Candace Perkins Bowen and Communication Studies Assistant Professor Catherine Goodall, Ph.D. They hope to encourage students to gain global perspectives and challenge them to understand the differences in media structure, news reporting and storytelling in Prague, the home base of numerous national and international media outlets.
"We are looking for students capable of adapting to new situations and solving problems," says Perkins Bowen. "How do students cope if sources aren't easily accessible or forthcoming? How do they work with sources for whom English is not a primary language? We want to attract students who feel comfortable researching, interviewing and writing, and who have some facility with multimedia storytelling."
Perkins Bowen's experience as a journalism instructor in Prague in 1998 influenced her desire to expose students to the culture and the country. "I love Prague. Being there was so valuable to me that I want other students to have the same experience."
"This is a unique opportunity for students to explore the role of modern media in democracy in both the United States and the Czech Republic," Goodall says. "Students will be challenged to investigate an area of particular interest to them. For example, they may wish to explore differences in political campaigning, health promotion and media structure and law in both countries. We are excited to work individually with students to help them gain the most from this experience."
As part of the Prague education-abroad agreement, 10 students from Anglo-American University will come to Kent State in January 2014. School of Journalism and Mass Communication Adjunct Professor John Bowen will lead this exchange.