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Planning for next summer’s study abroad trip to Germany, Travel at the Crossroads of Europe: Communicating Culture and Place, is well underway. There are some exciting developments to pass along to you.

Watch video from the 2009 study abroad trip to Leipzig.

First of all, there’s very good news in terms of costs. The program fee for the Travel at the Crossroads of Europe program has been approved at $1300. That includes accommodations in Leipzig for the duration of the program, HTH health insurance, farewell dinner, local transit pass and excursions (more on excursions below). This fee is significantly lower than initially anticipated, and is lower than many other study abroad program fees. The program website includes a link to a student budget worksheet to help you in planning costs.

Expenses are always a big consideration when looking at study abroad opportunities, even more so in the current economy. The directors of the Leipzig program have worked aggressively to bring costs down to make this program affordable. During the holidays is usually a good time to plan ahead, and to discuss potential travel plans and finances with your family.

Plans are moving forward for OU students to collaborate with German students working at the University of Leipzig’s student-operated radio station Mephisto. This is an exciting facet of the program. Program co-director Kevin Grieves is working closely with the current faculty director of Mephisto in developing plans for collaborative, multimedia reporting projects for next summer.

Watch video from the 2010 study abroad trip to Leipzig.

This will be an opportunity for students to not only learn about other cultures and produce journalistic products, but to directly interact with student journalists from another culture, and to produce content that is seen by audiences in multiple countries.

Former Mephisto faculty director Robert Ritzow visited Athens last spring. In this video he comments on the close relationship between Scripps and the University of Leipzig.

The dates for the program are June 19 to July 13, 2012. During that time, the group will gain first-hand experience in travel reporting and writing, and will research, write and produce journalistic pieces. We will connect with a variety of people and institutions involved in travel, tourism promotion and journalism in the Leipzig area. We also have some great excursions planned: We will visit Germany’s capital and cosmopolitan metropolis Berlin, to get a first hand look at the dramatic changes that have taken place in that city. We’ll also head to the historic city of Dresden. And, in keeping with the travel theme of the program, you will have opportunities to travel on your own on weekends, to places within easy reach such as Prague, Munich, or many other locations in Germany and in Central Europe.

German language skills are not a requirement for admission to the program. All students who are accepted will participate in orientation sessions during spring quarter; those sessions will provide basic preparation for travel to and stay in Germany. Most German students (and most Germans involved in the areas of journalism and travel/tourism) speak at least some English. Dr. Kevin Grieves, who will accompany the group, has lived and worked in Germany, and is fluent in German. His colleague Dr. Mirit Shoham, who will also guide the group, has traveled extensively in Europe.

During the four weeks in Germany, students must enroll in two courses (2×4 credit hours=8 credit hours) and may also choose to enroll in additional credit hours. Students will enroll in one Communication Studies class and one Journalism class. Prof. Shoham will be teaching COMS 410 (Cross Cultural Communication)/COMS 480 (Topics in Communication). Prof. Grieves will be teaching JOUR 466 (International Mass Media)/JOUR492 (Topics in Journalism). Enrollment choices in both COMS and JOUR courses are in place to accommodate students with varying qualifications (i.e., meeting certain course prerequisites, or already having taken one of the courses previously). These courses may apply towards your major/minor, most likely as elective courses.

In order to provide as enriching an experience as possible, the number of spaces will be limited. Since this program is geared towards students in both Journalism and Communication Studies, as well as qualified students outside of these areas, it will likely be relatively competitive. Therefore, interested students are encouraged to begin the application process soon, to ensure all required application steps are completed. Only completed applications can receive full consideration.

If you have any questions about the application procedure or about the program itself, feel free to contact the program directors or the Office of Education Abroad.

Program Co-directors:

Prof. Kevin Grieves, E.W. Scripps School of Journalism:
Prof. Mirit Shoham, School of Communication Studies:

November 23, 2011

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