Journalism students have successful, rewarding experiences studying abroad. Journalism majors who want to study abroad must do extra planning, however, because most schools in other countries have limited offerings in reporting or strategic communication — foreign colleges and programs concentrate on more traditional college majors like history, literature, and philosophy. Study abroad can also place you out of the country during the interview and selection cycles for summer internships in our fields, particularly at larger employers and agencies with competitive application processes. Advance planning and careful selection of your study abroad program is important.
SJMC students who study abroad typically concentrate on general B.A./B.S. requirements, overall credits to graduation, and the outside humanities and social science requirements for the journalism degree. Some programs abroad offer courses that will count toward the theory half of our major, particularly Group C. Rarely, if ever, does a foreign program offer an equivalent to a 300- or 400-level journalism skills course.
Unless you’re ahead of schedule on graduation and your major requirements, we encourage you to stick with programs administered by UW–Madison via International Academic Programs (IAP). Transferring out of UW–Madison to attend a program administered by another university can cause uncertainty about credits transferring back home, especially if courses are cancelled or changed when you arrive abroad. With limited options to fulfill requirements, this can be a particular challenge for journalism students. Visit the Study Abroad website for more information and to start your search.
If you have credits and courses to spare and a strong interest in a non-UW study abroad program, visit the Admissions website for full details on transferring out and back to UW–Madison, including an instruction sheet and checklist. The process for transferring out and back is governed by UW–Madison Admissions, not the School of Journalism and Mass Communication — we hold your spot.
Once you’ve chosen a study abroad program or have several to consider, a consultation with advisor Robert Schwoch can help you narrow down your course choices and plan your academic program after you return. Career advisor Pam Garcia-Rivera and Schwoch are available by phone or Skype for in-person advising while you’re away. Note your location and contact information when you make an appointment, and we’ll get in touch at the appointed time.
Finally, if you have interest in a particular summer internship that begins as you’re returning home, especially one with competitive application requirements, check with the employer before you decide to go abroad and/or consult with Garcia-Rivera.