J-Schoolers study abroad every year and have successful, rewarding experiences. Studying abroad can require extra planning for J-School majors, however, because most schools in other countries have limited if any offerings in journalism or strategic communication – foreign colleges and programs concentrate on more traditional college majors like history, literature, philosophy and the like. Also study abroad can 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.
J-Schoolers abroad typically concentrate on general B.A./B.S. requirements, overall credits to graduation, and the outside humanities/social science requirements for the Journalism degree. Some programs abroad offer a course or several 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 J-School skills course.
Unless you’re ahead of schedule on graduation and your major requirements, we encourage you to stick with programs administered by UW via International Academic Programs (IAP). Transferring out of UW 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 J-Schoolers. Visit www.studyabroad.wisc.edu for full information on UW’s study abroad programs, and to start your search.
If you have credits and courses to spare and a strong interest in a non-UW study abroad program, full details on transferring out and back to UW for study abroad including an instruction sheet and checklist can be found at www.admissions.wisc.edu/studyabroad.php. The process for transferring out and back is governed by UW Admissions, not the J-School – we hold your spot.
Once you’ve chosen an abroad program or have several to consider, a consultation with Robert can help narrow down your course choices and plan your academic program after you return. Pam and Robert 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 Pam.