And if you want to learn more about our Brussels programs, click here.
Beautiful and historic Brussels
Stephanie Ebbs has been spending this summer in Brussels, and lucky for all of us, she has decided to write about her time there. And not just once in a random while, but quite often. And there's fascinating stuff there to read. If you click on the link, not only will you see what the place looks like, but you'll also get an idea of what your experience might be like. So do it. Just click on this link. Seriously.
And if you want to learn more about our Brussels programs, click here.
A bridge in Florence
Want to know what it's really like in Italy, from a fellow student who's there right now, experiencing it all? Well you don't have to go far – all you've got to do is click here to check out Catherine Willbrand's blog "A Taste of Italy." It's full of pictures, interesting stories and insights on the country. Take a look!
Good for foodies, by the way. And we're all foodies in a way, right?
by Lucas Moore
If you want to learn what it's really like in Argentina, don't ask me – I've never been there! Instead, check out Lucas Moore's blog on his experiences there this summer through our internship program. He's already posted some great photos and stories, all of which should help give you an idea of what it's like. Who knows, you might like how it looks and end up going there yourself!
by Fedor Zarkhin
Rachel Lijewski took this photo in Edinburgh! Check out our program at Napier University. You can also read what she has written about her time there below.
Edinburgh is an absolutely gorgeous, fantastic, interesting, and culturally diverse place to live! There is a castle in my backyard and that’s not even the best part! Edinburgh is a very safe and friendly city, not to mention very pretty. Apparently it was voted nicest place to live in the UK by some publication or other. It’s very pedestrian friendly because everyone walks, rain or shine. There’s not much you can’t walk to, and what you can’t is easily reachable through the city’s fantastic bus system.
There are so many things to see in Edinburgh! The Royal Mile and the Castle are tourist hotspots and, of course, can’t be missed. My flat-mates (who are both American exchange students) and I went on a walking tour of the Royal Mile area. It’s just incredible to live in a place with so much history, a place where you can find McDonald’s sitting right next to a building that has been standing since before America was recognized as a country. The coast is just a short bus ride away from the town center and Arthur’s Seat – the hill that towers over Edinburgh and sits just at the end of the Royal Mile – is even closer. Climbing that hill was one of the best things I’ve done here in Edinburgh. It gets its name from a rather far-fetched legend that Camelot once stood on its peak. Still, the views from the top are breathtaking. On the day I planned to go, there was rain predicted for the afternoon. I decided to risk it anyway and it paid off when I got to the top and there was a whole rainbow stretching across the sky!
As far as day-to-day living in Edinburgh, I really rely on the buses to get to where I need to be, like between the different campuses of Napier University. It was a little challenging at first trying to figure out which number bus to take which direction and when to catch them, particularly since I have the directional sense of a malfunctioning homing pigeon, but within the first week I had a pretty good grasp on how to get where I needed to go. Another major challenge was learning to cook for myself here. First off, I had to find a grocery store (which, I discovered is a very Americanized term for what everyone here calls supermarkets) and figure out what dietary staples I needed. Through this venture I discovered that zucchini are called courgettes here and that peanut butter is almost as hard to find as Dr. Pepper. After buying my cooking and eating supplies, I had to figure out how to actually make the food. I’ve discovered that pasta is one of the easiest things to make! Now that I’m pretty comfortable cooking, I’ve started to experiment a little with different foods. By the time I move into my apartment next year, I’ll be a cooking champion!
Arguably the most distinctive thing I’ve experienced here in Edinburgh is meeting people from all over the world. Surprisingly, few of the people I’ve met are actually from the city, but have come here for university. I helped a Swedish classmate with a journalism assignment, went to a flat party with a group of German students and had lunch with a couple from Northern Ireland. In my classes at Napier, I’ve met people from all over Scotland and England, as well as from Poland, Hungary, France, Italy and Spain. To meet so many different people and get to know a little about what their lives are like – how they're different and still very much the same as mine – is one of the greatest rewards of studying abroad.
As far as experiencing Scottish culture? I went to a Ceilidh (pronounced kay-lee), that is, a traditional Scottish dance, and of course I’ve tried haggis, the Scottish national dish. If you don’t know what it is, you shouldn’t look it up before trying it. I think it’s pretty tasty, personally. I’ve been to a few of the myriad pubs around Edinburgh and let me tell you now, if you want to truly experience modern Scottish culture, go to a pub during a rugby match.
So, I guess what I’m trying to say is that I am having an absolutely wonderful time and learning so many invaluable things that will stay with me long after I return home.
by Rachel Lijewski
If you're going to London this summer, you'll definitely want to know more about what you'll be doing there, right? Right. So, we've got the perfect thing for you: a blog written by current London students. You'll learn about things like practical considerations when living in London to travelling in Europe to what kind of internship you might get. So check out the MU in London blog!
Take a look at Elise's story about working in Brussels! And come to the info session today at 4pm in Tucker Forum. Gareth Harding, the Brussels program director, will be there to answer all your questions!
When making the decision about where to study abroad while at Mizzou, I knew I wanted to travel somewhere “not obvious”, a city where I could get a different kind of study abroad experience than what other students may have. After doing research on some of the study abroad programs offered through the J-School, I narrowed my choices down to the exchange program in Melbourne, Australia or the internship program in Brussels, Belgium. Before researching the program, I had known very little about Brussels, besides the fact that it is known for its excellent chocolate products. I also thought it would be better for resume purposes to complete an internship abroad rather than just study and take classes.
European Parliament, Brussels
So when I started to talk to students who had travelled there previously and heard all the wonderful things they had to say about it, I knew it was worth doing more research. Everyone I spoke to about the program said they absolutely loved every second of it, and they said the opportunities available to broadcast journalism majors were pretty impressive. It was not until I heard that previous interns had the opportunity to work with companies like the Associated Press and Reuters that my decision was solidified: I was going to apply to study abroad in Brussels, Belgium for the 2012 spring semester.
Now, one year later, here I am in Brussels, completing an internship with Thomson Reuters, one of the world’s largest press services in the capital of Europe. Having been on this program for about six weeks now, I can safely say that there is nothing I regret about coming to Belgium. Everything about the city makes me excited to be here and I almost feel a sense of pride and joy calling Brussels my “home away from home.”
European Commission Building, Brussels
According to the locals, Brussels is full of “hidden gems”: you just have to be here to experience its true beauty. It also goes without saying that the culture of Brussels is what makes this city such a pleasure to spend time in. There is always something new to see and explore when in Belgium and the atmosphere is much more relaxed compared to the United States. While some people may complain that service at restaurants in Europe is lousier because of its slow pace, everyone is much more relaxed when they eat because they are not in a rush to be somewhere else; meals are an experience and Europeans take their time to enjoy what is in front of them.
Being in the capital of Europe has also afforded me an amazing amount of hands-on job experience. On my third day working for Reuters, I had the sole responsibility of conducting an exclusive interview with the Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister. How many other college students can say that about their study abroad experience? I have also had the privilege of attending and helping to cover EU summits and other meetings that make headlines worldwide. I was never very interested in political and business reporting before coming to Brussels, but going through this internship has definitely broadened my horizons and changed my mind a bit more on wanting to report on business and government issues. Through working with Reuters, I have also had the opportunity to see how a major news wire service works, which is an experience I do not know if I could have gotten anywhere else but through the Brussels program.
Triumphal Arch, Brussels /by Filip Fuxa
However, living in Brussels also comes with its fair share of rough patches. I came to Brussels knowing what I deemed a good amount of French from high school classes. However, once I got to Belgium, I found myself stumbling to communicate with people. No matter how hard I try to speak French to someone, I always seem to have to resort back to English in one way or another. There are decent amounts of people that do speak English in Brussels, but once you get outside of the city, the ability to communicate seems to wane. Another aspect of life in Belgium that has been increasingly difficult to deal with has been the weather. I had known coming over to Belgium that it was mostly gray and rainy, but having to actually deal with it day after day makes it that much worse. It also probably did not help that Europe has experienced some of the worst cold spells the continent has seen in over 20 years.
But what frustrates me a bit more than the rainy weather and prominent language barrier is having to constantly convert units and measurements into the metric system. I won’t lie, I am not the best when it comes to understanding the metric system measurements, so when asking for directions and someone tells me it is this many “meters” away, I often have no idea what they are really telling me. It is also quite weird to hear people say how nice and warm a “12 degree” day is in Brussels when referring to the weather.
Grand Place, Brussels
One thing I was surprised about was that my passport does not now contain as many stamps from other countries as I thought it would have. Under the Schengen agreement in Europe, people can move about freely in many countries without having to present a passport. So while I thought I would be collecting stamps from the Netherlands and France to take home and show my friends and family, I have nothing to show but my many photos. I was also pleasantly surprised, when visiting Paris, how much a student visa could get you, such as free admission to the Louvre or the towers at Notre Dame cathedral. Whoever said studying abroad in Europe didn’t come with perks?
The time I have spent in Brussels so far has included some of the best experiences of my life, and I am already dreading the day when I have to pack up my things and return home in April. I definitely think the Brussels program is one that has something in it for everyone. I would recommend the Brussels program to anyone looking to see a unique and “hidden gem” of Europe. After all, as the program director once told our class, “Belgium is a pocket-sized country with a punch.”
Check out some of the things Lauren Delaney did in Argentina. If you want to know more about the program, you can set up an appointment with the program director, Carolina Escudero. She'll be here the week of February 20.
Carne, Colectivos, and Quilmes: My Adventures in Argentina
by Lauren Delaney
Argentina. Where do I even begin? It’s one of the most magical places in the world, merging bustling cities with tranquil mountains, a European-esque history with the native heritage. Argentina has a diverse mix of attractions and must-see sights that will satisfy any traveler’s hunger for exploration and discovery.
I spent the most of my time in Buenos Aires, where I worked an internship, took classes, and did most of my exploring. My study abroad group lived in the Recoleta neighborhood. It’s the swankier part of Buenos Aires, where the streets are lined with trendy boutiques and lavish cafes. The neighborhood is home to many parks, plazas, markets, and museums, so it’s easy to find something to do.
Buenos Aires is comprised of about a dozen different neighborhoods, and each one has a vibe of its own. Recoleta is the most stylish, but further south you’ll find La Boca, the colorful neighborhood that gave birth to Tango. There, the buildings are brightly colored and the heritage of the poorer immigrants lives on through dance. San Telmo is another interesting neighborhood, with more of a bohemian feel. With its old street art, tango, quaint cafes, and hidden restaurants, it captures the essence of the traditional Buenos Aires.
One of the many trips I took was to Mendoza, better known as wine country. Located on the border of Argentina and Chile, this small city lies at the foothills of the Andes Mountains. I took a winery tour with my roommates, on which we sampled at least four wines at each vineyard. We had a four-course meal while sipping the famous Malbec wine and looking out over the snow-capped Andes Mountains. The experience was simply magical; I had never done anything like that before, and I won’t ever forget it.
We also went horseback riding in the mountains while we were in Mendoza. The adventure company gave us a horse and saddle, set us up with a tour guide – who spoke only Spanish – and we set off for the mountains. I’m terrified of animals so I was skeptical, but soon after the journey began I forgot my fear and nervousness. The views were spectacular and the experience unforgettable. There’s something so refreshing about being immersed in a foreign place... no matter where you travel, I would recommend doing something like this.
I also went to Iguazu Falls at Puerto Iguazu. The falls are located in a huge national park. The park offers boat tours that take you close to the waterfalls, and you’re guaranteed to get wet – which is perfect for cooling off on a hot day. The park involves a lot of walking, but it’s worth the views. While I was there, I also went rappelling and zip lining through the jungle. Iguazu Falls is a very activity-based place, so if you’re ready for an adventure through the forests and the waterfalls, you’ll have a great time!
My time in Argentina passed by much too fast. Over the course of two and a half months I grew to love the culture, people, food, and the country overall. If you choose to study abroad in Buenos Aires, you’ll have the experience of a lifetime.
Katie Artemas, a strategic communications student at Mizzou, did an internship in Argentina in Summer of 2011. Here's what she wrote about why she decided to go to Argentina.
And I realized: what do I know about South America? What did history courses, class work or American media and pop culture teach me about South America, nonetheless Argentina? Absolutely nothing. Latin Americans love soccer or fútbol as they call it, Evita is a movie with Madonna in it, and there are some cool mountains called the Andes down there. That’s about it, and that is pathetic. My roommates and I have discussed how this category—Latin American history—of our education failed us because it did not exist. We leave our international journalism seminar weekly in shock about what we did not know about the Dirty War, recovered factories or huge economic breakdown that happened in Argentina. These events affected all of South America, our neighboring continent, and were rarely covered in news outlets that reached our age group. This was one appeal toward studying in Buenos Aires—because it was somewhere new to learn about and explore with background information only from what we researched. Going to museums and monuments is that much more interesting as each one greatly enhances my knowledge.
By Erin Meyer
As the 2011 China Open comes to an end, our group of 10 MU journalism students that traveled to Beijing to volunteer at the 10-day tournament has dedicated the last few weeks to immersing ourselves into a new culture and to living and breathing tennis.
The reporting team has logged long hours covering matches and events around the venue and writing articles on them in the Media Center while the PR team has facilitated countless press conferences, interviews and player activities.
As if the bags beneath our eyes and the frequent yawning is not enough proof of our dedication and tireless effort, we’ve generated the following statistics to help put into perspective just how much our group has accomplished over the last 15 days.
Since day one of our time in Beijing, members of the reporting team have been hard at work covering events and writing articles to be published on the 2011 China Open’s website. They’ve spent long days and nights at the tournament ensuring the public receives fair and accurate information on the tournament. Thanks to their unwavering dedication to high-quality journalism (and plenty of packets of instant coffee), the team has generated over 79% of all the English-language articles published on the China Open website during the tournament.
“I knew we were working hard, I’m really impressed with the amount of the tournament’s news coverage that our group produced,” said Danny Matteson of the reporting team. “I feel like I’m leaving with great sports-writing experience.”
The students on the reporting team weren’t the only ones toiling away during the tournament. Members of the PR team had to be available at each match in order coordinate the post-match press conferences and organize player activities. The PR team had a hand in facilitating over 91 percent of the press conferences held during the tournament.
“It was awesome to see all the efforts that go on behind-the-scenes in such a big tournament with player and media relations,” said Peter Schmidt of the PR team. “Now, I understand why public relations practitioners are considered gatekeepers of information.”
Although we did spend the majority of our time at the tennis center, we each also had a great time exploring Beijing, familiarizing ourselves with Chinese culture and getting to know each other in our free time. This, combined with the invaluable experience obtained through our roles at the tournament, has contributed to making the 2011 China Open study abroad program a truly unforgettable experience for all.
To read more about the 2011 China Open, visit the blog our students created here.
In May, MU Journalism Abroad's Danny Matteson traveled to Washington D.C. along with other MU journalism students Emoke Bebiak and Yarna Klimchak. The group conducted interviews and produced the video series "100 Questions About Islam."
Check out the following article to learn more about Danny's work with the series:
Missouri Journalism Students Collaborate with United Nations and British Council to Release the Video Series "100 Questions About Islam"
The entire video series can be found at the following sites:
Vimeo: 100 Questions About Islam
YouTube: 100 Questions About Islam
Follow this blog to keep up with J-School Study Abroad. For more information visit MU Journalism Study Abroad.