New study abroad opportunities

By LauraNalin

During the forthcoming 2010 academic year, the college will be introducing various international study opportunities to students.

The many upcoming programs that will be offered include a travel writing course in Peru directed by journalism professors Elio Leturia and Teresa Puente, a reporting course in London directed by journalism professor Rose Economou, and a history of photography course in Shanghai directed by Photography Academic Manager Elizabeth Chilsen will also be offered. The students earn three credit hours for the aforementioned courses.

A non-credit fashion course in Milan and Rome directed by Dianne Erpenbach, director of Fashion Retail Management, and professor Jerome Svec will also be available.

These courses offered during J-Term, lasting nine to 12 days, will give students the opportunity to study their field on a global level. The classes are designed to place students within their concentrations while developing their skills through experiences in the country of their choice.

Economou said the purpose of the London practicum is to train students who are interested in becoming foreign correspondents.

“We take a different approach to the program,” Economou said. “We literally guide them as if they were going to that new assignment and they experience all the things they would do when they first arrive. They get a tour of the city they are working [in]. We  introduce them to foreign correspondents and  well-known local correspondents, and it’s as if they were in the field themselves.”

The college will also offer a semester-long course during spring term in Cuernavaca, Mexico. The 10-week course is the only full-semester study abroad opportunity offered through Columbia and it is the second time it is being offered during spring semester. When the course was introduced last spring, 11 students participated.

According to Oscar Valdez, director for the Cuernavaca program, this year’s session will run from Jan. 25 through April 3. Students will attend classes Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.,  and are allowed to enroll in up to 18 credit hours.

“We are still in the process of recruiting students,” Valdez said. “The turnout has been better this year because of word of mouth from students that participated last year.”

Columbia also offers international exchange programs through three partnering universities in Dublin, London and Paris. The Dublin Institute of Technology offers programs for students studying journalism, graphic design, interior architecture, radio, photography and theater. The University of East London offers courses with students concentrating in theater and cultural studies.

Courses at the École Nationale Supérieure Des Beaux-Arts in Paris are offered to students studying fine arts, art history, film and video, illustration, art and design, photography and graphic design. The courses at École Nationale Supérieure Des Beaux-Arts are taught in French, so students that apply are asked to have an intermediate level of

the language.

The exchange programs work on a competitive level—a total of 14 students are selected to attend the three  different schools and in exchange, 14 students  from these  schools   come  on  to  study  at  Columbia. The program  is  aimed at students who are at an advanced level in their studies, but it is recommended that  first and second-year students consider applying in the future. The requirements for the programs vary by program and some may require the applicant to submit a portfolio.

Students are also given the opportunity to study abroad on an independent level, in which they would select a school of their choice to take courses in their concentration. Chris Greiner, director of International Programs at Columbia, encourages students to apply for the courses.

“To be a thoroughly educated college student, we can’t ignore being a world citizen at the same time,” Greiner said. “It just helps for employability and for being a rounded student.”

For more information on Columbia’s international programs, visit or visit the office, located in the Alexandroff Campus Center, 600 S. Michigan Ave. on the 13th floor.