The School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC) encourages you to enrich your educational experience through participation in UW’s International Academic Programs. Journalism students have studied in Italy, Spain, France, United Kingdom, Denmark, and Australia, just to name a few. Studying abroad provides students with unique educational opportunities to see the world from a different perspective and a tremendous opportunity for personal growth. With careful planning, Journalism majors can make a study abroad opportunity possible.
Journalism and Mass Communication Course Considerations Abroad
Meeting with your advisor a semester or two before you study abroad is very practical. Together you can discuss which courses you are likely to take. While it is unlikely that you will earn credit for Journalism-specific major classes abroad, it is possible to earn credit that will count for electives in the major. Study abroad is a great opportunity to earn Intermediate/Advanced LAS credits.
The IAP program pages have an “Academics” tab that will lead you to the courses that have already been evaluated. Established programs usually have a list of courses that will come back as degree requirements. Knowing which program or programs to which you are applying will help your advisor navigate those course lists.
Some universities still prefer a lecture format, sometimes with a small group discussion section called a tutorial group. If possible, talk with the Study Abroad Advisor for the program and other students who have come back from your chosen program to learn more about the academic expectations. To hear from past program participants, select the Student Voices tab on your study abroad program page.
Mapping Your Study Abroad Experience as a Journalism and Mass Communication Major
If you are considering study abroad, discuss this with the Undergraduate Academic Advisor at SJMC at your first meeting.
During their second year, students are typically taking J202 and J203 (required for the first semester in the journalism major). Study abroad would not be an option until J202 and J203 have been completed. Generally, the second semester in the major is the earliest students will go abroad.
The best and most popular time for SJMC students to study abroad is spring semester of their junior year. The average number of credits that SJMC students earn abroad on a semester program is 15. UW Study Abroad requires that students earn between 12-18 credits abroad on semester programs, though your specific program may have a different enrollment requirement. We strongly encourage avoiding elementary-level coursework, due to the 60-credit Intermediate/Advanced LAS degree requirement. To review the level of coursework for each class, select the Academics tab and navigate to Course Equivalencies at the bottom of the study abroad program page. The L&S senior residence requirement states that all students must earn a minimum of 30 degree credits in residence at the University of Wisconsin-Madison after they have earned 90 credits toward their undergraduate degree. If you are on an IAP program, you will meet the L&S senior residence requirement.
Is it possible to study abroad senior year? Definitely! This takes more careful planning to ensure you are meeting all graduation requirements, but it’s absolutely an option. Keep in mind that a lot of post-graduation recruitment in strategic communication and journalism takes place in the fall of your senior year. Going abroad senior year will mean doing most of this remotely. Be sure to stay in touch with the undergraduate advising team to ensure you are on track to graduate and have support for your job search.
Questions to Ask
Your Academic Advisor
- What classes must I complete for my degree (breadth/depth, major requirements, etc.)?
- Do I need to be on UW-Madison’s campus for any courses in my major?
- How many electives do I have outside of my major?
Your Study Abroad Advisor
- What classes can I take abroad?
- How and when do I select courses for my program?
- When will I know course equivalents for my program?
- What is the class structure like abroad?
Identifying Programs That are Right for You
Studying abroad, regardless of the program, offers numerous benefits. When considering programs, strive to identify those that will expose you to subjects, places, cultures, and languages that you find appealing, while also helping you complete your degree. You will likely find that many programs all over the world fit your goals and interests. Here are some possibilities where students have been able to earn Journalism elective credits.
Australia, Sydney: IES Direct Enrollment – University of New South Wales
Czech Republic, Prague: CIEE Central European Studies in Prague
England, London: University of Westminster
France, Aix-en-Provence: Academic Program in Aix-en-Provence
France, Paris: UW in Paris
Ireland, Galway: IFSA National University Ireland, Galway
Italy, Florence: Santa Reparata International School of Art (SRISA)
Spain, Barcelona: IES Barcelona
Spain, Seville: CIEE Advanced Liberal Arts & Liberal Arts in Seville
Search all programs
Research all programs using the Program Search page. The above is not an exhaustive list of all programs that offer Journalism courses. There may be other programs that are a better fit for your individual needs or interests.