Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Students nominated for Zambia study abroad program

By Rachel Ferchak
SUSI Webmaster

The E. W. Scripps School of Journalism and the Institute for International Journalism (IIJ) have nominated 18 students for the new journalism study abroad program to Zambia during winter break.

In coordination with Ohio University’s Office of Education Abroad (OEA), students who accept the nomination will spend 24 days in Africa, immersing themselves in the culture, observing various media outlets and taking two media classes. Kenny Makungu, a 2010 SUSI scholar, will be the instructor for one of the two classes.

The program attracted 49 applications from all journalism sequences and from the school of Visual Communication and from Communication Studies.

“Although this program was promoted as a journalism study abroad, I was pleased that many students from different sequences and programs actually applied and were nominated,” said Dr. Yusuf Kalyango, director of the IIJ.

The selection process became competitive because of the number of good students who applied.

“Every one of [the applicants] was poised, mature, articulate, and clearly excited about the possibility [the IIJ] is presenting to them,” said Dr. Steve Howard, director of African Studies and Graduate Studies for the Center for International Students.

Two of the nominated students expressed their excitement for the program. One said, “I am so excited to share this opportunity with my peers and enjoy the journey of a lifetime … I look forward to turning this dream into a reality!”

Another student said, “I am really looking forward to this trip and all of the opportunities that it will provide. Winter intercession can’t come soon enough.”

During the program, students will increase their understanding of the African history of monarchical rule, cultural norms and political structures shaping attitudes towards governance. They will be acculturated into Zambia’s socioeconomic welfare and fragmentation of ethnic groups.

Students will observe the inner workings of different media outlets and will be able to partner with non-profit organizations to do volunteer work.

OU students will also learn coalition-building efforts, cross cultural communication and problem solving skills as they apprentice with local journalists, other university students and as they interact with a wide array of academic and peasant contacts. It is designed to give OU students a stand-out lifetime discovery into the wonders of Zambia in an academic and enjoyable touristy environment.

Nominated students have until June 10 to accept.

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