Study abroad in London explores global communication

Students attend a meeting at the Wall Street Journal bureau in London. Photo credit: Valeria Barbaglio

Over a dozen University of Miami Students had the opportunity to immerse themselves into the bustling communications hub of London during a three-week study abroad program organized by Joseph B. Treaster and Gina Presson, professor and lecturer, in the School of Communication.

Students sat down with foreign correspondents at the Wall Street Journal discussing their intense coverage of the war in Ukraine, watched editors at the New York Times strategize the top stories for the day and observed live broadcasts from the gallery at ITN Channel 4 News.

Students told The Miami Hurricane about their experiences, and shared how the three-week experience sharpened their perspective about future careers in communications.

“I think that in order to get the most out of a program like this, you need to do it with an open mind.” Clarke Augustin, a senior majoring in public relations with minors in electronic media and music business, said. “After meeting with all types of journalists, broadcasters, members of PR agencies, freelancers and more, everyone that went on this trip has a better understanding of what they do and do not want to work in once they graduate.”

Students ride a double decker bus through the streets of London.
Students ride a double decker bus through the streets of London.

Augustin’s favorite visit of the trip was the group’s meeting with Edelman, a global public relations and marketing consultancy firm. At Edelman students spoke with professionals working in crisis management, corporate public relations and more.

“There were places that we visited where I felt like I had a great connection to what our hosts were discussing, and there were others where I missed that,” Augustin said. “This whole trip was not only about learning about how the world of media works, but about figuring out what aspects of it that you’re interested in.”

The London Summer Program not only introduced students to accomplished professionals in the communications field, but immersed students into the fast-paced, unpredictable world of global communication.

“I expected the program to be a regular study abroad, packed with more group opportunities and less free time. What I got out of it was less of that and more a real world test-run.” Valeria Barbaglio, a junior studying media management and psychology, said.

“We were given all the schedules the night before and this bothered me until I realized it was parallel to a career in communications. Last minute changes, uncertainty and working on your feet are crucial characteristics this program introduced.”

For Maddie Bassalik, a senior studying broadcast journalism with a minor in psychology, the London Summer Study Abroad program was the best way to kickstart her senior year.

“The chance to go to London for three weeks to visit places like CNN, BBC and Reuters was too good to pass up.” Bassalik said. “I learned so much about the field of journalism and got amazing advice from the professors as well as professionals who spoke to us. It truly was the experience of a lifetime and is something I will cherish forever.”

For more information about study abroad programs offered at the University of Miami, visit this link.