Why go to Estonia?
Estonia is an emerging economy on the Baltic Sea, representing the first European destination for International Storytelling. As Lonely Planet notes, the smallest Baltic country “makes its presence felt in the region with its lovely seaside towns, quaint country villages and verdant forests and marshlands, all of which set the scene for discovering many cultural and natural gems.” As The New York Times noted last year, “unlike many other places in Europe, unemployment is down, and there’s a sense of optimism in the air, helped by companies like Skype that have their main offices here.”
What will we do there?
We will work with English-speaking students to produce stories, photography and videos on aspects of life in Estonia, including (but not limited to) growth, education, business, religion and the arts. These are stories you’ll propose and pursue, similar to how we handled International Storytelling in China, India and Brazil. See the finished products at http://datelineshanghai.com, http://datelinedelhi.org and http://datelinebrazil.org.
What are the goals of the class?
To provide an interesting, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Kent State students to visit this part of the world, to practice your journalism skills and to produce cross-platform stories.
What do I get out of this?
Experience as an international reporter/storyteller. It will give you a strong item on interest for your resume and experiences that you can draw on for years to come. It’s a chance to meet people and work with peers from half a world away.
When does the class meet?
From 5:30 – 8:15 p.m. Thursdays during spring term. Our sessions may be shorter before the trip as we prepare and get started on our reporting. Once we’re home, we’ll need the entire class periods to publish our stories, photos and videos.
When do we travel?
March 14-30, 2014. We’ll fly together from a local airport, most likely Cleveland Hopkins.
Where will we be, exactly?
We plan to partner with Tallin Institute of Technology, which has a strong academic programs and students to help as story partners and translators. Our accommodations will be close to the campus.
Will there be time for sightseeing?
Yes. We’ll be busy reporting, photographing, writing and producing the stories during the days, though there will be time to enjoy the culture in the off-hours. Our plan is to depart March 14, and then board our flight home to Cleveland around March 30.
Do I need to be a journalism student?
No. We’re looking for students from all across CCI. We need reporters, photographers, videographers, designers, graphic artists, web communicators, interviewers, people with good communication skills.
Are there prerequisites?
We’re especially encouraging juniors, seniors and graduate students to apply, as they are more likely to have the skills needed to create the finished product. For the previous courses, that meant JMC majors should have at least completed the beat reporting course. Freshman and sophomore students should explain in their application why they’re right for this course.
How much will this cost?
There’s no additional tuition cost if you’re a fulltime spring student. You will need to pay the cost for flights and also a program fee to cover lodging, ground transportation and other group expenses. Some of these figures are a moving target, but we believe the program fee will be in the $3,000 range. Both of these costs will need to be paid in the first few weeks of spring term. You also will need to budget for meals and other purchases.
How will it count toward my degree?
The course is an upper-division CCI elective. Your adviser can you help determine exactly where it fits.
What if I have more questions?
Send an e-mail to professors Mitch McKenney (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Gary Hanson (email@example.com). Our phone numbers are 330-244-3364 (Mitch) or 330-672-8300 (Gary).