Last July senior journalism major Katy Macek traveled to Nice, France with Associate Professor of Communications and Journalism, Mike Dorsher, and fellow CJ students. Dorsher will lead the trip again this summer to London, Paris and Nice.
— Why did you initially want to go on the trip to France?
I wanted to go to France because it was a chance for me to study abroad. I had been wanting to but was worried that a semester abroad would set me back and make me have to stay in school an extra semester. The ieiMedia summer program with Mike Dorsher in Nice, France actually set me ahead because of its focus on my major (journalism), which fit into my schedule nicely.
— What was the trip like in terms of balancing class, reporting and free time?
There was definitely more of an emphasis on class and reporting. I learned a lot more in our reporting trips to the Matisse Museum, day trips like the ones to Cannes and Antibes, than I ever did sitting in the classroom. Free time was mostly in the evenings and two weekends we had free, but those were wonderful times to explore Nice and, on the weekends, get away and see other parts of Europe. Overall, I’d say the free time we had to travel and explore was the most valuable learning experience I took away from the trip.
— What kinds of things did you report on?
We did a lot of reporting on the culture of Nice and the other cities we visited. It was kind of like a “slice of life” thing, sort of like “Humans of New York.” While we had a couple of focused assignments, such as some political tweets, most were broader. We got to choose our subjects and the angles on which we were reporting. The professors on the trip were helpful in guiding us if we got lost.
—What was the highlight of the trip for you?
The highlight of the trip for me was definitely just being immersed in another culture I had known very little about. I have never been out of the country and knew how to speak very little French, so getting to interact with people who were so completely different from me on a daily basis was a humbling and beautiful experience. It opened my eyes to how big the world really is, and made me want to continue traveling. The people I had the fortune of meeting were a big part, of course. I made some awesome friends on the trip, and I had the sweetest host mom. She helped me learn French and, when she found out about my love of potatoes, made a different style with every meal.
— Would you recommend others go on the trip? Why?
I would recommend others go to Nice, France. I heard the program was being revamped this year, so I’m not sure how that will affect the experience. If you are going as a journalism major, I recommend it. I learned a lot on my trip. I’m not sure all of it was related to journalism, but I learned a lot about myself and the beautiful culture of Nice.
If you could report abroad, where would you go?