“The seminars alone were extremely beneficial, but so was the setting. Learning and exploring the cultural differences was a seminar in itself. It is difficult not to overstate the importance of the trip on a cultural, historical, and aesthetic basis as well as the numerous benefits that the students and I received. The seminars expanded my base knowledge of foreign affairs, economics, and legal aspects, brought across many new aspects about mass media in foreign countries, and gave me a new perspective of the media in the United States and Europe.
“Through the seminar, I was able to compare and contrast how international news is covered in the United States and Europe. Some areas discussed included the U.S. and the foreign news coverage of the major broadcasters and its steady decline in the number of stories aired in a year due to the lack of bureau presence by any of the major networks in Paris. The trip to the International Herald Tribune and FR2/FR3 also increased my knowledge of international news coverage.
“It was interesting to watch the students learn to navigate around the city or to purchase items with their limited vocabulary. It became a sense of pride like a medal worn on the jackets. Each new task represented a growing sense of self-esteem and their ability to flourish in a foreign country gave them a feeling they could take on and conquer new challenges or face any obstacles that arose.
“The ultimate goal would be to make a trip such as the International Media Seminar or another college-sponsored trip a requirement for those who graduate with an emphasis in mass communications. We must prepare our students for the challenges that face them, whether it’s the convergence of the media or the globalization of the world.
“One last item that does not fit into any category but is valuable to say the least is a connection with the students who went on the trip, a connection that will last far beyond their college years. That is also truly invaluable.”
— Ward Bryant, assistant professor of communications, Missouri Southern State University