Students and professors of the CNMJ program, at the cultural hub 'Un Gato en Bicicleta' during the opening of the Spring 15 semester.
All 27 students enrolled this Spring 2015 semester in the Communication, New Media and Journalism program (CNMJ) arrived as scheduled on Janury 13th—if not earlier—sound, safe and eager to start their semester abroad. We're very pleased to be welcoming this semester students from Wheaton College (IL), Indiana University-Bloomington, Saint Mary's College of California, Villanova University, the University of Oregon, Carthage College, Clemson University, Northeastern University, the University of St. Thomas (MN), Elon University, Ursinus College, University of Illinois at Chicago, Howard University, University of Vermont and Clark University.
Following a rather exhausting first week of onsite orientation, all students are now immersed into their two-week Intensive Session courses in Spanish Grammar, Latin American and Spanish Short Novel or Cultural History of Spain. They're all tuning into their Spanish and checking onto their intercultural skills in order to face their semester abroad full of strength and confidence. Students will be witnesses to a few months filled with social, cultural and also political activities in our city and region and we want them to be alert.
In order to introduce our committed and recently renovated academic team, as well as to further discuss the program's academic components, its experiential learning opportunities and our efforts to create links of reciprocity with our host community, students and professors got together last Thursday at the culture hub Un Gato en Bicicleta. In the course of this session, we also conducted the first of a number of workshops intended to enhance our students' intercultural awareness and gain during the semester.
In the next few months we will renew our relationship with the Centro de Iniciativas Culturales de la Universidad de Sevilla (CICUS), a first-rate cultural institution located at a 2-minute walk from the CIEE study center. In addition to continuing conducting CNMJ's core and elective courses at its media lab, the New Media and Audiovisual Workshop course, taught by professor Carlos Pineda, will be part of CICUS formative offer as a for-credit workshop for 8 students from the University of Seville, chosen out of a total of 20 applicants. They will be sharing academic activities and audiovisual production projects with the 24 CNMJ students who're taking the course.
Last semester, we successfully expanded our academic and experiential learning offer with the creation of the course Social Justice, Action and Media: Stories that Matter, which taught by the journalist and social activist Marina Blesa allowed students to become part of an itinerant radio project while visiting and interacting with NGOs, political, cultural and social organizations. This semester, with an increased number of students given its popularity, the course faces new and exciting challenges.
We're sad to say goodbye to our professor Juan Carlos Blanco, who's taught the course The Metamorphosis of News and Media: from Gutenberg to Zuckerberg since the Fall of 2011, but his new duties as Executive Director of Social Communication of the Andalusian Government make any other tasks incompatible. I am glad to let you know that he'll be substituted by the journalist Rosa Llacer, who has vast experience as founder and manager of several media companies, both private and public, as well as a professor of communications at EUSA School of Communications.
CNMJ professors Marina Blesa and Juan Carlos Blanco
CNMJ's students and professors will be visiting the town of Cádiz at the beginning of February and the Moroccan towns of Tangier, Tetouan and Chaoen in early March. As with the rest of our activities, we will keep you updated.
As I always do, I'd like to encourage you to visit our website of student projects, masmenos.es in order to check amazing contributions from our students of the Fall 2014 semester in the areas of magazine, tv (audiovisual), podcast and photo reporting. There will be many more projects coming soon, as the students from your institutions start engaging with members of their host community. We trust that their endeavor will carry them well beyond comfort and customized zones as they explore their surroundings in search of stories of human interest.
If you haven't done it yet, don't miss the opportunity to "like" and start following our Facebook page for regular updates on the program's activities.
Let's wish all of our students and professors good luck.
Warm regards from Seville.
Óscar Ceballos, CNMJ RD