Germany: Foreign Reporting in Berlin
Berlin is the capital of Germany and center of the reunified Europe. With a population of 3.5 million, it is a pulsing and dynamic metropolis that provides an ideal teaching opportunity for young journalists, particularly those interested in international reporting.
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During this three-week program, students will transition from foreign tourists to international journalists. The moment they arrive in Berlin they will be encouraged to write about the city and the cultural differences they encounter.
Students who join this program will interact with the city and its inhabitants, confront language and cultural barriers and come to terms with the stories of a city and a nation indelibly marked by 20th century history. Students will visit historic sites, meet and interview residents and successful ex-pats about their experiences in the city as well as cover current breaking news and cultural events. Students will also meet and interact with foreign correspondents from major American news organizations (New York Times, Wall Street Journal, the Economist), freelance journalists living in Berlin as well as several English-speaking German journalists.
Students will meet three times a week for a 3 credit course, ENG 215: How to Write Like a Journalist OR ENG elective/independent study credit. Students will be engaged in activities throughout the city, including organized tours of media offices and conversations with foreign correspondents and journalists living in Berlin as well as successful ex-pats living in the city. In assignments, students may choose to write a piece about one of the people they meet in the organized tour or an event happening in the city and discussed in class or they could choose their own topics (with approval of the director).
Each class session will be broken into three sections: theoretical, current events and practical. In theoretical lecture, students will learn about the changing role of the journalist, what it means to cover a culture other than your own and how to report ethically and responsibly. The current events time will focus on current new stories. Students will discuss events of local interest and international interest. Additionally, students will also look at how each media (local Berlin papers, German national papers, European papers and US newspapers) covers the same story or similar stories differently. In the third part of the class, students will focus on stories they can and will cover and write about. The third part of each session will involve practical application and answer questions such as: how do you write a news story? How do you cover an event, a feature, write a profile, etc.
Students will be evaluated on tests, written assignments and a final piece. The assignments will be pieces of journalism (750-1,000 words) focusing on the city, a person, a local or international issue or an upcoming event plus, a “travel” piece or personal memoir, in which each student discusses his/her experiences in Berlin. The best final pieces will be presented to The Buffalo News or The Spectrum as a possible story to be published.
Michelsheim, a youth hostel/hotel will be home to students while in Berlin. Students will need to bring their own towels, but sheets and bedding will be provided.
Estimated costs for this program can be found at the top of this page next to Budget Sheets by clicking on Winter. Please note the budget sheet currently lists the winter 2016 program expenses. Winter 2018 program expenses will be posted as soon as updated information is available.
UB students are encouraged to apply for study abroad scholarships. To learn more about the scholarships available to UB students, please visit our scholarships page.
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