Thursday, October 17, 2013

Public Relations and Studying Abroad

As a public relations major, studying abroad may not seem like an option for you. Most locations and programs do not offer PR courses, and only few offer internships. I am here to present my study abroad advising services and present some hidden treasures for public relations majors.

1. The School of Media and Communication’s International Internship Programs:
The Barcelona and Hong Kong programs both offer public relations courses as well as an internship in any field desired. All students are required to take Intercultural Communication in the Workplace: STRC 3670. The other course is cross-listed with multiple other majors but there are two strategic communication courses:  STRC 3385 or 3585 - Internship in Public Communication. Both programs are a total of 10 weeks, with the first two weeks on campus to take the Intercultural Communication course. Past students have told us that this course put them a step ahead of other students interning abroad.

2. As for a semester abroad, SMC’s London program has three strategic communication courses offered during the semester including an optional internship. The courses include: STRC 3323: Political Communication, STRC 3585 – Internship in Public Relations, or STRC 3685 – Internship in Organizational Leadership. You would only be able to take two courses directly through strategic communication, but any time you study abroad the Global/World Society GenEd is automatically fulfilled. The rest of the credits would be taken as electives offered through SMC.

The question that most students have about studying abroad is how they are going to pay for it. These are the necessary steps to take in order to receive the most financial assistance:

1. The first step would be to make an appointment with the financial aid office. If you plan on going for a semester, your financial aid package may increase because the cost of living is typically higher when studying abroad.

2. File your FAFSA within the first few days of it opening. This is how you can receive the most aid possible. It is not necessary to have your taxes filed beforehand; you may go back and fill it in later.

3. APPLY FOR ALL SMC SCHOLARSHIPS. All tuition scholarships apply when you are abroad for a semester; however, in the summer this is more difficult. The scholarships that are due in February are the ones than can be applied for the summer, and there are less available. This makes the summer more difficult to pay for but not impossible.

4. APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIPS THROUGH THE EDUCATION ABROAD OFFICE. There are hundreds of thousands of dollars offered in scholarships through this office. The requirements are broken by location typically, which makes it easier to choose which ones to apply to.

5. If nothing else, apply for loans. Most students are eligible for the Parent Plus loan, which is cosigned by your parents. Students sometimes take out private loans, but you need to be sure to look for low interest rates.

Preparing for a study abroad experience is a lot of work; however, when planned properly the process will be less stressful. As much work that you put in as a student, the study abroad advisers will put in as well. We have amazing opportunities to connect nationally and internationally through Temple. The first step is deciding to take the leap.

This guest blog post was written PRowl Staff Member Brianna Prime.

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