International Education

O'Dowd Hall, Room 328
586 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-2889

Alex Zimmerman, Director
(248) 370-2843

JRN 4800 Reporting from Europe's Refugee Trail

JRN Special Topics 4800 Reporting from Europe’s refugee trail is a six-week international reporting program designed to help students prepare for a career in international journalism by teaching a range of reporting skills and offering students the opportunity to practice the craft of journalism in a foreign land. The program runs May 12 – June 22, 2019.

For more information, contact: Cathy Shafran, Dept. of Journalism at
Where You
Will Be

Students will study for the first four weeks of the semester on OU’s campus in a regular classroom setting working on historical and journalistic background for the trip.

With this knowledge in hand students will travel together to Athens, Greece spending the first two weeks of the month-long travel at the American College of Greece in suburban Athens.

From there, students will continue along the refugee route traveling by train from the Greek mainland, north through Macedonia and Serbia. Some of those nights will be spent in sleeper cars on trains. We will spend two nights at a hotel in Budapest, Hungary during our three days of working there.  And shared apartment accommodations will be arranged for a week in Germany during our week-long reporting excursion there.

What You
Will Do
and learn

Before the trip abroad, students will receive multi-format journalism education in the areas of podcasting, web and social media video news, as well as TV reporting and news website design.

During the 4-week period abroad, students will meet with and interview local residents, Syrian refugees, representatives of non-governmental agencies running the camps, and politicians making decisions about their future. These interview opportunities will be made available through the entire trip - beginning on the Greek Island of Lesvos where fleeing refugees first make their exit to Greece - and ending in Germany - a county in political upheaval after its government pledged to relocate a million refugees.

What To

Clothing: A detailed clothing list will be provided.  In general, students should bring clothing for very warm weather. Casual wear is fine for the classroom, beach wear is fine for weekends, but students should also bring some professional/modest clothing on excursions.  Further details will be provided on how to pack, including a recommendation for travel backpacks instead of standard suitcases.

Equipment: Specifics of equipment will be provided at a later date, but students will be asked to bring personal electronics such as a laptop, smartphone, lightweight tripod and a pocket-sized audio recorder.


JRN 200 or equivalent introductory journalism is recommended with a grade of 3.0 or higher.

Without this prerequisite, preference will be given to students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher in courses related to journalism, communication, political science, human rights or international relations. Students with a lower GPA will be considered with a letter of recommendation from an instructor.

A valid passport is required that expires no earlier than six months after the program ends.

JRN 4800 Reporting from Europe’s Refugee Trail
June 4 - 28, 2018
Number of Credits4
Program Cost$3,900 (plus airfare and tuition)
Application deposit$780 due by Feb. 15, 2018, refundable until March 30.
Meals not includednot included
AirfareNot included
Books and suppliesN/A
Extra costsPassport, personal incidentals