What is Experiential Learning?

What is Experiential Learning?

Experiential learning is an engaged learning process whereby students "learn by doing" and by reflecting on the experience. Experiential learning activities can include, but are not limited to, hands-on laboratory experiments, internships, practicums, field exercises, study abroad, undergraduate research and studio performances.

Why Study Abroad?

As an aspiring media professional, you will be communicating with increasingly global and globally aware audiences. Immersing yourself in another culture will help you to understand how culture informs both your communication and how it is received. Some study abroad programs have journalism and mass communication-related course offerings while others do not, but we think the most important things for you to do abroad are to observe how media is created and consumed in different environments and to gain cultural awareness.


There is no one right time to study abroad, but it is easiest to fit into a typical JMC academic plan during junior year (either during an academic semester or during the summers before and after junior year). To ensure timely completion of the JMC major, we recommend that students who plan to study abroad during the academic year complete “Reporting and Writing” and “Multimedia Storytelling” prior to going abroad. Students wishing to study abroad during the summer should consider how that might affect internship opportunities.


SJMC students have studied abroad all over the world, and we encourage you to explore all of your options through the UI Study Abroad office. Some recent programs our students have attended include:

  • CIEE Seville: Communications, New Media & Journalism (Spain)
  • CEA Prague (Czech Republic)
  • Wells College Florence: Lorenzo de Medici (Italy)
  • SIT Morocco Field Studies in Journalism and New Media (Morocco)
  • TEAN Australia: Bond University (Australia)
  • Regents Semester in Scotland (United Kingdom)
  • University of Kent Exchange (United Kingdom)
  • Semester at Sea (various locations)
  • IES internships in London, Dublin, and Rome
  • USAC Montevideo Program (Uruguay)
  • The Land of the Muses: Traveling Like a Writer (Greece)
  • India Winterim (India)


Ideally, begin planning two semesters before your departure. Start by attending a “Discover Study Abroad” info session and by exploring program options on the UI Study Abroad search page and in the UI Study Abroad Resource Room: https://international.uiowa.edu/study-abroad/first-steps.

Once you have researched programs and narrowed your selections down, meet with your academic advisor and schedule a meeting with a study abroad advisor. Your SJMC academic advisor will help you determine how studying abroad fits into your academic plan and whether courses in your programs of interest will meet JMC major requirements. Your study abroad advisor will help you through the logistics of applying to your program and getting ready for international travel.

SJMC Study Abroad Scholarships

Each semester SJMC students can apply for the School's Study Abroad Scholarship. The application for the Study Abroad Scholarship can be found at this link: Study Abroad Scholarship application

International Programs also offer various scholarships to UI students for study abroad.