Split & Zagreb, Croatia
This two-week travel journalism program takes place in Croatia’s two largest cities (Split and Zagreb) and includes many of the country’s most intriguing tourist locations. Croatia is one of the most popular destinations in European travel. Spectacular coast lines, beaches, walled cities, urban centers – and more than a thousand coastal islands provide the perfect setting for practicing the craft of travel writing, video and photography. Learn how a burgeoning travel industry is developed, and understand how travel journalists tell their stories to an international audience.
Croatia was once one of Europe’s best-kept secrets, but the secret is out, thanks in part to Emmy-award-winning travel journalist Ashley Colburn, who teaches in this program. Lonely Planet has named Croatia as a top-pick destination, and National Geographic Adventure Magazine named it Destination of the Year.
Visitors from around the world travel to Croatia for its rich history, fascinating cultural heritage and spectacular geography. Eight separate areas within the country have been designated national parks.
Some of the Croatian program tour highlights include:
- Tours of Dubrovnik and Split
- Adriatic seacoast beaches
- Ferry excursion to Brac and its world famous beaches
- Visit to Plitvice Lakes National Park
- Tour of the capital city, Zagreb, a thriving and popular European metropolitan area
- Tour of Croatia’s largest television network and studios, HRT
- Zagreb museums
- Tour of Trakoscan Castle and Catovec wine country
- Tour of Vukovar
2016 Croatia Project
Check out the travel features produced by students in the 2016 Croatia Program.
Video: The Croatia Program
Travel Journalism Course (3 credits)
Students select an area of interest within the study of travel journalism: writing, photography, video production, Web design, social media, blogging, podcasting, advertising, public relations or promotion. Or they select a general multimedia approach to the study of travel journalism and receive instruction in all areas. Croatian language proficiency is not required.
Students will sign up for three credits from our partner university, the University of Jamestown. Credits are transferable and can be accepted for journalism elective credit by your college or university.
Students may also elect to combine this program with another ieiMedia program, for a total of six credit hours.
Traveling to Croatia
Students participating in the Croatia Travel Journalism Program should book air travel into Split, Croatia, with a return from Zagreb, Croatia. Students participating in an additional ieiMedia program will book air travel into the recommended airport for that particular program with a return from Zagreb, Croatia. Transportation from ieiMedia’s popular program in Urbino, Italy, to Split, Croatia, is not included, but past students have traveled by ferry from nearby Ancona, Italy, to Split, Croatia. (The ferry cost is estimated to be between 30-55 euro per person, depending on accommodation, which ranges from open deck space to shared cabins). Air service from Italy and other European programs to Split is also available.
Housing for the first week in Split is in a former seaside villa. The villa has been converted into a popular local hostel. Students will live and study in hostel-style accommodations with shared bathrooms. Sheets and towels are provided, as are two meals a day, plus snacks. Split is Croatia’s second-largest city, known for its unique Roman heritage. Split is built around its very well preserved elegant palace.
For the second week, students travel to the thriving capital city of Zagreb. Transportation from Split to Zagreb is provided by the program. Students study at the European Center in downtown Zagreb and stay at nearby apartments, sharing a room with another student. Two meals a day are provided, plus additional snacks. Sheets and towels are provided.
Students are expected to bring a laptop computer and their own photo or video digital camera, depending on the student’s particular area of interest. Some supplementary digital camera support equipment (microphones, tripods, a few DSLR cameras, etc.) will be provided by ieiMedia. Please let the program director know if you need media equipment for this program.
Croatian Language Instruction
Some basic Croatian language instruction will be part of the program. English is spoken in most of Croatia, and interpreters will not be necessary for this program.
Croatian Food, Art and Culture
Croatian cuisine varies among its many regions. Dalmatia and Istria are influenced by Italian and Mediterranean dishes featuring seafood, pasta, vegetables, olive oil and garlic. Other regions are influenced by Turkish, Hungarian and Austrian culinary styles featuring meats, freshwater fish and vegetables.
Croatian wines are growing in stature around the world. Wines produced in the Istrian region are similar to many of the finest Italian wines. Dalmatia features Mediterranean-style red wines with premium white wines produced in Slavonia.
The beautiful and historic architecture in Croatia is influenced by bordering nations; Austrian and Hungarian influence is visible in the north and central regions. The architecture along the coasts of Dalmatia and Istria exhibits Venetian influence. There is a long history of famous artwork created in Croatia, reaching back to the Middle Ages.
Coursework and Faculty
This course emphasizes the on-site study and practice of international travel journalism, including newspaper and magazine writing, digital photography, digital video, social media and websites designed for travel and blogs. The course immerses students culturally in order to develop and publish journalism and media products reflecting the travel experience.
This two-week course includes “survival lessons” in the Croatian language, field trips, guest speakers and guided tours. Students will participate in field trips to international media operations and multiple local travel destinations for the accumulation of source material for student projects. The course consists of briefings by journalism professors and media professionals in the travel journalism industry.
Steve Weiss is an award winning television reporter and producer of local and network television news, sports and documentary programming who utilizes his experience professionally and in the classroom. Weiss has enjoyed a broadcasting career of 25+ years as a program producer, host, reporter and analyst for ESPN, TNN, FOX Prime Sports, Outdoor Channel and the Outdoor Life Network. He is a full-time instructor and Special Projects Coordinator in the Department of Journalism and Media Communication at Colorado State University.
Ashley Colburn began her career as a host, producer, and writer for Wealth TV in 2009. She produced her first travel show, ”WOW Croatia!” which was awarded Croatia’s Golden Pen award (best U.S. media) and won an Emmy in 2010. Following her success with the Croatia show, Colburn created “TAKEOFF with Ashley Colburn,” a travel series that premiered in 2010 on WealthTV and took her to over 25 countries on six continents over two seasons. Since late 2011 Colburn has run her own production company, Ashley Colburn Productions, producing travel journalism products for various countries and entities around the world.
Greg Luft is chair of the Department of Journalism and Media Communication at Colorado State University. He has a diverse career as a television news reporter and anchor; documentary, educational and corporate video producer; freelance video journalist; teacher and academic administrator.
View complete faculty biographies on our Croatia Faculty Page.
Approximately $3,700. Includes: Tuition – 3 credits, accommodations, two meals on all days with other snacks provided, travel insurance, site visits, program activities and cultural events.
Students studying abroad for the summer term have limited financial aid options. Check with your school’s financial aid office and your study-abroad offices to find out if assistance is available. More information on financial aid is available here.