Perpignan, France

DATES: June 27 – July 26, 2013

PROGRAM COST: $4,995 + airfare (Includes: Tuition- 3 credits, lodging in a hotel, intensive French language instruction, travel insurance, welcome and farewell dinners, program activities and cultural events)

GENERAL LOCATION: Languedoc-Roussillon region of Southern France

MEDIA: TextPhotographyVideo




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Questions about the Perpignan Project? Contact Rachele Kanigel at:

Perpignan Program Wins 2011 GoAbroad’s Innovation Award for Innovative New Program!


Perpignan, France

Perpignan’s strategic location near the France-Spain border has given the city a character all its own. More Catalan than French, this charming city in the foothills of the Pyrenees comes alive in the summer with a series of festivals and celebrations that bring people out into the streets. This year students will explore the new possibilities of multimedia journalism for the tablet as they create an iPad magazine about Perpignan and its environs. You’ll earn 3 upper-division journalism credits from San Francisco State University that you can transfer back to your home campus.

During this four-week program, you’ll learn

  • how to produce multimedia content for a tablet publication
  • how to tell stories in new ways that incorporate video, audio, graphics, maps and interactivity
  • how to work with an interpreter
  • how to speak a little French (the class will be divided into beginner and intermediate-level groups)

This new digital magazine program replaces the multimedia program ieiMedia ran in 2010 and 2011. Check out the site students produced in 2011 at

Academic Credit

Students will earn 3 transferable, upper-division journalism units from an accredited university (to be named soon), which may be considered a journalism elective by some journalism or mass communications departments.

The Schedule

The program begins with a two-day orientation, including a tour of the city, visits to local attractions, a welcome dinner and a field trip to Collioure, a charming seaside town near Perpignan. Classes generally run Monday-Thursday the first two weeks of the program. In the the third week, students will continue some classes, but they will spend more time in the field reporting and shooting photos and video. The final week is dedicated to editing stories and videos and posting them to the digital magazine.

Students primarily interested in publication design will be assigned to help develop the app, design pages and create touch-screen graphics. Design students will take multimedia and French classes with the journalism team and work directly with visual journalist Beth Renneisen, an award-winning graphic artist, illustrator and information designer. Renneisen is an Apple and Adobe developer, with extensive experience creating interactive magazine apps.

The program includes 30 hours of French language instruction; students are divided into beginner and intermediate groups. Students who are fluent French speakers may forgo language instruction; in the past some have worked in the program as interpreters.

The program includes several cultural activities, such as tours of local media offices, music or dance performances and meetings with local officials.

The City


Perpignan has quiet streets as well as lively night life.

Perpignan lies in the Languedoc region of southwestern France, 8 miles west of the Mediterranean and 19 miles north of the Spanish border, within sight of the Pyrénées. The city, which passed back and forth between French and Spanish rule over the centuries, features a charming, pedestrian-friendly historic quarter; a daily market; several arts festivals in the summer and lively night life.

Major attractions include the Castillet, a 14th century gateway that now houses a museum, and the medieval Palais des Rois de Majorque (Palace of the Kings of Majorca). The city is rich in Catalan culture; though French is the primary language, you may occasionally hear Catalan spoken in the street and you’ll see the red-and-yellow-striped Catalan flag flying all over the city.

Travel Opportunities

Students will have two three-day weekends (the second and third weekend) free to explore the area around Perpignan or to travel elsewhere in France or Spain. The medieval city of Carcassonne is two hours away by train, Barcelona is about three hours away, and Paris can by reached by the high-speed TGV train in five hours. Several lovely beach towns, including Collioure, Argelès-sur-Mer, Torreilles and St. Cyprien, are just a few minutes away by bus or train. Those who want to tour extensively can plan travel time before or after the program.


Perpignan comes alive with music and fireworks over the summer when festivals and celebrations abound.



Perpignan Students

Perpignan Students

The program is open to up to 20 English-speaking college students and recent graduates from any school. Students from many public and private universities in the U.S. and Canada — including Northwestern University, Ithaca College, New York University, University of Wisconsin, Amherst College, Arizona State University, Ryerson University, Carleton University, University of Arizona, University of Montana, University of Nevada-Reno and University of Winnipeg — have participated in past ieiMedia programs. We’ve also had students from Japan, the United Kingdom, Puerto Rico, Thailand and Trinidad.

Most of our students are journalism or communications majors but those majoring in other subjects are welcome as well. Non-journalism majors should have a strong interest in reporting and some experience working for a college or professional publication. Students interested in graphic design or publication design are encouraged to apply for a limited number of slots on the design team.

Graduate students are also invited to apply. We’d be happy to talk with you about supervising an independent project that would qualify for graduate credit at your school, or to offer this experience as a graduate internship.


Perpignan, France

Perpignan, France

Our faculty come from leading universities and news organizations. The 2013 faculty will be announced soon.


Students will share studios in a modern apartment-hotel just outside the gates of the city center. The units are air conditioned and have two single beds, a desk and a small kitchenette with a refrigerator, microwave and cookstove, as well as a private bathroom. Dishes, cutlery, pots and pans and a coffee maker are provided. The rooms have high-speed Internet service and cable television.


Students are expected to bring a laptop computer and digital camera. Some additional equipment will be provided.

French Language Instruction

Most classes – except French language – will be taught in English. In your reporting you will work with interpreters. The program includes 30 hours of French language instruction at the ALFMED language school, the home base for the program. Students will be divided into two levels – beginning and intermediate – for language instruction.


Students will work with interpreters hired by the ALFMED language school. Fluent French speakers may choose to do interviews on their own and those who are interested may be invited to work in the program as interpreters.

Program Cost

The cost is $4,995 plus airfare. The price includes housing,  instruction, academic credit, chartered bus transportation to and from the Barcelona airport, basic travel insurance, special programs and activities.

Financial Aid

Students studying abroad for the summer term have limited financial aid options. Check with your school’s financial aid and international programs offices to find out if assistance is available.

Check out the Perpignan Facebook photo album from 2010.


Application Process

Students must fill out the online application and submit contact information for two references (academic and/or professional) and college transcripts, along with a $500 deposit. Deposits will be refunded only if a student is not accepted into the program.

For more information, fill out our contact form.

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Students Say...

The instruction, support and help that I received from the instructors were nothing short of remarkable. I learned how to shoot, edit and produce a multimedia piece. I had the opportunity to work as a journalist in a foreign country and face all the struggles and triumphs that came along with that. In the end, I put together work that I am truly proud of.
by Kat Russell, California State University, Northridge, The Istanbul Project 2011