Valencia, Spain

Valencia Fact Sheet

Apply now to reserve your place in Valencia, Spain.
DATES: June 15 - July 12, 2020

PROGRAM COST: $4,995 + airfare (Includes: Tuition – 3 credits; travel insurance; welcome and farewell dinners; reporting trips in the city; paella cooking lesson; housing with local families who provide meals)

GENERAL LOCATION: Seaside city on the east coast of Spain with easy access to Barcelona and Madrid.

FOCUS: International multimedia reporting (writing, photography, video, social media)

PARTNER UNIVERSITY: Transfer credits provided by the University of Jamestown.

QUESTIONS? Contact Program Directors Rachele Kanigel at or Amara Aguilar at

The Valencia Project

Led by a team of award-winning journalists and professors with international experience, students will explore the ancient neighborhoods and bohemian hideaways of Valencia to flesh out stories about a city that brims with historic tradition and dazzling nightlife. Considered by Lonely Planet “a vibrant, friendly, mildly chaotic place,” Valencia is a perfect spot for energetic reporters seeking adventure and practice reporting overseas.

The emphasis is on innovative storytelling across platforms. Students will learn and practice mobile and social media journalism, feature writing, and photo/video journalism. The program begins with a weeklong boot camp where professors teach/review basic skills, such as how to find a story in a foreign land, how to interview with the help of an interpreter and how to use multimedia tools to tell stories. Faculty then help students find story ideas and students go into the community to report. Finally, students produce stories that can become valuable portfolio pieces that will boost their credibility as correspondents. Examples of student work are available at thisisvalencia on and

The City

There is much to discover and report about in the neighborhoods and cultural sites of Valencia. The beaches are less than 10 minutes away from the center of town. Valencia has great public transportation, with a subway, tram and bus service that connects the whole city.

Among the cultural attractions, Valencia boasts an Oceanografico marine complex; Bioparc Valencia, an  immersion zoo that replicates the habitat of Africa; and a City of Arts and Sciences that has six state-of-the-art buildings dedicated to culture and the performing arts and a world-class museum. The La Lonja de la Seda (silk exchange) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Available Cultural Activities

City lights sparkle from the town hall square.

  • Valencia Central Market, one of the largest open-air market places in Europe
  • Guided tour of The City of Arts and Sciences
  • Boat ride along the rice-growing region of Valencia
  • Paella cooking lesson
  • Typical Spanish tapas dinner


Students will have two three-day weekends free to explore Valencia on their own, take day trips to historic Peniscola or Calpe or embark on weekend getaways to Madrid, Barcelona, Mallorca, Alicante or other parts of Spain.


Matthew Gozzip grabs professional-grade photo equipment on assignment in the old city.

Students may earn three credits of an upper-division journalism elective for this course. The credits will be issued by the University of Jamestown, and we will work with you so they are easily transferable to your university. Transfer credit ultimately depends on a students’ home university.


Students will stay with host families, close to the city center. Families will provide most meals (usually breakfast, lunch and dinner).


Students should bring their own laptop computers and mobile phones, as well as digital or video cameras and audio recorders if they have them.

A bullfighter flies through the air after being caught by the horns.

Spanish Instruction and Interpreters

All language instruction and interpreters will be furnished by Euroace (European Association for Cultural Exchange). There will be one daily beginning Spanish language session four days a week, Monday through Thursday. An intermediate or advanced class may be offered, based on enrollment and demand.


The program is open to English-speaking college students and recent graduates from any school. Students from many universities have participated in past ieiMedia programs, including: American University, Arizona State University, Baylor University, California State University Fullerton, California State University Long Beach, Carleton University, Colorado State University, Georgia College and State University, Georgetown University, Humboldt State University, Indiana University, Iowa State University, Ithaca College, James Madison University, Louisiana State University, New York University, Rider University, Rutgers University, Ryerson University, San Diego State University, San Francisco State University, State University of New York at New Paltz, Syracuse University, Temple University, Truman State University, UCLA, University of Arizona, University of British Columbia, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Kennesaw State University, University of Illinois, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Northern Iowa, University of Southern California, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Virginia Tech, and Washington and Lee University. We’ve also had students from Japan, the United Kingdom, Puerto Rico, and Trinidad participate.

Most of our students are journalism or communications majors, but those majoring in other subjects are welcome as well. For non-journalism/communication majors, experience working for a college or professional publication is helpful but not necessary. The program is open to English-speaking students and recent graduates from around the world.

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.


(Subject to enrollments/budget)

Rachele Kanigel is a professor and chair of the Journalism Department at San Francisco State University. She was a daily newspaper reporter for 15 years as well as a freelance correspondent for TIME Magazine. She has written for U.S. News & World Report, Health, Reader’s Digest, San Francisco Magazine and other magazines and websites. She is the author of The Student Newspaper Survival Guide and The Diversity Style Guide. In 2019 she spent 10 weeks as a Fulbright Specialist teaching and training faculty at Royal Thimphu College in the Himalayan nation of Bhutan. She has directed ieiMedia programs in Urbino, Perpignan and Jerusalem and is excited to help students explore Valencia.

Amara Aguilar is a digital journalism associate professor at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. She teaches journalism for mobile/emerging platforms, social media, visual journalism, and interactive design, among other courses. Amara has written for the Los Angeles Times, CNN and other outlets. She has worked as a designer, visual journalist, reporter, social media engagement producer and consultant. She’s conducted social media, data, and digital journalism training for the Associated Press, ABC News, the National Football League and more. Amara was named a TOW Knight Disruptive Educator for innovation in 2018, MediaShift’s top innovative journalism educator in 2018, a Scripps Howard Foundation-AEJMC visiting social media fellow in 2017, and is an Apple Distinguished Educator. She has taught in ieiMedia’s Spain programs for the last five summers.

Bruce Strong is a photographer/multimedia storyteller who likes to work with great people on awesome projects. Life is too short to do anything else. He is an associate professor and chairman of the Visual Communications Department at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. In 2019, Bruce also became the director of the Advanced Military Photojournalism Program at Newhouse. A former staff photographer at one of the largest newspapers in California, Bruce has shot in nearly 70 countries and has earned numerous awards and two fellowships, The Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellowship at the University of Michigan and the Knight Fellowship at Ohio University. In 2010, Bruce was honored with a Meredith Teaching Recognition Award from Syracuse University and the National Press Photographers Association's Robin F. Garland Educator Award. In 2011, he served as the first Professional in Residence at MediaStorm in NYC. This will be his third year teaching photojournalism and video journalism in ieiMedia’s Valencia program.

Claudia Strong teaches graphic design and writing courses, including Typographic Design, Publication Design, Introduction to Graphic Design and Media Writing, at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. She believes it is a privilege to help train and nurture the next generation of storytellers, and she especially delights in introducing students from other communications disciplines to the power of design—and to their own design chops. This will be her second year teaching in ieiMedia’s Valencia program.

Vanessa Vancour teaches social journalism, community engagement and bilingual news at the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno. She is a former TV anchor with a passion for bilingual storytelling as well as equity, inclusion and thoughtful diversity initiatives. In 2017, she delivered a TEDx talk titled "I'm Mexican, Does that Change Your Assumptions about Me?" In the talk, she provides tactical tips on managing your own biases and preconceived notions – a subject she is passionate about addressing with organizations and professionals in a variety of industries. Vanessa has made a career out of working to improve diversity of coverage in newsrooms through mentorship and leadership. One of her largest initiatives is the creation of Noticiero Móvil, a bilingual news program aimed at improving coverage of Latinx issues in northern Nevada. The program is conducted through the Reynolds School of Journalism and was made possible through an Online News Association grant. Vanessa also serves as a mentor to students during the National Public Radio Next Generation Bootcamp.

Additional faculty will be announced soon.

View complete faculty biographies on our Valencia Faculty Page.

Program Cost

The cost is $4,995 plus airfare. That includes 3 credits of tuition, accommodations with a host family that provides breakfast, lunch and dinner most days; travel insurance; welcome and farewell dinners; city tour; paella cooking lesson. Graduates and students who do not need credit can deduct $450 from the program cost.

Financial Aid

Students studying abroad for the summer term have limited financial aid options, but Pell grant recipients are encouraged to apply for a Gilman Study Abroad Scholarship, which range from $2,500 to $5,000 for summer programs. A number of ieiMedia students have received these grants. Check with your school’s financial aid office and your study abroad offices to find out if other assistance is available. More information on financial aid is available here.

Apply now to reserve your place in the Valencia, Spain, program. Or, contact Program Directors Rachele Kanigel ( or Amara Aguilar ( Students must fill out the online application and include contact information for two references using the “Apply Now” link. A $50 application fee is required with the application but will be applied in full to your program fees or refunded if you are not accepted into the program. Application deadline: March 15, 2020.

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