Apply now to reserve your place in Valencia, Spain and the Balearic Islands.
PROGRAM COST: $5,495 + airfare (Includes: Tuition – possible 3 credits; travel insurance; welcome and farewell dinners; reporting trips in the city; paella cooking lesson; housing in student apartments).
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, design)
PARTNER UNIVERSITY: Transfer credits provided by the University of Jamestown.
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 Balearic islands offer the opportunity to visit small villages and beautiful beaches of Spain. Reporting on environment, culture, food, travel, and more will be explored.
The emphasis is on storytelling across platforms. Students will learn and practice mobile and social media journalism, feature writing, photo/video journalism, and design. 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 medium.com and thisisvalencia.wordpress.com.
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.
The Balearic Islands are just off the coast of Spain in the western part of the Mediterranean Sea. The islands feature glistening beaches and are a popular tourist attraction.
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
- 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
- Private walking historical tour in Ibiza
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.
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 student's home university.
Program participants will stay in student apartments.
Students should bring their own laptop computers and mobile phones, as well as digital or video cameras and audio recorders if they have them.
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)
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.
Jeff Brody is an emeritus professor of Communications at State University, Fullerton. His teaching focuses on international journalism. He has taken students to Cambodia, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Vietnam as well as Spain, where is directed the ieiMedia program in Valencia for five years.
Teresa Puente is a journalism professor at California State University, Long Beach and has spent her career reporting on immigration and Latino issues in the U.S. and has also reported extensively from Mexico. Previously, she was a staff reporter at the Chicago Tribune and was on the editorial board at the Chicago Sun-Times.
Jessica Retis, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the School of Journalism and Affiliated Faculty with the Center for Latin American Studies and the Human Rights Practice Program at The University of Arizona. Dr. Retis joined the school in 2019 to help launch and lead the first Masters in Bilingual Journalism. She holds a Major in Communications (University of Lima, Peru), a Masters in Latin American Studies (National Autonomous University of Mexico) and a Ph.D. in Contemporary Latin America (Complutense University of Madrid, Spain).
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. Bruce published “Armenia: A Story of a Place in Essays and Images” in 2001 and continues to work and teach internationally for various publications and organizations, such as the U.S. State Department. But Bruce is most proud of his two sons, Jack and Cole, and loves adventuring through life with his visual journalist/professor wife, Claudia.
Claudia Strong. In what has turned out to be a delightfully varied communications career, Claudia Strong began as a newspaper journalist after earning a Bachelor of Science degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, then moved to the design side of the newsroom before eventually entering the freelance world. She’s now happily working at the corner of words and visuals at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, where she’s in her 14th year teaching various graphic design and writing courses to undergraduate, graduate and military students. Originally from Chile and fluent in Spanish, Claudia embraces all sorts of adventures, most recently an intense five-week mountaineering program in the Austrian Alps, and a 10,000-mile road trip across Canada with her husband, their trusty Mazda 3 and a tent.
Ricardo Valencia is an assistant professor of public relations in the Department of Communications at California State University, Fullerton. Dr. Valencia is a seasoned global communicator and scholar. He obtained a doctoral degree in Media Studies at the University of Oregon in 2018.Between 2010 and 2014, Dr. Valencia was the head of the communication section at the Embassy of El Salvador to the United States. Previously, he worked as a reporter covering international and domestic politics for Salvadoran and global media outlets such as La Prensa Gráfica, German Press Agency (DPA), and El Faro.
View complete faculty biographies on our Valencia Faculty Page.
The cost is $5,495 + airfare. That includes 3 credits of tuition, accommodations in student apartments, travel insurance; welcome and farewell dinners, city tour, and paella cooking lesson. Graduates and students who do not need credit can deduct $450 from the program cost.
Donate to the program
ieiMedia accepts donations to help students with financial need study abroad. For details, please contact program director Amara Aguilar at amara.aguilar@ieiMedia.com. Donors will receive a certificate for their donation and documentation for tax deductions.
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.
Students must fill out the online application and include contact information for two references using the “Apply Now” link. A $50 non-refundable application fee is required with the application or else the system will not accept it.
Application deadline: ASAP, ROLLING ADMISSIONS UNTIL PROGRAM IS FULL.
TRAVEL ADVISORY: ieiMedia will be monitoring the situation with COVID-19 and will provide status updates to those who sign up for the program.
VACCINATIONS: Students must be vaccinated against COVID-19 to participate in the program.