April 2, 2008
Cowley students experience educational trip in Paris
Cowley College students Courtney Crain and Alex Skov, accompanied by
director of journalism/Cowley Press advisor Meg Smith, attended the
International Media Seminar held March 22-28 in Paris, France.
The seminar was sponsored by American University in Paris. Smith attended the seminar three years ago while serving as the director of journalism at Emporia State University. Through that experience she met Dr. Lee W. Heubner a professor at George Washington University. Dr. Heubner extended an invitation to Smith and her students to attend the weeklong seminar.
The trip consisted of hearing speakers from People magazine, CNN, and the Wall Street Journal.
“The speakers were brilliant and amazing,” Smith said. “I do not know where else students would get to experience the caliber of speakers that we were exposed to.”
The group also got to tour the International Herald, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch and is one of the few existing international newspapers. They also toured “Libération”, a leading French newspaper.
France Channel 4, the first 24-hour French news station, was another stop on the tour.
“We got full access and got to see who did what, it was very exciting,” Smith said. “There was a tremendous amount of information about media and cultures squeezed into a tight time frame. As the students go through their academic careers they will be able to utilize things from this trip to benefit them.”
Skov was impressed with the speakers he had an opportunity to listen to.
“It was a great experience,” Skov said. “I really enjoyed the speakers, especially Jim Bitterman (CNN Senior European on-air correspondent) and Jean Mark Illouz (Senior International correspondent for France 2 TV).”
Crain felt the experience of being in Paris was somewhat surreal, such as standing near the Eiffel Tower, taking a boat cruise on the Seine river, touring the Arc de Triomphe, seeing the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris, and visiting the Sacred Heart Cathedral, which is located atop a hill at the highest point in Paris.
“It was a completely different culture in the way people do things and handle things,” Crain said. “It was really wonderful to see that and be a part of it. We also met a lot of influential people in every realm of media.”
Along with everything the students learned on the trip, Smith was pleased with the way Skov and Crain handled themselves.
“Every adult instructor and advisor on the trip made a point to come up to me and comment how polite, courteous and thoughtful Alex and Courtney were,” Smith said. “They really represented Cowley well.”