UA Study Abroad Allows Students to Grow as Photographers

UA photojournalism students are showing images and slideshows on a blog they've created as part of their program in Italy.
June 23, 2011
Hadrian's Villa (Photo by Andrew Cockrum)
Hadrian's Villa (Photo by Andrew Cockrum)
Tourist destinations in Rome, like the Pantheon, tend to attract various street performers such as this accordion player. (Photo by Melissa Guz)
Tourist destinations in Rome, like the Pantheon, tend to attract various street performers such as this accordion player. (Photo by Melissa Guz)

Eight students from the University of Arizona are creating the vacation photos of a lifetime this summer in Europe. You would hardly know that it's for a school assignment.

The students are enrolled in "Advanced Photojournalism in Italy," a five-week summer study abroad class taught by Kim Newton, an assistant journalism professor at the UA, that runs from May 21 to June 27.

"The class introduces multimedia storytelling that focuses on travel themes related to the history, culture and people of Orvieto, Italy and surrounding communities," Newton said from Orvieto. "Students have the opportunity to refine their visual communication and storytelling skills, use light as a visual tool and sound as a narrative component for multimedia projects."

Orvieto, home base for the program, is a medieval hill town located between Rome and Florence. The program includes travel and educational field trips to Rome, Tivoli, Sienna, Florence, Venice and other scenic cities.

"An important goal of the course is "to provide students with an opportunity to experience a different culture, both visually and intimately as they interact with language and cultural differences," Newton said.

"The School of Journalism has a strong emphasis on international journalism, and this program provides students with real-life challenges and an opportunity to experience first-hand what a professional visual journalist might have to navigate while working overseas."

The students are journalism majors from the UA School of Journalism. This year's class includes Sarah Cantey, Andrew Cockrum, Stephanie Fousse, Melissa Guz, Krystal Jenkins,

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Samantha Munsey, Zack Rosenblatt and Natalie Sanchez.

"This has been one of the best experiences in my life," said Cockrum. "Not only have I been able enhance my photojournalism skills in another country, but I have been able to learn to adapt to culture of a foreign country. After taking this class, I have also gained more appreciation for travel journalism and would consider going into that field."

"I have learned so much since I have been here, both in and out of the classroom," said Fousse. "This trip is one of the best decisions I have ever made because of the friends of made, the places I've seen, the things I've learned and the memories I've made."

The images posted on this year's blog are a selection of student work from weekly assignments in Orvieto and other locations across Italy. Students selected and edited the images and multimedia projects themselves.

The complete assignment work for each student can be viewed by clicking on the students name under "Student Blogs."