2017 Croatia Students
Spending the past two weeks in Croatia learning about travel journalism has been a dream come true and made me realize how fast time can fly. Each day was filled with new and exciting cultures, activities, and food—all through a travel journalism perspective. I loved staying one week in the city and one week on the coast. A highlight of the trip was definitely driving through the rolling hills of northern Croatia where we ended up overlooking three different countries. After this trip Croatia now has a special place in my heart and I’m already excited to return and future travel journalism projects.
The two weeks I spent in Croatia were filled with trips to breathtaking destinations, enlightening tours and lessons in travel journalism that I will keep with me for the rest of my life. Although our group was full of foreigners, the experienced instructors and tour guides gave us an authentic view of Croatia and its people that couldn’t be achieved if we were visiting the country as normal tourists. I didn’t have a relationship with any of the faculty or students before going on this trip. But after these two weeks I feel like I have made friendships and connections that will benefit me throughout my studies as a journalism major and beyond.
My name’s Claire, and I’m a student majoring in literature and minoring in history and linguistics at Stanford University in California. I came by the iEiMedia program in Croatia by chance, through our newspaper’s contacts, and it offered my the chance to expand my journalistic skills beyond the limits of the literary, challenging me to explore both multimedia projects and my own conceptions of travel journalism, particularly in the context of a growing tourism trade like Croatia’s. By coming into the program without any prior knowledge of Croatia’s history or current culture (and I say that I knew nothing, I really mean nothing), I also came in without expectations or judgment, which allowed me to experience things as they should be experienced – that is, for what they are, free of my own biases. I was struck by the vibrancy of Croatia’s colors – from the water of the Adriatic to the rooftops of Dubrovnik – and the lilting quality to a language of which I had no comprehension, by the seemingly elevated quality of aspects of everyday life, but most of all by the eagerness of the Croatian people to share themselves with the rest of the world. I gained a new appreciation for not only Croatia, but also for the initiative, organization, and openness essential to travel journalism.
2016 Croatia Program
Our 2016 Croatia Study Abroad program consisted of eight students from three different universities. Get to know them better through their own words below.
As a soon-to-be senior studying journalism in Canada’s capital, I chose to study in Croatia to experience a change of pace and broaden my journalistic horizons. I came into this program knowing close to nothing about travel journalism and what it entailed and was happily surprised with how much I learned and the different parts that make up this kind of work. Having already traveled to Croatia prior to this trip, I thought I had a good idea of what the country offered but this trip opened my eyes to foods, experiences and ways of life that I never even thought of, and on top of all of this, I met amazing people and have made some incredible friends!
Participating in the travel journalism program in Croatia this summer was an experience I’ll never forget. I practiced interview and videography skills and grew in my knowledge about the world and about the history and culture of Croatia. Ashley and Steve planned so many things for us to do and places for us to go that I feel I was able to see a huge part of the country in the two short weeks we were here. Many of the small differences were what I loved most about Croatia, like eating fresh figs for the first time and spending Croatian kuna instead of US dollars. I love seeing the pace of life change here. Things move slower, and people seem genuinely happier and more connected. Also, you cannot separate the tradition of food from the identity of Croatians. I’d love to detail the experiences we had, but I’ll keep it a surprise for those who follow, and recommend not trying the chicken liver. My experience here was incredible and Croatia is a strikingly beautiful and historically rich country. I would love to, and hope to, come back here as soon as I can.
By choosing to study abroad in Croatia this summer, I took the first steps in officially pursuing a career in Journalism. While on this trip, not only did I get to see a culture-rich society, I also had the opportunity to participate and connect with one through various tours and outdoor adventures. I believe there is a deeper language that we all share and an understanding of our sameness that exists in different scales. Having the opportunity to experience this gave me an idea of what it takes to really be a journalist by learning to communicate and connect with people of all cultural backgrounds. I genuinely feel like every moment was time well spent. There wasn’t a single moment where I felt like there was time being wasted thanks to Steve and Ashley’s filled and exciting itinerary. Croatia was an experience totally worth every moment and I thoroughly believe will benefit me and all my future career paths.
The weeks in Croatia proved to be a very rewarding experience - full of travel journalism lessons, new found friendships, and lifelong memories. This course had the perfect mentors and teachers to lead us around the history rich Country that remains a secret to most of America. Expecting to soak in the culture and take a laid back vacation, I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of work and the amount of useful Journalism tips I'll be able to bring home with me. I look forward to using this experience in my future as I search for a job in the journalism and media world.
Here is a link to my project.
The two short weeks in Croatia were some of the best weeks of my summer. I had high expectations for Croatia after hearing about how amazing it is
from other travel journalism sources, but the country and culture
surpassed any expectation I had coming in. Through this program I felt
fully immersed in the Croatian lifestyle-- we experienced things from
tourist hot spots, to local treasures, and historical places and events
that mean so much to the country. The teachers are so passionate about
journalism and international travel in and out of Croatia, and it really
shows through. I now see why Croatia's tourism is growing and I'm proud to
contribute to it through this travel journalism program.
Here is my project.
My name is Rachel and I am a senior studying communications, journalism
and German studies at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. I knew
close to nothing about Croatia before I arrived. What I didn¹t realize is
that this place is one of the most unique and special countries in the
world. Croatia has truly been an exceptional place to study travel
journalism because of its history, culture and wonderful people. The
people in Croatia make it what it is and it was one of the most welcoming
places I¹ve visited. My trip has been filled with unforgettable
experiences and I would do it a million times over again.
Take a look at my project near the bottom of the video/audio page.