Study Abroad 2009 A Fun Memory!

The study abroad trip to France was 28 days of fun, culture, media visits and learning experiences! Students in Ethics and Problems and Travel Reporting met with NPR correspondent Eleanor Beardsley and visited France 24, France’s 24-hour news channel. They also visited important sites in Paris, Bordeaux and Lyon and shared great times with other Florida Gators and new international friends.
For information on next year's trip to England and Ireland, and to see a slide show of highlights from this year's trip, go to:!

Jun 4, 2009

Students Report International Stories

Students in Travel Reporting wrote and reported a variety of news and feature stories while in France. Topics included “Why Travel to Bordeaux,” “Spa Options You May Not Know About,” “The Shrinking Impact of Religion in Europe,” "Staying Fit While Traveling," and “Misadventures on the Road to Rome.”
Students worked on stories in print, radio and television formats. Click here to see links to their stories.

Apr 9, 2009

Classes Meet Media Professionals in France

Students in RTV 4930 and 4931 met with National Public Radio's Eleanor Beardsley while in Paris to talk about the challenges of being an international journalist. She discussed covering the Sarkozy election and administration, along with many other topics. Beardsley also told students about the ethics issues associated with working as a reporter in another culture.

Beardsley, whose father is a graduate of the University of Florida, files stories from Europe for Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and MarketPlace, among other NPR programs.

Both classes also toured France 24, a relatively new 24-hour news channel based in Paris. The station's signal is streamed live on line and covers diverse communities within France and beyond. Students learned about how the channel program three signals simultaneously in French, English and Arabic.

Apr 7, 2009

Expanding Horizons or Taking Advantage?

What do you think of the trend of so-called "Poverty Tourism"? The Wall Street Journal wrote about this kind of trip where tourists pay to see people living in some of the worst conditions in the world. Supporters say it helps increase awareness of the lives of the most-often ignored people in society and benefits them financially at the same time. Opponents say it exploits people for the benefit of others. What do you think? Post your comments here.

Apr 5, 2009

Twittering Your Research

Are you Twittering or thinking about it? New York Times reporter Matt Gross writes the "Frugal Traveler" column for the newspaper and recommends Twitter as a way of gathering up-to-the-minute travel information when you're researching a new location.

Here's more on his experiences: If you want to follow his Tweets, he's at

Mar 25, 2009

Gordon Rule Status Granted

Good news for those looking to accrue Gordon Rule credits! The study abroad version of RTV 4931 (Ethics and Problems) has been granted 4,000-word Gordon Rule status for this year.

Feb 14, 2009

Great info on Paris!

There are lots of great resources out there with useful information on Paris. One of the best recent collections of articles is Gourmet Magazine’s September 2008 "Paris on a Budget" issue available at

Check it out!

Gators Conquer Lake Wauberg!

Study Abroad 2009 hosted its annual Lake Wauberg Day on February 14. About 45 Gators who will be participating in this year’s trip to France got to know each other through team building activities and social events. Several brave participants and professors even scaled the Wauberg Tower! The event is an annual tradition for the COJC study abroad program. Other pre-trip events include group meetings to discuss the culture and conventions of France and to have a chance to hear from citizens of our host country. Professors are also meeting with their students before the trip to discuss class assignments.

Jan 30, 2009

Listening to The House at Sugar Beach?

One of the books we will read in RTV 4931 (Ethics and Problems) is Helene Cooper's The House at Sugar Beach about growing up in Liberia and how that influenced her to become a reporter for the New York Times. You can hear her talk about the book at
It's a great read, but you may want to consider listening to the audio books version which is narrated by Cooper. She does a wonderful job of capturing the flavor of the story in her delivery. Either way, I'm interested in reading your comments about the book. (Feel free to post comments here.)

Jan 11, 2009

Travel Reporting Book Assignment Announced

Several of you are already starting the reading for our travel reporting class. That's a great idea since it will help prepare you for the other assignments while we are in France. Here's a preview of the reading requirement. (The related books are detailed in the Dec. 26 posting.) This assignment will count 20 percent of your final course grade.

Write a 750-word book review including the three books assigned for the class. The books are A Sense of Place, Travelers’ Tales: France and The Best American Travel Writing 2008.

The assignment is due at the start of class on May 11. Your review should be typed and you should turn in a hard copy.

You can include additional information, but in your review please address the following questions.

Questions for A Sense of Place by Michael Shapiro
Select two of the travel writers featured in A Sense of Place whose work interests you and contrast their approaches to selecting topics, researching them and their self-described writing style. Evaluate what you could learn about travel reporting from the authors and their work. Use their ideas about travel writing to critique work you read in the following books.

Questions for Travelers’ Tales: France by James O’Reilly
Select at least two of the stories in Travelers’ Tales and critique them based on the techniques and philosophy of the writers you selected from A Sense of Place. Analyze how successfully – or unsuccessfully – the authors carry out their assignments.

Questions for The Best American Travel Writing 2008
Select at least two of the stories in The Best American Travel Writing and critique them based on the techniques and philosophy of the writers you selected in A Sense of Place. Also provide your analysis of whether the stories are successful or not based on these criteria.