Bachelor of Multimedia Journalism
Exchange @ University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, USA
University of Oregon
My host university was unbelievable! The school of journalism there is renowned and I learnt so much. The facilities for learning are extensive. The accommodation was comfortable enough. The rooms are quite small so you have to be prepared to share that space with someone else. The accommodation in the dorms allows you to establish a friendship with all of the people on your floor and in the same hall as you. Staying in the dorms and on-campus is a great way to meet people.
Studying at University of Oregon
I studied Video Field Production, Photojournalism and Media Ethics. I thoroughly enjoyed all of these subjects and all of my professors were very experienced in their fields. The professor I had for the Video Production has rubbed shoulders with many celebrities in his filming ventures and had a lot to share with the class. I found that studying journalism at the University of Oregon was extremely rewarding and I feel that some of the opportunities I had could not be relived at James Cook University. Going to a different country to study gives you a whole new perspective and the learning experience is well worth it. I found that the work load is a lot more constant at the University of Oregon and you have shorter time to complete assignments. However, the final exams are not worth as much as they are usually here (ie. 40-50%).
Living in USA
I found living in America to be a lot better than I first originally though. Everyone is a lot more nicer and friendlier than the average stereotype. The lifestyle was quite relaxed and the cost of living is nowhere near as expensive as it is in Australia. As we were in Eugene, Oregon it was a lot more relaxed than the bigger cities we went to. If you enjoy the hectic lifestyle then I would suggest going to the bigger cities as Eugene is a lot smaller and more of a college town. If you have a little bit of extra money (doesn’t have to be much) I would suggest making some plans to travel a bit before and after your trip. We went to Disneyland, The Grand Canyon and New York before we started university and I am very glad we did.
What were the most rewarding aspects of the exchange experience?
The most rewarding aspects were the classes I took and how much I learnt from the subject matter and the professors. As I am going into my final year of Journalism I felt that the professors at this university really did prepare me for the “real world” and I had a lot of opportunities to participate in covering news events. The whole exchange experience has made me a lot more independent.
I also found that the travelling beforehand really gave me more of a taste of American life and I was very privileged to be able to spend time with American families at their homes (i.e. for thanksgiving etc).
Did you experience any difficulties?
There were a few culture shocks but they were very minor such as people not understanding my accent or certain phrases I would say but you get used to altering a few words. It wasn’t too much as they are also an English speaking country but you can still notice many differences.
I faced a few difficulties while in the travelling stages but it is a good experience to learn to deal with these problems on your own to make you more of an independent person and out of the security of your own home.
What advice would you give to a JCU student going to your host university?
Make sure that you go to every college football game that you can. Even if you don’t like watching sport… I GUARANTEE that you will get into this by at least the second game. You will be proud to be a Duck.
There is a brunch that is catered for on Saturday and Sundays at the Barnhardt Hall… it is amazing and you will not regret going there as much as you can.
Leave a week or so after you finish your final exams to do any more last minute travelling. I ended up going with a friend from the dorms to San Fran Cisco and staying with her family for a week and that was great!
Introduce yourself to as many people as you can… even in your classes. I ended up making a best friend in a couple of my classes just because I asked her if I was in the right class and we got chatting.
There are always a lot of events going on around the campus so make sure you keep updated with what is going on because you will always have interesting things to do and attend.