Students in the School of Media Arts and Design have four distinctive international study programs related to the major in which they may participate.  Each one is unique and specifically designed to engage students in the study of media within a cultural context. Each year more than 100 SMAD students elect to study abroad either during an academic semester or summer term.

Semester in London

London is your classroom when you study with JMU. In the Semester in London Program you'll study the great works and examine those great works in context, exploring how history influences the present in Europe's most cosmopolitan city. Our professors take you there, giving you the background and resources to inform your own discovery. Here you will find an extensive resource for students and parents interested in finding out more about our program, as well as helping students in the program prepare for their semester abroad.

Director: Dietrich Maune,

Summer in Urbino, Italy: Documenting a Community

The Urbino, Italy program engages students in a 4-week program where students choose a three credit experience from among multimedia storytelling (writing, photography, & video), magazine storytelling (longer-form writing & photography), and promotional video (video only - primarily for DVC concentrators). Students are together for many classes, but participate with separate faculty for the three experiences. All students will work with JMU professors Steve Anderson & Rustin Greene, along with a team of media professionals, to create a web documentary on the town of Urbino, Italy. Students become immersed in a town and culture by developing a web documentary or webzine on local issues, people or events. You’ll work with Italian students from the University of Urbino who will serve as translators/interpreters in the development of your stories. So, no Italian language background is necessary. The interpreters often also become friends and guides. Students find the Urbino program to be tremendously immersive and enriching.

Director: Steve Anderson,

Ireland: Media, Culture and Society

Experience Ireland and its culture for six weeks while earning a combined 6 hours of SMAD, SOCI and/or ENG credits. Selected students will visit major landmarks and cities and come to appreciate Ireland’s rich culture and society by analyzing its films, media, and food.

During their stay, students will collaborate on a media based project with the Galway division of the nonprofit organization Foróige in order to examine the perspective of young people in today’s Irish society. Students will also examine the social and cultural impact on Galway and its culinary community by being designated a European Region of Gastronomy. The program will provide students a special opportunity to help document the stories of local youth and food vendors in Galway.

Throughout the trip, students will also document the impact of their own journeys and experiences by creating reflexive content in various media formats. This study abroad program is designed to help develop participant’s analytical, media and cross-cultural skills while gaining a greater knowledge of Irish society/culture and self.

Directors: Shaun Wright, | David Trouille,

JMU in LA: The Entertainment Industry

JMU-LA provides undergraduates a chance to learn about, and participate in, one the most powerful cultural forces in our world today: the entertainment industry. This is a highly competitive 8-credit summer program organized by the School of Media Arts and Design.

Approximately 20 students are selected to participate each summer where they take classes taught by industry professionals and work at internships in Los Angeles. Applications are accepted from all JMU students who are rising juniors and seniors.

Directors: Thomas O'Connor, | Sarah O'Connor, 

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