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

Study Abroad Locations:

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.

Program webpage

Director: Dr. Amy Paugh,

Multimedia Storytelling in Urbino, Italy:

June 17-July 15, 2023

The Urbino, Italy program engages students in a 4-week cross-cultural media project where students choose a three-credit experience from among multimedia storytelling, and documentary audio and video. Students are together for many classes but participate with separate faculty for the two experiences. All students will work with JMU professors Shaun Wright and Dave Wang, along with a team of media professionals, to create an immersive multimedia project based on local issues, people or events in Urbino. 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 guides and friends. The program is open to all JMU majors. Students are together for many classes, but participate with separate faculty for the two experiences.

Students are required to take 3 credits, and must select one of the following: 

  • SMAD 305-1: Special Topics in Media Arts and Design: Multimedia Storytelling (3 credits)
  • SMAD 305-2: Special Topics in Media arts and Design: Documentary Video (3 credits)

See the student work from the most recent summer:

For more information:

Program webpage


Ireland: Media, Culture and Society


This program has been discontinued

Director: Shelly Hokanson,

Co-director: Joe Loyacano,

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 9-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 the entertainment capital of the world, Los Angeles. Applications are accepted from all JMU students who are rising juniors and seniors.

Director: Dr. Talé Mitchell,


JMU/SVA in New York: Write & Direct a Short Narrative Film

NOTE: The New York program will be on hiatus and not running in summer 2023

This course gives SMAD students the opportunity to spend three weeks in New York at the School for Visual Arts and write, direct shoot and edit a short narrative film in a group.

The first week you will continue to work in a group of four and work on finalizing a draft of a short screenplay.The second week you will work with a cinematographer and the shoots will be scheduled during this week. You will have a teacher assistant from SVA accompany the group during the shoots.The third week you will edit the footage of your film and screen the films at the SVA cinema on 23rd street in Manhattan. You will also have the opportunity to work with professional actors in New York for your shorts films.

The following courses are also cross-listed with the theater department. Students are eligible with financial aid for taking 6 credits over the summer.

SMAD 305: Fundamentals of Film Production (3 credits)
SMAD 251 (OR 490): Introduction to Screenwriting (3 credits)

Director: Imelda O'reilly,


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