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SJMC Offers First-Time Study Abroad Opportunity to Asia

By Lauren Jurgemeyer

SAN MARCOS, Texas– For the first time, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC) is offering a summer study abroad trip to Asia. The program–that spends time in two major cities of Japan–has a rapidly approaching deadline.

Senior lecturer and program director, Gilbert Martinez, spearheaded the project. Following his mother’s passing, he traveled to Japan with another study abroad program in 2016 where he was able to reunite with his family.

Martinez was enrolled as a student and saw first-hand the transformational qualities that a study abroad program can have. Martinez is thrilled to bring the chance to SJMC students.

“I think this is a huge opportunity for journalism students who want to go to Japan,” Martinez said.

With an extended application deadline of March 1, the trip travels to Tokyo (the capital) and Kyoto (the historic capital), Japan. Students will embark on a 11-day trip, splitting time between the two cities. The program offers six credit hours for the classes: Travel Journalism and Feature Writing, which are both upper level Mass Communication courses.

Financial Aid, as well as scholarships, is available to students for this trip. The overall cost of the trip is approximately $4,868 which includes: the application fee, deposit, tuition for the classes, hotel and meals, and travel assistance insurance. The student, however, is responsible for the cost of the airfare to Japan and back to the United States.

“The benefits will outweigh the cost; the opportunity to travel to Japan, to get credit, to develop journalism skill in writing and multimedia,” Martinez said. “I think it’s going to be a blast.”

Students in the program will visit historic sites, as well as different media outlets, and then produce feature stories, blog posts and multimedia elements encompassing their experiences while abroad. Students will then be graded on participation and the caliber of media they produce during the duration of the program.

In a presentation about the trip, Martinez explained how the class assignments will help the students process the culture shock of being abroad. Speaking directly to his audience, Martinez said, “You know it’s funny, because I am speaking to you like you’re going with me, and there is an invitation, applications are still open.”

With limited spots for the trip, students who are interested must submit an application by March 1. For more information, contact Gilbert Martinez ( or visit the Study Abroad website.

Illustration by Lauren Jurgemeyer.


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