Student journalist Zhao Hong finds it easier to do her class projects at West Virginia University than at her university back home in China.

“As a student majoring in journalism, it’s easier to interview people in the U.S.,” said Hong. “If you are a student doing homework in China, people ignore you. They don’t want to talk to you unless you have an I.D. that says where you work.”

Students from WVU’s P.I. Reed School of Journalism and the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies in Guangzhou, China, will recognize many differences—and similarities—between their schools as they participate in a newly established exchange program.

The five-year agreement between WVU and Guangdong University of Foreign Studies will give five School of Journalism students the opportunity to study alongside their Chinese peers at Guangdong University’s School of Journalism and Communication. In exchange, five students from China will study at WVU’s School of Journalism.

WVU School of Journalism Dean Maryanne Reed said the partnership will help better prepare students to live and work in a global society.

“As part of the University’s strategic vision, our students need to be exposed to a variety of cultures on an international level,” said Reed.

“The relationship with Guangdong University is a natural fit – given the growing role of China in the global economy and the expertise of our faculty. In addition, Guangdong has a top communications program that can add value to our students and curriculum.”

Visiting Shott Chair of Journalism Lois Raimondo helped facilitate the agreement with Guangdong University. Raimondo has lived, studied and worked in China.

She said Guangdong University’s extensive English language curriculum and opportunities for professional internships will give WVU students a comparative perspective on media in other cultures.

“As a journalist, it’s important to be able to step outside of yourself and experience other people’s perspectives,” said Raimondo. “When you travel, you learn about the relativity of your own cultural truths.”

Two students from Guangdong University are studying at WVU and the School of Journalism during the 2011-2012 academic year. Hong and Zicheng Gao are both juniors and are taking a variety of courses, including principles of advertising, introduction to public relations, introduction to photography and media writing.

WVU students who are interested in participating in the exchange program to Guangdong University should see their School of Journalism advisor and the Office of International Programs.


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CONTACT: Kimberly Walker, School of Journalism