West Virginia University students have the opportunity to spend their summer a little differently this year with a nine-week trip to Erfurt, Germany.

The Summer Program in Communication at Erfurt is a nine-credit study abroad opportunity from June 10 through Aug. 12 in collaboration with future fellow Big 12 Conference schools the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas. WVU is looking for up to 10 student to participate in the program, which is in its first year at the University but seventh overall.

“There’s a really big world out there, and even though we can see it all on our smart phones, that’s not enough,” said Nick Bowman, assistant professor of Communication Studies. “Technology has opened up the world, so go study it. That should make you even more interested.”

Students who participate will study issues related to media psychology, persuasion and public opinion and international public relations, as well as a seminar on intercultural communication. They will enroll in three courses taught in English by U.S. professors, including Bowman, that are designed to give them the freedom to tour Germany and become well-versed in their areas of study.

“We’ll find out that video games aren’t as popular and why that might be,” Bowman said. “Cell phones are far more popular and cheaper. In many ways, whether we are German or American, we still have the same smart phone in our pocket, but it means something different to us.”

The deadline to apply for the program is Feb. 17. An informational booth will be set up on Wednesday during the Study Abroad Fair in the Mountainlair Ballrooms.

“These students are going to come back with a true understanding of what it means to be in an information society,” Bowman said. “We’re a top 20 communication studies program in America, and study abroad opportunities like this just raise the bar even higher.”

The program cost is $8,950, which includes tuition, room and board, travel costs and a vacation to Berlin. Financial aid may be applied to the program’s fees, and there are monies available through the University. To get more information, visit

Courses within the program are listed as communication studies courses and will be counted toward the major and minor. Other departments may also consider accepting the courses as a substitution for another major’s requirement, Bowman said. Students should contact their department chair for permission.

For more information, contact Bowman at Nicholas.Bowman@mail.wvu.edu or visit him in 108 Armstrong Hall. There is also a Facebook page with more information; visit http://www.facebook.com/groups/262398357149661/.

The city of Erfurt is home to around 500,000 people. The city wasn’t bombed during the World Wars, so its architecture – most of the Soviet nature as it was east of the Iron Curtain – is some of the oldest in Germany.

The University of Erfurt was originally founded in 1379 but was shut down by the Prussian government in 1816. In 1994, it was reopened. Its most notable alumni include Martin Luther and Johannes Gutenberg.



CONTACT: Nick Bowman, Communication Studies
304-293-3905, Nicholas.Bowman@mail.wvu.edu

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