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University of New Mexico – Talk Radio News Service International Study Program in Journalism, Political Science, International Relations and American Studies
This program enables non-U.S. students to develop a greater understanding of the U.S. political system while studying abroad in the United States. Students have the option of studying for a semester at the UNM-TRNS campus in Washington, D.C. or taking one semester of coursework at the University of New Mexico’s Albuquerque campus followed by a semester of an applied political journalism residency at the TRNS-UNM campus in Washington, D.C.
UNM and TRNS designed the program for international students who want to learn more about the U.S. political and media systems, as well as gain a working knowledge of U.S. government. The International residency program combines theoretical and skills training with practical government and journalism experience, drawing upon the tremendous access provided by the UNM-TRNS Washington program.
Students interested in starting with a semester on the UNM Campus will take at least one 3-credit journalism writing class and one 3-credit political science course. They will also be strongly encouraged to take a 3-credit U.S. history course, if they have not already taken such a course. These courses, along with one or two language study or other elective courses, will create a 12- or 15-credit semester of study, which is the typical course load for a full-time student. This pre-semester study will provide the requisite training and preparation to help international students who have not had extensive English language, journalism and political science training.
During their semester of study in Albuquerque, students should anticipate spending approximately $4,500 USD on room and board and an additional $10,000 on tuition, as well as bear their own travel, visa, and UNM administrative and application costs. (Visa and UNM administrative and application costs run approximately $900 USD. Students should expect their F-1 visas and UNM administrative procedures to take up to 6 months.) Students who are already well qualified in English speaking and writing, as well as those with knowledge of U.S. journalism and political systems, may apply directly for a UNM-TRNS semester-long residency in Washington, D.C. without prior preparation in Albuquerque.
The semester-long UNM-TRNS residency in Washington, D.C. would consist of 16 weeks working 35-to-40 hours rotating through a variety of journalistic positions as reporters, editors and assignment editors producing objective news bureau reports for the Talk Radio News Service. After the first few weeks of journalistic training, students are expected to produce several print/radio/multimedia reports per week on the activities of the U.S. Congress, administration, Pentagon and Supreme Court. Students are fully credentialed and will have day-to-day access to government activities, under the same circumstances as reporters for the A.P. or CNN.
International students will also be strongly encouraged to perform internship work with an international media organization from their birth country or study the international broadcast operations that fall under the auspices of the U.S. Broadcast Board of Governors, such as Radio Free Europe, Radio Free Asia, Radio Liberty or Radio Martí, or other broadcast entities that deal with international issues. This outside work would complement the TRNS work residency and would be an additional 3-credit course. Finally, as part of their studies, international students will attend weekly UNM-TRNS seminars and produce a 3-credit final project directed by a UNM instructor. This project could take the form of in-depth journalism or academic research that could also complement students’ chosen programs of study at their home universities.
During the semester of study in Washington, DC, students should anticipate spending approximately $4,500 on housing that would include a shared furnished Capitol Hill apartment with a full kitchen. Housing will be arranged by the University of NewMexico and residency students will have to buy or cook their own meals. Students will have to register for 12 UNM credits, including 6 credits of UNM-TRNS media residency, 3-credits of international broadcast study and the 3-credit final research project. These 12 credits will cost approximately $10,000 USD.
The Washington residency program runs during the fall (mid-August to mid-December) and spring (mid-January to mid-May) semesters and students may start in either August or January. International students seeking a two-semester experience may also start their studies in Albuquerque in either January or August.
International students would need to be TOEFL/IELTS/CAE* qualified to study and work in English. Students whose English skills might need improvement prior to the start of their programs should apply to UNM’s Center for English Language and American Culture (CELAC) program for intensive English as a second language (ESL) study to prepare them to be qualified. This is important because the ability to write, study and do journalistic work in English is essential for student success. CELAC arrangements can be made separately in consultation with Richard Schaefer.