Each summer, UBC Journalism welcomes students from partner universities around the world to the Vancouver Summer Program (VSP), which offers students a diversity of courses, from computer engineering to forestry to journalism and anthropology.
Over the course of four weeks, students take two academic courses while learning about culture and life in Vancouver and Canada.
UBC Journalism hosts two, month-long VSP packages in partnership with the Department of Anthropology called Global Journalism, Culture and Communications: Practice and Principles. Students take a course in global journalism in the morning and a culture and communications course with Anthropology in the afternoon.
The first package began on June 8 and wrapped up on July 8. The second one begins on July 17 and runs until August 13.
The global journalism courses examine the development of media practices and technologies and their cultural, political and social impacts.
Students gain hands-on experience in learning how to think and operate like a professional journalist in a simulated media environment.
The course is designed to introduce students to the grammar and syntax of media across platforms, based on a core skill set of interviewing, reporting, news writing and research methods, in tandem with up to date technology.
“This year’s VSP students came in deeply curious and full of energy. They approached every assignment with enthusiasm and a deliberate sense of purpose,” said Kathryn Gretsinger, senior instructor at UBC Journalism. “The calibre of work was high and their determination to learn was even higher. It was a good reminder for me — as someone who is lucky enough to teach grad students — that the discovery of journalism (ethics, tactics and process) is powerful for students.”
Chrys Tang, a 21-year-old student from Singapore said she has always been interested in journalism and anthropology too, so the program seemed like a perfect combination.
“I really like the balance. Enough time to have a life to explore Vancouver while still gaining insight” in classes, said Tang, who is in her second year at the Singapore Institute of Management.
Cathy Zhu, 19, hails from China and studies at the Macau University of Science and Technology. She said a friend referred her to UBC and Vancouver, which she heard is famous for its diversity.
“I like the environment here. I like the interaction in the classrooms,” said Zhu.
“I love [journalism] because, especially when I see some very serious topic about politics .. I see some journalists were sentenced or imprisoned for sensitive topics, I feel they devote themselves,” she added.
Andrea Yu, 26, is in her first year studying film management at Macau University of Science and Technology. She said she enjoys getting outside the classroom to learn as a member of the global journalism course.
“Love it and I think [it’s] different than my home school,” she said.