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Students interview and film in the American Southwest

Medill Explores

Through Medill Explores, you can go on a variety of learning adventures during a week-long suspension of classes in the winter quarter.

You choose among classes, many of which include domestic or international, led by faculty and staff. Each location is focused on a particular topic, providing a deep dive into the subject areas.

Through Medill Explores experiences, you are immersed in journalism, media, innovation and more throughout the world. You experience first-hand a new area and culture, meet new people and deepen your understanding of what it means to be a journalist in a global context.

Network with local experts and alumni

These classes provide important connections within subjects that are of interest to you. In addition to meeting with local experts in journalism and media, Medill alumni in most locations meet and network with you and provide important advice about jobs and professional development.

Recent classes

We’re always seeking to provide new opportunities and experiences for our students, so Medill Explores trips change from year-to-year. Here is an overview of the classes and locations offered last year.

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Johannesburg, South Africa

Global Reporting in South Africa
In Johannesburg, students got a better understanding of the forces shaping the developing African continent, including technology, age, gender and immigration issues. Through learning global interviewing and reporting strategies, students produced a news project.

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Tokyo, Japan

International Business Reporting in Japan
While in Tokyo, students learned to better understand the demographic forces that are shaping economic life and society in aging industrialized nations like Japan. They stopped by the robot museum, visited Pixiv and Google and gained international and intercultural experience reporting in a country where they do not speak the language.

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Bodega Bay, California

Environmental Fieldwork in California
Students in the Health, Environment and Science specialization visited the UC Davis-Bodega Marine Laboratory. They got hands-on experience with sea life, and learned from researchers and scientists who are on the front lines of climate change. In addition to their marine lab experience, students met with Medill alumni at Mother Jones and Wired Magazines in San Francisco.

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San Juan, Puerto Rico

Medill Explores Puerto Rico: After the Storm
In San Juan, students reported on how impoverished communities were recovering after the hurricane. They learned journalism industry best practices for travel and bilingual reporting. At the end of the course, students produced a piece of multimedia, text, audio, photo or video work that they pitched to various media outlets.

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Buenos Aires, Argentina

Medill Explores International Reporting

In Argentina, students focused on visual reporting and learned how to report responsibly and effectively in a new country. They gain practical experience in video and photo skills, covering feature stories using photos and video about topics including street art, the microbrewery scene, and food.

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New York City

Medill Explores Magazines

Students in the Magazine specialization spent the week in New York City learning from top reporters and executives at People, Sports Illustrated and Business Insider, among others. They networked with a range of alumni and experienced professionals along the way, learning how the magazine industry works.

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American Southwest

Medill Explores Indigenous Nations of the American Southwest

In this course, students explored Native American land and identity issues unique to the indigenous people of the American Southwest. They visited the Grand Canyon and met with tribe members to develop a better understanding of the hardships of reservation life. The students focused on the historical, cultural and spiritual relationship between tribal communities and their homelands and the effect colonization has had on that relationship.

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Los Angeles, California

Medill Explores Sports and Culture

Sports Media specialization students in this course looked at the intersection of culture and sports and how it impacts coverage of three very different professional sports entities: the PGA, NBA and NHL. Students learned interviewing and reporting strategies for event coverage and reported on several different sports.

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Paris, France

Medill Explores National Security

Politics, Policy and Foreign Affairs specialization students visited Paris to hear from guest speakers, including newsmakers, analysts and current or former government officials with top security clearances. They learned about issues ranging from the Yellow Vest protests to Russian election interference. They talked with experts on journalists’ safety issues and learned how to report on global political issues.

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New York City

Medill Explores Media Innovation

Students in the Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship specialization visited a broad range of companies to learn about what makes publications successful in the digital age. Sites included long-established publications such as New York Magazine, digital-native outlets like Quartz, and content analysis companies such as Chartbeat. Students saw how these companies engage audiences and develop sustainable business models.

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Medill students witnessed NBA All-Star Weekend up close.Charlotte, North Carolina 

Medill Explores NBA All-Star Weekend

Sports Media specialization students covered the NBA All-Star game in Charlotte. Through this experience, they learned how to get a unique story and stand out from a scrum of other journalists trying to do the same thing. They had the chance to rub shoulders with a range of cultural influencers, including musicians and actors. They worked with editors and producers from start to finish to produce stories to pitch for freelance work.

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Medill Explores London visit to WimbledonLondon, England 

Medill Explores British Sports

Sports Media specialization students visited London to develop an understanding of how the culture of sports works in Britain. They visited several sporting events and organizations to see how the sports culture in Britain compares to the U.S. and the rest of the world, and how that affects their reporting. Additionally, they ran a media outlet’s coverage of a soccer match.