Are you considering studying journalism in college? Could it be the eventual career path for you? Explore this potential pathway by taking a year off to pursue writing or journalism abroad.
A journalism gap year offers new insight into different career paths while supplying you with the valuable and marketable skills you need to enhance your resume and prepare for college. Spending your gap year with a journalism internship, working at a newspaper abroad, or studying journalism would give you a taste of the life of a journalist in an international setting.
Journalism’s main goal is to inform the general public by analyzing news and other information in a literary style. Popular fields include business journalism, fashion journalism, magazine journalism, website journalism, medical journalism, celebrity journalism, and science journalism. You can pursue journalism in almost any field, and internships are available in practically all of them!
- Business Journalism is the branch of journalism that tracks, records, analyzes, and interprets the economic changes that take place. It could include anything from personal finance, to business at the local market and shopping malls, to the performance of top performing companies.
- Fashion Journalism involves all aspects of published fashion media, and offers roles for fashion writers, critics, and reporters. This type of journalism is most often associated with fashion features in magazines and newspapers, but it may also include books about fashion, fashion related reports on television, and online fashion blogs.
- Entertainment Journalism is any form of journalism that focuses on the entertainment business and its products. Like fashion journalism, entertainment journalism covers industry-specific news while targeting general audiences. Common types are film critiques, music reviews, and celebrity coverage.
- Medical Journalism concerns all journalism related to the health and wellness of all living beings. This includes scientific discoveries such as technological advances in medical procedures and new methods of curing biological diseases.
- Citizen Journalism, or also referred to as “participatory journalism,” is the act of citizens playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing, and disseminating news and information. Examples of citizen journalism include online public blogs, forums, reviews, and tutorials where citizens are actively working together to collect information.
There are no limits when it comes to picking a country abroad for a journalism internship. Journalism is a necessity for all societies striving to function properly while keeping their citizens informed. This means all countries require top tier writers, reporters, and journalists. That said, popular internship regions for journalism include China, India, Mongolia, Australia, Chile, and the United Kingdom.
- Asia: Internships in Asia will offer rapid growth and development of skills. Asia includes the world’s fastest developing countries, which means tons of opportunities for journalism work. Aside from gaining journalism skills, you can also enhance your Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, or Japanese language skills. Mongolia, India, and many other Asian countries offer internships in journalism, editing, reporting, and television.
- Australia: Australia’s unique climate and surrounding animals can make this continent a fascinating place to spend a gap year. Aside from its wide array of marsupial wildlife, Australia also includes breathtaking beaches, coral reefs, and cliff sides, making the Land Down Under a popular internship destination. If you can picture yourself exploring Sydney, Melbourne, or even the Outback, consider pursuing an internship in Australia.
- Spain: Spain’s daring modern architecture, amazing regional diversity, sophisticated cities, postcard beaches, fantastic weather, and delicious seafood are only a fraction of what Spain has to offer. Spend a year abroad discovering your passion for journalism by studying Spain’s rich culture while enjoying tortillas de patatas, tapas, and paella.
- United Kingdom: England has forever been a center of historical significance and culture. See all Great Britain has to offer by riding the London Eye, or visiting Big Ben, the second tallest bell and clock tower in the world. The United Kingdom is also the country where British Broadcasting Corporation, the world's oldest and largest national broadcaster, is based. Internships are available in business journalism, fashion journalism, medical journalism, and more.
Planning Your Trip
Before heading out for your journalism gap year, it may be prudent to network in country to establish some connections that might be able to score you an internship or other journalism opportunity. Here are a few that occur annually and are worth looking into:
- College Media’s Sports Reporting Workshop: Several of the nation’s premier sports media professionals are invited to a workshop where they answer questions and provide insight on storytelling, game analysis, social media, radio, television, and more. This is a unique opportunity exclusively for 125 collegiate journalists.
- Best of the Midwest College Journalism Convention: Three dozen tailored workshops and opportunities to meet with pros and network with fellow attendees, the Associated Collegiate Press returns to Minneapolis for the annual Best of the Midwest College Journalism Convention.
- Southeast Journalism Conference: This is conference located on the University of Louisiana at Lafayette campus and offers professional development sessions that examine how journalism should be approached in the new digital age.
Some gap year journalism resources include: