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Living, Learning, Culture Molly Wright (left) and her roomate ride a gondola in Venice, Italy

CIMBA offers new opportunity for study abroad

University of Iowa journalism students have a new study abroad opportunity in Paderno del Grappa, Italy. The CIMBA Italy program, through a consortium of 34 universities, provides business and journalism students the opportunity to earn University of Iowa credits while studying abroad.

“I knew that I wanted to study abroad but I also didn't want to get behind in my major course work,” said Molly Wright, (junior, Katy, Texas) a journalism and mass communication and English major currently studying in the CIMBA program.

CIMBA is a nonprofit program that stands for the Consortium Institute of Management and Business Analysis.

John Hochstette, UI CIMBA recruitment and marketing coordinator said that journalism classes were added to the CIMBA program because consortium members indicated that their journalism students wanted a program that offered journalism classes that would allow them to study abroad and graduate on time.

This is only the second year that The UI has been the credit giving institution for the CIMBA program. Previously the credit giving university was the University of Kansas. This means that UI students earn credit the same way they would in Iowa while they study abroad. Students from other universities using the program earn UI credits they can transfer to their universities.

UI instructors are welcome to teach in Italy, though no current instructors are from Iowa. The journalism school reviews the credentials of each journalism teacher in CIMBA and approves them for teaching for UI credits.

Beauty Abroad A rural view near the campus in Paderno del Grappa, Italy

“The workplace of the future will be very global. Nobody should go without a semester or more abroad,” said J-MC School director, Dr. David Perlmutter. Perlmutter also emphasized that international language skills are becoming essential.

All classes taught through CIMBA are in English, however undergraduate students are sure to get a lesson in culture with the campus in Paderno del Grappa, in the foothills of the Dolomite Mountains in the Veneto region of northern Italy.

CIMBA’s U.S. office is located in the Tippie College of Management, John Pappajohn Business Building, where most promotions of the program take place.

“When a friend studied through CIMBA and worked for them in their office recommended the program, I looked into it and it seemed great. The host university is Iowa, so my classes are on ISIS and everything transfers back 100%,” Wright said.

Wright also said she was taking 11 hours of journalism credits in Italy, and she believes it is sometimes hard to get into more then two classes at the journalism school in Iowa.

Three journalism courses are offered this spring, and with consistent interest, more courses will be added to the program. Available classes in spring 2010 included travel writing, visual communication and a photojournalism workshop.

“The best part though is the amount of travel time we are given,” Wright said. Students in the CIMBA semester-long program get nearly 25 days of extra travel time, incorporated in two ten day breaks and a couple of long weekends.

“By no means is this the only program through which journalism students can earn credits applicable to their major here. It all depends on what the specific study abroad program offers,” Professor Judy Polumbaum said.

Students can also earn journalism credits by transferring credits after approving the courses with their advisors with evidence of course work and syllabi. These courses may qualify to fulfill the advanced conceptual course requirement or even the professional course requirements.

“I would definitely recommend this program to other journalism students. I am getting 11 hours of major course work done here, that just isn't possible while you're in Iowa,” Wright said.

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