y Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures :: Study Abroad
Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures
Study Abroad
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Study Abroad


This year, we have two Professional Writing Study Abroad opportunities: Creative People in Creative Places and Cultures & Storytelling

Creative People in Creative Places 

with Professor Stuart Blythe
June 6 - July 22, 2016 
London is one of the world’s leading cities for creative professionals. Our program combines the city—its cultural institutions, public spaces, and creative firms—with an internship and coursework to explore relationships between people, places, and creativity. PW London connects students to design firms, communication professionals, and cultural institutions in the city as ways to learn to be a creative professional.
This program is designed for Professional Writing and Experience Architecture students but also welcomes any student with relevant experiences and background. Our approach to learning asks students to learn how to conduct research in public spaces—research that explores how creativity works in the world and what it means to live and work in creative places. Our goal is to provide a conceptual background relevant to creativity and innovation to support an internship experience.
WRA 491 : Creative People in Creative Places (3 credits)
This course takes place in London, relying on its physical, cultural, and digital spaces. During our time in London, we will use the city’s cultural institutions in particular as resources for learning. We will visit various museums, monuments, and other public spaces as we explore these questions:
What is creativity? How do we know it when we see it?
How might places foster or inhibit creativity?
Visits will include not only museums to orient you to London, but also field trips to public spaces that emphasize and expand what we are learning in our classroom. Examples of relevant field trips within London may include the Churchill War Room (part of the Imperial War Museums); the Rosetta Stone at the British Museum; the London Transport Museum to understand the Tube itself as a space for transport, refuge, and community; and the Millenium Bridge as a site of architectural innovation, connecting the old (St Paul’s Cathedral) with the new (Tate Modern) and the simulated (Shakespeare’s Globe). Guest lectures may range from local researchers and museum curators to industry professionals. These experiences will provide the students with opportunities to interact with local professionals and researchers.
WRA 493: Internship (3 credits)
The internship course structures how and what you learn on your internship. We will assist with a placement with a partner in London. As an experiential learning opportunity, the goal is to learn about yourself, about the organization, and about creativity and innovation. Meaningful and substantial work will be expected by your internship placement, of course, and there are course-related work expectations (e.g., papers) as well.

Cultures & Storytelling

with Professor Liza Potts and Professor Laura Julier

June 13 - July 1, 2016

Do you like to tell stories? Do you like stories from other cultures? Mythical ones like King Arthur? Science fiction like Doctor Who? Fictional adventures like Sherlock Holmes and Harry Potter? Historical stories like William Wallace (Braveheart) or the 1916 Easter Uprising? We’re going to spend three weeks learning how people tell stories about their cultures—both real and imagined—and how those stories shape the ways people communicate. We will travel across Ireland, England, and Wales to learn how locals and tourists experience the tales, myths, and real life events in modern times. Students will gain stronger understandings of how culture and context is central to the ways we create, experience, and innovate as writers, designers, researchers, and architects.

We will visit spaces such as Stonehenge, view the The Book of Kells, travel to the Doctor Who Experience, view a simulation of the Solstice inside the ancient site New Grange outside of Dublin, walk in the imagined footsteps of Sherlock Holmes, take in a play at Shakespeare’s Globe Theater in London, and contemplate King Arthur’s realm at Glastonbury Tor.

This program is designed for Professional Writing and Experience Architecture students, as well as students from other programs looking to learn more about storytelling, cultures, and experiences. The courses are aimed at these majors, aiding them in time to degree. 

What other students have said:

"I’m convinced that, because of study abroad programs, I am a more attentive student, a more thoughtful observer, and a more globalized and independent person.

"I gained confidence that I could work and get along and work with others, even in a culturally diverse setting.

"Parents might also value knowing that I've never felt so safe. With the Palestinian protests going on while we were in Paris, I got every alert, every word of caution, and every bit of protection I would have thought possible from Liza, MSU, and the people working with us in France."

Courses for this Study Abroad

If you have taken these courses already, come speak with Professor Laura Julier about other options that will work for you.

WRA 260

This course focuses on rhetorical analysis of consumer, corporate, organizational, and popular cultures appropriate to professional settings.

WRA 499 International Research

This course consists of a supervised research experience.