photo of students nd faculty members who attended a two-week study abroad trip to London and Paris this summer

Stephen F. Austin State University students in the Department of Mass Communication's Meet the Media course took a two-week study abroad trip to London and Paris this summer where they met with high-profile journalism and media agency representatives. Students and faculty members who attended, from left, include Abby Hendricks, Kacey Kerlick, Evie Sweeten, Lyndsey Dickerson, Amanda Barker, Matt Ess, Emma Gregerson, Dr. John Hendricks, Brittany Dorbin and Dr. Linda Bond.

NACOGDOCHES, Texas - A group of Stephen F. Austin State University mass communication students recently spent two weeks in Europe meeting with high-profile journalism and media agencies in London and Paris.

Participants were accompanied on the trip by Dr. John Hendricks, chair of the Department of Mass Communication, and Dr. Linda Bond, associate professor of mass communication.

"SFA's Meet the Media class took eight mass communication students to London and Paris during Summer 1 from June 18 through July 2," said Bond. "They had business meetings with the Guardian Newspaper, the BBC's MediaCityUK, YCN Agency, Chartered Institute of Public Relations, NuSound Radio, Warner Brothers: The Making of Harry Potter, the Photographers' Gallery and Political Lobbying and Media Relations Ltd."

Students who attended include Abby Hendricks, Amanda Barker, Brittany Dorbin, Emma Gregerson, Evie Sweeten, Kacey Kerlick, Lyndsey Dickerson and Matt Ess. They represented the spectrum of mass communication majors, from radio and television to journalism, photojournalism and public relations/advertising.

"Each student was in charge of one segment of the trip," Bond said, "and wrote about the organization both before and after the trip."

A major event occurred while the group was abroad when Britain voted in favor of exiting the European Union. Students were able to discuss the effects of that vote with European citizens.

"Britain's exit, or 'Brexit,' took many Londoners by surprise," Hendricks recalled. "The historic vote was on the mind of many business people the class met. The day after the Brexit vote, the exchange rate of British pounds to American dollars plummeted from 1.58 to 1.15."

As part of the course, students met with Matthew Hall, head of engagement for CIPR. He informed students every organization must have a crisis plan in place and acknowledged that CIPR's crisis plan was already in place to manage changes brought about by the Brexit vote to members of the public relations organization.

The class also met with Kevin Craig, an elected politician in the London government and a candidate for Parliament in the 2005 national elections. He is now managing director of PLMR. He discussed balancing the vote of his political district with his own personal interests and, like many of the business people students met, said he was surprised that Britain had voted to pull out of the union.

In addition to business meetings, class members visited the British Museum, Kensington Palace, Fleet Street, the Museum of London, Buckingham Palace, the Louvre, Bateau Parisiens on the Seine River, Windsor Castle and the Eiffel Tower. The class worked with Ines Maxit, study abroad coordinator for the SFA Office of International Programs.