Students study PR, communication strategies during abroad program in Europe

Nine students from the Applied Communications Studies, Mass Communications, and Public Administration & Policy Analysis Departments traveled to Western Europe in the summer.

Nine students traveled to Western and Eastern Europe this past summer with applied communication professor Sorin Nastasia

The study abroad program to Munich, Germany, and Budapest, Hungary, allowed students to appreciate the peculiarities of the people and organizations there, according to applied communication professor Sorin Nastasia.

He said it is crucial for students to be exposed to how professionals of different cultures behave, act and apply theories.

“What we imagine in our own culture or country is applied in different ways in other [places],” Nastasia said. “People in other countries do different things because of their idiosyncrasies and their culture.”

According to Nastasia, traveling abroad challenges students with different realities.

“I see a sense of need to study abroad,” Nastasia said. “You can be better shaped as a human being, as a professional and as an individual if you try to see other cultures not just through translations and movies or books but by going over there.”

In Munich, students toured Bavarian castles and attended lectures at the Macromedia University for Media & Communications. Students also visited the automobile manufacturing company BMW, and the engineering and electronics company Siemens. There they were exposed to their PR and communication structures and strategies.

Besides visiting historical sites and the Corvinus University, students spent two days working with the public relations agency Goodwill Communications in Budapest.

According to Nastasia, agency employees shared successful PR campaigns with them and stories on how companies, politicians, publications approach foreign markets.

The second day, students prepared presentations for employees and executives on how to find solutions for certain accounts and campaigns.

Nastasia said the students gave professional presentations and the organization’s authorities were impressed by their insights and creativity.

Senior English major Kiley Herndon said abroad trips are important to become more culturally and globally aware.

“You can really find yourself on a trip overseas and help yourself to understand that there are different ways of living,” Herndon said.

Nastasia has worked as a counselor in the Public Relations Department of the Ministry of Education and Research of Romania and earned a Ph.D. in Communication and Public Discourse at the University of North Dakota. He joined SIUE in 2009 as a professor of public relations in the Applied Communication Studies Department.



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