Trips to awesome places for CHEAP! (AKA, why you should be in the school of journalism)

I am happy to say that I am writing this post from St. Petersburg, Florida! It's spring break, and I am here on a school-sponsored (mostly) trip with the IU School of Journalism

And, on that note, I would like to talk about my not so private love affair with the IU J-school. That's the nickname for the school of journalism, for those of you not journo-language-savvy. 

The j-school is, in all honesty, one of the best school's at Indiana University, and I don't think it gets nearly the credit that it deserves. You're probably thinking, "oh, whatever. You're a journalism student. Clearly, biased." 

But, given that my major is teaching me how NOT to be biasd, I will say again that this is the truth. 

When I was looking at school's, I didn't really think that IU's j-school was anything to write home about, if you know what I'm saying. I always thought of Northwestern, or Columbia, or even the University of Missouri. Not IU. 

However, I was blatantly wrong. If you want someone legit to back up my claim College Magazine just named IU as one of the Top 10 Journalism schools in the country

Yeah guys, we're pretty awesome. Just sayin'.

No, but as I said, I'm currently in St. Pete. I'm writing this from the comfort of my queen-sized hotel bed at Hampton Inn, trying to crank this out before I meet up with the other kids on this trip to watch some movies. We'd be doing more exciting things, but we have to get up at godforsaken 7 a.m. tomorrow morning to go meet Winter, the dolphin from Dolphin Tale. Yes, the one without a tail. It's a long story. 

I'm on this trip because I'm an Ernie Pyle Scholar, or an "eep" for short (plural = eeps). It's basically an honors program that sends you many seriously legitimate places. 

Last semester, we went to Chicago and met the editor of the Chicago Tribune--a fellow Hoosier, may I add--among other major alumni. We networked and visited newsrooms, along with experiencing the city. This summer, the eeps and I will be going to London for internships at various places, and to take classes. Last summer, I got to go to Hawaii with the j-school for an International Reporting class that any journalism student can take. (We were supposed to go to Japan, but our flight left the day of the major earthquake and...well...that didn't work out so well.)

Oh, and may I mention, most if not all of this is paid for by the j-school. For example, Hawaii (or Japan) only cost $500 which, if you know anything about travel, is ridiculously cheap. 

More than half of the j-school's students go abroad, and for way cheaper prices than I personally would have imagined. Plus, there are plenty of scholarships. And we don't just send people places, but we bring people to the j-school--notable journalists. 

In my time at IU, I have met Lara Logan, editors of a gazillion major newspapers, and had lunch with the Newsweek Jerusalem Bureau Chief, Dan Ephron. They're kind of a big deal. 

But let's get back to the trips. Aside from good professional experience, I'm telling you guys, you will eat the best food of your life, all paid for by the j-school. This trip alone we've gone to a great seafood place that had LOBSTER mac and cheese, and a tapas bar with the best chocolate cake I have ever tasted. And I've tasted a lot of chocolate cake. 

We also saw a Salvador Dali museum for free, and we get to go to the acquarium tomorrow for free, because we're j-school students. 

I understand for most of you, the j-school is probably not even on your radar. But it's a place where honestly anyone can fit, and you don't have to go into journalism to have a home at our school. We have PR kids, kids who plan to go to law school or even med school--kids with all sorts of plans. Journalism is a great base for a million different things, because you learn such a diverse set of skills. 

Also, anyone from any major can get involved in our wonderful Indiana Daily Student or IUSTV families, but I'll spare you those details and maybe write about them in another post. Trust me, IDS deserves a post all of its own; it's craziness. 

But now, I have to go watch a movie on a patio outside overlooking the St. Petersburg skyline. 

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