Study Abroad

View current study abroad opportunities.

Jump to information for Hawai'i, 2017 J-Term study abroad course.

Jump to information for South Africa, 2015 J-Term study abroad course.

UMAIE: Gender, Race, Class and Mass Media: London

 January Term, 2016

Program Highlights

  • Use London, England, as a “living laboratory” to explore the crucial roles that journalistic, advertising and entertainment media play in creating, reinforcing and disseminating cultural values about gender, class, race and ethnicity.

  • Prerequisites: None

  • Fulfills: COJO328, Communications & Journalism major/minor, Human Diversity core

Academic Overview

Course Description

This course explores the crucial roles that journalistic, advertising and entertainment media play in creating, reinforcing and disseminating cultural values about gender, race and ethnicity, and class.  We consider such questions as how media depictions may symbolically annihilate, stereotype and trivialize women and people of color, and how the decision-making status of women and people of color in media organizations may be connected to those depictions.  We also explore these issues in relation to class, which is often connected to race and ethnicity.  We question the ability of media organizations to recognize and reflect the changing nature of the populations they have a social responsibility to serve.  We also consider how international conglomerates use media messages to perpetuate a kind of one-size-fits-all global culture of commodification and materialism that may influence local cultural standards about identity.

Specifically, in this offering of the course, we will use the city of London as a kind of living laboratory to examine how the tensions of heritage and diversity are exacerbated or addressed by mass media content and public expressions of culture in an increasingly multicultural city.  We will systematically compare our own experiences with US media content and public culture to our newfound observations of media content and public culture in London.

Note for St. Thomas students: This course satisfies the diversity requirement of the core curriculum and is cross-listed with the Women’s Studies program. It also serves as a course in the theory/analysis category of the COJO major.

Faculty Directors
Tom Connery, Ph.D., University of St. Thomas 
Mark Neuzil, Ph.D., University of St. Thomas  (651) 962-5267

Description of Faculty Directors

Dr. Neuzil is a Professor at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN, in the Department of Communication and Journalism and Director of the Office for Mission. He received his Ph.D. in mass communication from the University of Minnesota, his master’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota and his bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University in political science and journalism.  He teaches courses in reporting, environmental communication, media ethics and communication history.  His latest book is The Environment and the Press: From Adventure Writing to Advocacy (Northwestern University Press, 2008), which was the winner of the James A. Tankard Book Award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.  Neuzil is a regular contributor to Minnpost, an on-line newspaper in Minneapolis. A former summer park ranger, Neuzil has worked as a reporter and editor with the Associated Press, the Star Tribune of Minneapolis-St. Paul, the Cedar Rapids Gazette, the Quad-City Times, the Ames Daily Tribune and the New Ulm (Minn.) Journal. Dr. Neuzil team-taught this course with Dr. Wendy Wyatt in January of 2009.

UMAIE: Hawai'i: Multi-Cultural Communication in Diverse Organizations

January Term, 2017

Program Highlights

  • This course examines the concepts, theories and realities of the way individuals and groups work and communicate in organizations in Hawaii, where culture and multiculturalism plays a primary or prominent role.

  • Students will visit sites in Oahu and Kaua’i

  • Prerequisites: Completion of 100-level Communication & Journalism course or permission of program director

  • COJO majors and minors: This class can fulfill a 300 level course in a major or can be your COJO elective. Fulfills the Human Diversity requirement, Communication & Journalism requirement for certain Business concentrations. It also meets the requirments for and American Culture & Difference, Sustainability and Service-Learning.

See the International Education webpage for application materials.

Academic Overview

Course Description
In Hawai‘i: Multi-cultural Communication in Diverse Organizations, we examine the concepts, theories, and realities of the way individuals and groups work and communicate  in organizations  where culture and multiculturalism plays a primary or prominent role.  We do so in Hawai‘i because  our  fiftieth state is a microcosm of multi-ethnic cultures and co-cultures, all interacting in a business, retail, nonprofit and arts environment.  Hawai‘i provides us with a living laboratory in which we can study and experience multicultural communication and organizations. As we examine multi-cultural and organizational communication, we will be challenged to examine our own cultural identities and assumptions, asking ourselves not only about the role that culture plays in the experiences and observations we will make as part of the class, but as they translate to our daily lives and experiences back on the mainland in our careers and personal life.

We will spend  December 31- January 13  on Oahu and January 14- 23 on Kaua‘i,  including three partial travel days. Course activities include: classroom sessions, guest presenters, guided tours, a panel discussion on multi-cultural communication led by UST alumni, and, a service-learning project at a bi-lingual Hawaiian school. 

Faculty Directors
Debra Petersen, Ph.D., University of St. Thomas,
Tim Scully, University of St. Thomas, 

Description of Faculty Directors

Prof. Petersen is an associate professor in the Communication and Journalism Department.  In her 25 years at the University of St. Thomas, she has been a full-time faculty member in the Communication and Journalism Department, director of the Luann Dummer Center for Women, and, a member of the Women’s Studies Committee.  She has successfully taught abroad, as the sole instructor of COMM 322 Intercultural Communication in Copenhagen (4 credits) and COMM 296 Advanced Readings in Intercultural Listening (2 credits) during the extended summer sessions in 2003 and 2005 for the University of St. Thomas. She has successfully taught Hawai’i: Multi-Cultural Communication in Diverse Organizations, for UMAIE six times.  She co-authored a scholarly article, “Service-Learning in the “Away-From-Campus” Context: Lessons, Experiences, and Practical Wisdom from the Hawaiian Ke Kula Ni’ihau O Kekaha School Projects,” based on her Hawai’i experiences. Prof. Petersen received the UST Global Citizenship Faculty award in 2012, the Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Outstanding Service Award in 2010 and the Curricular Innovation in Sustainability Award in 2015. 

Tim Scully is a Professor Emeritus at the University of St. Thomas. During his 24 years there, he taught courses in video production, radio production, new technologies and public communication. In 2009, 2012 and 2014 he co-taught Hawai’i: Multicultural Communication in Diverse Organizations with Prof. Debra Petersen. A founding advisor to UST’s student news organization TommieMedia, Tim is an award-winning producer of hundreds of broadcast and cablecast video programs. His and his students’ documentaries have aired on Twin Cities Public Television (tpt). Documentary work has taken him and his students to Kenya and Australia. He has focused on connecting his students to the Twin Cities community with video projects for nonprofits and minority populations.  His many honors include the Faculty Service-Learning Award, the Multicultural Student Services Outstanding Contribution Award and the Faculty Global Citizenship Award. In 2014 he received the Curricular Innovation in Sustainability Award and the Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Outstanding Service Award.


UMAIE: Culture and Communication in Post-Apartheid South Africa

January Term, 2015

Study Abroad

Program Highlights

  • Course will be taught by two professors with abundance of experience in South Africa and have led this course on previous occasions.
  • Lectures and presentations both in the classroom and on site to provide students with a panoramic view of the people, places, problems, and solutions in South Africa.
  • Visit sites throughout South Africa including Johannesburg/Pretoria, Durban, Cape Town and the Hluhluwe game park.
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Fulfills: COJO major/minor 300-level Practice & Application; Intercultural Comm requirement for Int'l Business and Business Comm concentrations; Human Diversity core 

Academic Overview

Course Description

This course will explore the roots of apartheid and the transition the country experienced in the move to a democratic government in the 1990s. We will also look at the cultural dimensions of several of the prominent ethnic groups in South Africa and examine the role that communication  strategies and practices play in maintaining civic stability and enhancing interpersonal relationships in the post apartheid era. Students will travel to several sites in South Africa, including Johannesburg,  Durban, Cape Town and the Hluhluwe Umfolozi game park, and will study the cultural background of Zulu, Africaaner, Indian, British, Xhosha, and “colored” people. A community based learning experience will allow students to interact with young people at a school in the Langer Township in Cape Town. Lectures, guest speakers and field trips will expose them to communication strategies in a variety of contexts, such as in business, electronic media, educational institutions, health care and government.

Program Directors

Kevin Sauter, Ph.D., University of St. Thomas, (651) 962-5821,
Emily Sauter, (651) 307-3185,

Description of Program Directors
Dr. Sauter
 is a Professor of Communications at the University of St. Thomas. He has been teaching intercultural courses for the past 14 years that have looked carefully at the relationship between culture and communication. He lived in Durban, South Africa for a year while on sabbatical in 2001-02. Dr. Sauter has been a co-director of the UMAIE course, Hawaii: Multicultural Communication in Organizational Settings on eight occasions. This will be the fourth time the South Africa course has been offered by Dr. Sauter.

Ms. Sauter is currently the Teaching Assistant for Introduction to Communication Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is completing her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin in Communication Studies with a focus on International political figures, and a particular emphasis on South Africa. In 2011, Ms. Sauter successfully completed and defended a Master’s thesis in Communication Studies titled “A Rhetorical Analysis of Helen Zille” in which she examined the historical and current cultural, socio-economic, and political situation, as well as the intersecting tensions of race, class, and gender in South Africa. She lived in South Africa for a year in 2001-02, and assisted Dr. Sauter with students on the UMAIE course to South Africa in 2011 and 2013.