One of the more popular CIEE Madrid Open Campus classes is “Mass Media in Europe” because students have the privilege to meet the former Spanish Minister of Culture as one of the in-class guest speakers, and visit several of the major media and print outlets in Spain, such as El Pais, El Confidencial, etc.
Like all the CIEE classes, the co-curricular activities help student connect right away with Madrid and Spanish culture. This is not something that students will experience if they remain at their U.S. home campus and these types of opportunities make study abroad such a rewarding academic experience. The "Mass Media in Europe" course helps students to appreciate the challenges of national and regional identity affecting European media. Several participants said they now understand the European newspaper and broadcasting issues much better. Participating in higly interactive classes, the instructor helps the students as they provide an overview of the major branches of mass media in the dominant European markets, with a focus on the transition from traditional mass media to digital media.
The class also examines specific industries such as television, radio, music, film, and print, and in the recent class they analyzed the Oscar winning film Slumdog Millionaire (2008). Students were excited to gain an insight and a class discussion into the impact of Hollywood on European cinema. Students are also asked to compare how political and regulatory influences impact different sectors of the media in several European countries. The course instructors use a mix of lectures, case study discussions, student presentations, and site visits.