By Gabriella Carrizales
SAN MARCOS — Senior lecturer Dale Blasingame and two students, Haley Jenkins and Zach Ientasch, gave background information and shared their experience during the first Study in America program.
Study in America is a summer program that gives students the out-of-class experience while staying cost effective. This program travels within the states for students who cannot afford or do not feel safe studying abroad.
The program consists of two classes: MC 4356F and MC 4382Y and the team traveled to seven national and state parks in Texas and New Mexico during Summer 1. These two classes are feature writing with Professor Kym Fox and mobile storytelling in the park with Dale Blasingame.
Blasingame said this is a great experience because the feature writing class is more journalism based, while the mobile storytelling class is more public relations based.
“We also had time for fun stuff too,” said Blasingame. “We went horse back riding, to the Starlight Theatre, rafting in the Rio Grande and lots of hiking.”
Blasingame said the classes met a couple of weeks before they left to do online modules, assignments, pitch story ideas and prepare for camping. They practiced camping at the University Camp located 20 miles outside of Wimberley. They also had about one or two weeks when they came back from the trip to edit and do their final showcase. They are still in the process of having some of their pieces published.
Two of the nine students that went on this summer’s Study in America program told their experience.
Jenkins said she was very excited for this opportunity and learned so much. She also told students that they do not need prior experience or skills for these classes because they’ll learn everything they need to know in the first couple of weeks or on the trip.
“It was the most amazing experience I’ve had. It’s something I never would have done otherwise, but it was something I was able to do because Kym and Dale put it together,” said Jenkins.
Ientasch said that he chose to do this program because it combined his interest and major: camping and journalism. He also said how he enjoyed making new friends and that it was nice to be in that environment gaining that experience.
“Old Main is great, but it’s good to get out of class sometimes. This trip reunited the passion I have,” said Ientasch. “The most important thing is to have a good attitude and cooperate as a team, if you keep that in your mind you won’t have a problem.”
Fox said the cost of Study in America is about the same as taking two classes at Texas State for Summer 1, which comes out to be roughly $2,300. The only difference is that students are getting to travel and use real world experience while enjoying the outdoors.
There are no official dates or costs for next year but they are planning on traveling to New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado. There will be an application and interview process. For more information on next years trip email Dale Blasingame at firstname.lastname@example.org or Kym Fox at email@example.com.