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Experiential Learning Roundup: July 2022

CFAC Students Travel Internationally to Gain Real-World Experience and Share Their Talents While Studying Abroad

July 2022 Experiential Learning Mosaic
Photo by CFAC External Relations

Each summer, students in BYU’s College of Fine Arts and Communications take the knowledge and skills they have learned in the classroom and make their mark on communities across the globe. Many students were able to travel and enjoy learning experiences and mentorships in addition to those available in Provo. This summer, BYU students are learning across the country and around the world.

Read more about how students from the College of Fine Arts and Communications answered President Kevin J. Worthen’s call for inspiring learning during July 2022.

Contemporary Dance Theatre | Department of Dance
Led by professor Keely Song, BYU’s Contemporary Dance Theatre (CDT) company had the opportunity to tour Europe this summer. The group performed and interacted with communities across Spain, France and Belgium. In Spain, the company enjoyed a dance performance at Flamenco Barcelona Theatre City Hall, toured the Spanish countryside and prepared to participate in the 2022 Deltebre Dansa festival. They also performed and did a workshop at Biblioteca Marcel-lí Domingo for a local congregation of Latter-day Saints and other community members. The group had the opportunity to tour Park Güell and the cathedral Sagrada Família before moving on to Belgium.

In Belgium the company performed at Les Pyramides Congrés near Paris for French members of the Church, BYU humanities students and over 60 refugee children. The company also toured the Palace of Versailles as well as the Paris France temple and its gardens.

CDT Experiential Learning 2022
CDT dancers (from left) Caler Tregeagle, Julia Izu, Maddie Butler, Audrey Allen and Hannah Hardy explore movement in front of the Palace of Versailles.

The company wrapped up their tour in Belgium with a performance at the Wolubilis theater in Brussels. The sold-out crowd included over 100 ambassadors, delegates and invited guests connected to the European Union.

BYU student Johnathan Tanner described his experience on the tour: “It has been amazing being able to meet so many different people from different countries around the world. They each bring their emotions, experiences and knowledge of dance and are able to express it and share it — a lot of times without even speaking the same language.”

Advertising International Award Shows | School of Communications 
Professor Jeff Sheets took a group of students across Europe to attend and study prestigious international award shows for advertising. Students gained a better understanding of the diverse cultural ideas addressed in international advertising. They also studied how advertising both uses and influences the intersection of art, culture and people.

Students attended award shows such as the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in Cannes, France. Participants met with agency professionals and had one-on-one training sessions with industry leaders such as recruiting directors and chief creative officers. They also met with award-winning BYU alumni who were representing the BYU AdLab in the creative industry. They continued to Paris, where students worked with the France Paris mission president under the direction of the Europe Area President to develop a new strategy for sharing the gospel physically and virtually.

ad awards study abroad.jpeg
Participants of the Advertising International Award Shows study abroad pose for a picture in Europe. (Couresty of Jeff Sheets)

After Paris, the group traveled to London and attended the Design and Art Direction (D&AD) Advertising Festival as well as the D&AD New Blood Awards Gala where the AdLab won multiple awards. While in London, students went on agency tours and met with some of the top advertising agencies and production companies. They explored award-winning campaigns, received career advice and were mentored by the agency creative teams, including Lammas Park, a production company founded by Sir Steve McQueen; Mother, Wieden+Kennedy; Anomaly; McCann; Pretty Bird and more.

For the remainder of the trip, the group traveled to Italy, where they attended the Rome Temple and conducted multiple service projects and assisted refugees from Ukraine. They also visited Florence, Venice and Milan to work on developing and executing creative personal projects and collaborate on a project with the chief creative officer of Publicis Italy.

Italy and Austria Social Media Study Abroad | School of Communications
Professor Brian G. Smith traveled to Italy and Austria with a group of students to enhance their social media and video production skills while also focusing on spirituality and self-development. The group traveled across Italy — participating in activities in Rome, Florence, Milan and Venice — as well as Salzburg, Hallstatt and Vienna in Austria.

In Rome, the students attended the Rome Italy temple. The students also interviewed young single Latter-day Saints about their experiences as members in Rome. “One group had a really special experience — one of the people at the institute was not a member and had only been coming for a few weeks,” said Smith. “He was touched by the Spirit as our students shared with him the gospel message of peace and hope. He said he wanted to learn more.” Participants also served at a refugee home, where they interviewed refugees to tell their stories on social media.

Letters to Juliet
Students on the Italy and Austria Social Media Study Abroad working as "Secretaries of Juliet." (Courtesy of Brian Smith)

In Florence, the group explored the history and culture of Italy. While there, a group of students went to Club di Giulietta in Verona and worked as “Secretaries of Juliet” for a day. They responded to letters addressed to the literary character Juliet Capulet and gave advice to the strangers who wrote them. Student Alexa Elliot said, “It’s crazy how a piece of paper and words on a page can make you love and wish the best for a person you’ve never even met.”

Finally, students visited Austria and served at a refugee center, assisting with organizing donated clothes, washing dishes and serving meals to Ukrainian refugees. While in Austria, they met with Church Public Affairs Director Signe Lassl to learn how the Church conducts public affairs in the country. They also met with the director of Fulbright Austria to learn about intercultural relations between the U.S. and Austria.

Global Diplomacy and Journalism | School of Communications
Led by professor Joel Campbell, BYU students majoring in communications, international relations, political science and other related majors focused on international diplomacy and journalism during almost seven weeks in New York City and European capitals. In New York, students heard from New York Times assistant managing editor for international coverage Michael Slackman, toured a Hasidic Jewish community in Brooklyn and engaged with top diplomats at the U.S. mission to the United Nations.

Global Diplomacy July 2022
Participants of the Global Diplomacy and Journalism program. (Courtesy of Joel Campbell)

In Rome, students were hosted by a BYU alum who is now a top diplomat at a U.S. Embassy residence. The group also met with a ranking Roman Catholic diplomat at the Vatican.

The group’s itinerary for Paris included a tour of the French Senate, a briefing with the Washington Post’s Paris correspondent Rick Noack and a visit to the international headquarters of UNESCO.

In London, students discussed international food policy with economist reporter Matthieu Favas, visited the U.S. Embassy and visited Parliament. Read what journalism students have written about their study abroad themes and activities here.