Student perspectives: UC Berkeley School of Journalism

Hungarian journalist and 2013 Mundus Journalism EU scholarship holder Dániel Szabó reflects on his time as an exchange student at the University of California, Berkeley.

2014.06.15 | Hannah Spyksma

'At Berkeley’

By Dániel Szabó

At Berkeley: There is a 4-hour-long documentary under this title but I don’t recommend that you watch it.

Instead, apply for the Study Abroad Programme at UC Berkeley School of Journalism and find out about the city yourself! What I experienced during my summer semester exchange was that you’ll get top-class teachers, a wonderful learning environment and classmates who are doing their internships at Al Jazeera America or The New York Times.

There is a list of courses you can choose from and lecturers are always more than welcome to have you at their classes. You can’t really go wrong with your pick. As one compulsory class, you will have to do reporting for a hyperlocal site of the university. This means gaining loads of practical knowledge and a hands-on journalism experience. The best kind of equipment will always be there for you to make amazing pieces of any kind. As for your other options, you can learn all about Tech Journalism, create online-news packages or just simply ’Follow the Food Chain’ with Michael Pollan.

But Berkeley is more than that. As you get to know the history of the city, you’ll realize that you came to a very special place on this Earth. Being one of the most liberal cities in the whole United States, it has a rich intellectual heritage of protesting against any means of oppression and for the freedom of speech. You will soon become familiar with iconic places like Sproul Plaza, Sather Gate and the Freedom of Speech Movement Café, where major movements started. Words cannot express the volume of diversity in this university town. You will meet people from all continents and what will come out of it is always something sublime.

In case you’re up for more, San Francisco is only a 40-minute train ride. With the Latino Mission District or Haight-Ashbury as the cradle of the hippie anti-war movement, it is granted that you will find your favorite place there. And don’t forget to visit China Beach for a Sunday brunch with your friends!

Should you go to Berkeley, be ready for one of the most inspiring intellectual experiences of your life and try absorb the unique vibe of the Bay Area as much as you can! Go Bears!

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