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Twenty-six students from 18 different countries are getting ready for the unique Master's program in Bonn. Lectures start in October.
26 students from 18 different countries: This is the 10th intake of DW Akademie's International Media Studies.
"Hi, I'm from Cuba and I arrived in Germany last night," says Gabriela Véliz López. She has had a long journey behind her – and has an exciting time ahead. The television reporter is one of 26 new students taking part in the International Media Studies (IMS) Master's program.
"This is a particularly special day", says Professor Dr. Christoph Schmidt, head of DW Akademie's Academic and Administrative Department, as he officially welcomes the students. "This marks the 10th anniversary of the International Media Studies program," he smiles, "and you are the 10th round." He says he and his team are proud to have had more than 170 students graduate from the program. "Many are now working in their home countries and passing on the expertise they have acquired here. This," he points out, "is one of the program's goals."
From media studies to media development
Aldo Sánchez Vera from Mexico says the program's combination of journalism, media management, media politics, media economics and media development prompted him to apply. "I'd like to learn how media can contribute worldwide to demanding and enforcing human rights," he explains.
Amena Khatun, already a lecturer for media studies in her native Bangladesh, says she is interested in constructive journalism. "I'd like to learn more about how media can improve the lives of the underprivileged, and to pass this knowledge on to my students back home," she says. Her fellow student, Shipra Sharma from India, says she is looking forward to combining her experience as a TV presenter "with what I can learn here."
Diverse experience in the media sector
The new students come from all over the world, including Mexico, Syria, Palestine, Colombia, Kenya, Bangladesh and Sudan. All have a bachelor's degree or equivalent, and have worked in media-related fields such as journalism, political communication or education.
Among the 26 new students taking part in the program are four refugees from Syria and Guinea. They attended a special preparation course in the summer which also helped them improve their German skills. This is the second year that DW Akademie has allocated spaces specifically for refugee students.
Lectures will start in early October but the students now have two weeks of orientation where they are learning more about Deutsche Welle, and visiting other organizations and institutes including the Landesanstalt für Medien (state media authority) in Düsseldorf and the Haus der Geschichte (German history museum) in Bonn.
DW Akademie offers the four-semester IMS program in cooperation with the Bonn-Rhine-Sieg University of Applied Sciences and the University of Bonn. Its bilingual (English/German) curriculum combines research, lectures and media practice, thus making it a unique program in Germany.