Four Griffith University journalism students have won $17,000 scholarships to study in Denmark and the Netherlands on a 10-month exchange program from September 2015.

The ‘Europe in the World’ program is taught by the Danish School of Media and Journalism in Aarhus, and the University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, and funded by the Australian Government and the European Union.

Over the next five years, Griffith will send 10 journalism students to study in Aarhus and Utrecht. In return, 10 Danish and Dutch students will study in the Griffith University journalism Honours program.

As part of their study, students will undertake fieldwork reporting from the European Union headquarters in Brussels, with options to undertake further reporting fieldwork in countries such as Portugal, Serbia, and Greece.

School of Humanities Deputy Head Associate Professor Susan Forde said the program aimed to produce graduates with the skills and experience to understand and report on complex cultural, social, environmental, political and economic contexts within Europe.

“It was a highly competitive process as the students had to apply and demonstrate why they would be the most suitable candidates,’’ she said.

“They are incredibly excited and we know they will learn a great deal while there.”

Student expectations

For Jack Lawrie, the exchange is an opportunity to broaden his horizons and learn more about international affairs.

“I’m particularly interested in European politics and this is going to incorporate a significant part of my studies in Utrecht,’’ he said.

Jack currently produces content for a current affairs radio program The Wire for 98.1 4EB every Friday.

“That type of work demands a greater understanding of political issues, and studying from an international perspective can only benefit me.”

Jacob Wilson applied for the exchange as Europe has always been on the top of his places to visit.

“Rather than staying for just a few weeks, I get to really experience how these EU countries work.

“From what I can tell, the first five months at Utrecht will be theoretically based on issues such as the EU, European law, sustainability and European politics with some practical elements, while Denmark is a lot more practical.”

Jessica Henderson, who is studying Bachelor of Business/Journalism, hopes the exchange will give her a wider perspective on politics and journalism in different countries.

“I’m also hoping it will also improve my career prospects,” she said.

While undecided between print and television, she’s leaning towards the latter and would like to produce current affairs programs.

“Eventually, I’d like to work for the ABC but I’m looking forward to embracing the opportunities that the exchange will bring.”

The exchange is a perfect fit for Aleisha Owen who is majoring in politics and government and public relations.

“It’s a fantastic way to broaden my horizons while honing my journalism skills and learning how to view issues within a global context,’’ she said.

Aleisha is planning on taking language classes while I’m there and has already started learning some basic phrases.

“Although as I understand it, most Dutch and Danish people speak some level of English so I’ll think we’ll get by fine anyway.”

Upon graduation, the students will receive their Griffith degree, as well as qualifications from the Danish School of Media & Journalism, and the Utrecht School of Applied Sciences.