This summer, communication studies professor Dr. Ed Lordan will be offering students a chance to travel to London to study the past, present, and future of media in England.
The three-credit course is open to all WCU undergraduate and graduate students, and will be held in July during the second summer session. It will count as a COM elective for communication studies students and a general elective for everyone else.
The first week of the course will be held in the U.S., which will be mostly preliminary work and getting to know one another. The final three weeks will be held in London, where students will get a firsthand chance to study British media while also getting to explore one of the world’s most historical and famous cities.
“Among the great things about it will be that it’s one of Europe’s most impressive cities,” Lordan said. “It’s a capital, it’s a place where students can really explore, and London is not just a huge city, it’s a relatively safe city. It’s a student city. So they are going to meet a lot of people their age.”
The emphasis of the course is the past, present and future of media in London, which students will learn about in a variety of ways both in and out of the classroom. It is by no means limited to lectures, and in fact some of the most educational experiences will come outside of the classroom.
“We do classrooms, but then we go out and explore the city,” Lordan said. “There will be a lot of field trips, a lot of day trips out to media institutions, museums, the English Parliament. It will be regular trips. [The course] is going to look at some history, some economics, some legal issues, and then we are going to try to get an understanding of England and the history of England with relation to media. So we will be looking at all the newspapers but then we will also look at the present and future, like going to the BBC, or going to Fleet Street, the newspaper row in London, [which has] a bunch of high-tech stuff. So it’s emerging technologies in media as well.”
While this course does fall under a communication studies designation, it is certainly open to all students. The curriculum is not set in stone, and there will be something for students to learn and enjoy regardless of major or career choice. In fact, Lordan encourages non-communication studies students to enroll.
“In the past, when we did Ireland, we welcomed having multiple majors, and having those multiple perspectives helps,” Lordan said. “You had someone from the business school or an English major and they brought different perspectives. We are going to try to tailor it so whoever ends up joining will have some stuff for them in particular. It will be really cool for students who are into history, media, economics, sociology or marketing, and a whole bunch of different majors. They would all enjoy this course.”
Not all of the time spent in London will be spent studying, however. Students are free to explore after the work is done for the day, as well as on weekends, which are generally extended to include Friday.
“We want to build it so they have ample free time to explore London, England or Europe as a whole. [In Ireland last summer] one student, for example, jumped on a plane and went to London. She got on one for 60 bucks round trip and next thing you know she is in London with her friend.”
The international course comes not only recommended by Lordan, but also by those who have completed the similar course he has held in Ireland.
“It opens your eyes to a whole new culture; it changes your view,” said English major Colleen Cummings, who loved the Ireland trip so much she is returning to study there next semester. “He is a great professor to travel with. He balances work and fun, he made us all feel comfortable and we all worked hard. I would definitely say to take advantage of it.”
Students who are interested in learning more about the course should attend the first information session, which will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 5 from 4-5 p.m. in Anderson 220. Included at the meeting will be a discussion about the trip as well as information on financial aid for students who want to go. If you cannot make the information session, Dr. Lordan would be happy to meet with anybody interested at another time. His office is located in main Hall 317, and he can be reached by email at elordan@wcupa.edu.
“This course promises to be a good educational experience, and a lot of fun.” Lordan said. “It will be an enormously fun time. If the students get any experience like they did last year [in Ireland] they will call it the trip of a lifetime.”
Kenny Ayres is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies with a minor in journalism. He can be reached at KA739433@wcupa.edu. 

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