Moscow, Russia: Journalism Exchange Program

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Russia program poster

Note: The spring 2014 application cycle is now closed. Check back in the fall for information about upcoming study abroad programs.

The University of Washington Tacoma is seeking two to four students to travel to Moscow and jointly produce an issue of The Journalist with students at Moscow State University (MSU). The trip is part of a competitive independent study that will take place during Spring Break 2014. The participants will team up with students from MSU to write, design and produce a media project. This is a valuable opportunity for students interested in journalism and communications and for the campus as a whole; the program is a part of a collaboration between UWT and MSU which began in March 2003.

From one brief week of working as a team, students from both countries learn about differences in journalistic practices, how one might determine what is newsworthy, and how one might decide the best way to approach a news story. In addition, important cultural differences are illuminated, discussed, and processed independently and together by the Russian and U.S. students. While students can discuss other cultures in their university classes, this type of one-on-one experience cannot be reproduced in textbooks or traditional classrooms.

Academic ContentRed Square in Moscow

Students earn up to 5 credits for TIAS 496 (Internship) for the Spring quarter 2014. UWT students will travel with IAS professor Chris Demaske to Moscow where they will produce the newspaper or media project from conceptualization of content through the entire publishing process. The final product will be distributed at both UWT and MSU.

Student eligibility and application process

Note: The spring 2014 application cycle is now closed. Check back in the fall for information about upcoming study abroad programs.

All UW Tacoma students are welcome to apply. To apply, submit a letter of intent and three to five writing samples (published writing preferred, but not required). You also may submit photos you’ve published and examples of page design/layout. The letter of intent should be one to two pages in length and should explain why you feel this would be a valuable experience for you and what journalism writing and/or production skills would make you a good choice for this exciting opportunity. Successful candidates will have experience writing, editing, and/or producing media content and working under deadline pressure. Those candidates also will have an enthusiasm and eagerness to work in an international context and the ability to adapt to unfamiliar situations.

Letters of intent and writing samples are submitted to Dr. Chris Demaske in the IAS Office, WCG 424 by 5 p.m. on Monday, November 4, 2013.  You may also submit electronically by e-mailing your materials to

Travel documents and insuranceSite seeing in Moscow

Successful candidates will need to have a passport or commit to applying for an expedited passport upon acceptance.

Study abroad insurance coverage is required. We recommend UW students take advantage of the UW Study Abroad Insurance, as an easy and affordable option. Students with personal insurance may petition for a UW Study Abroad Insurance waiver. For details, please contact us.

Program Cost

The cost of the program is to be determined (TBD). It will include:

  • Roundtrip airfare
  • Lodging

It will not include:

  • Costs for travel documents (passport, visa)
  • Meals
  • Personal expenses

Payment schedule

  Amount Due
Administrative Fee $250 upon acceptance to program
Program Fee TBD April 19, 2014
Total TBD  

Snowy churchMethod of payment: The Administrative Fee of $250 is due upon acceptance to the program. This payment can be made in person or by mail and will need to be paid by personal check, cashier's check, or money order made payable to University of Washington Tacoma. Please write "Russia 2014" in the memo line of the check. The Administrative Fee of $250 must accompany your acceptance confirmation and payment contract for the program. Please submit the check along with the appropriate paperwork to our office in GWP 102 or by mail to:

International Programs
University of Washington Tacoma
1900 Commerce Street
Tacoma, WA 98402

For other methods of payment, please contact Tracey Norris, Study Abroad Coordinator, at 253-692-4426.

The Program Fee will be charged automatically to your student account upon registration and can be paid online through your MyUW account. Please note: Students do not register themselves for this program. The Office of International Programs will register the student once the Administrative Fee and all appropriate program documents have been received.

Financial Aid

Students receiving financial aid which they intend to apply toward the program cost should consult with a financial aid adviser before applying to the program. Some sources of funding, i.e. the GI Bill, do not cover the cost of study abroad programs. Check with a financial aid advisor to understand how your funds apply toward study abroad. Please request a student financial aid budget form from the Office of International Programs ( and take it with you to your meeting with a financial aid advisor.

Be aware that you may not receive financial aid in time to cover initial program costs. You should be prepared to pay your expenses out of pocket until your financial aid is dispersed. The deadline for program payment cannot be waived or postponed.

Refund conditions for feesStudents in Russia

Once you confirm your participation in the program:

  1. If you withdraw prior to December 14, 2013, all payments, less the $250 non-refundable administrative fee, will be refunded to you.
  2. If you withdraw on or after December 14, 2013 but prior to March 15, 2014, you are obligated to pay 50% of the total cost of the program.
  3. If you withdraw on or after March 15, 2014, you are obligated to pay the full cost of the program. No refunds will be given for unused accommodations, meals or other fees and services.

Notice of withdrawal from the program MUST be made in writing and submitted to our office in GWP 102 or by mail to:

International Programs
University of Washington Tacoma
1900 Commerce Street
Tacoma, WA 98402

Changes in costs or scope of the programSt Basil Cathedra

In the event of significant devaluations of the dollar, some adjustments to program activities may be necessary. If there are any political events that might compromise the safety of the participants, a rescheduling or cancellation of the program may be necessary. If such changes occur, students will be notified of the changes and options will be presented.

Program cancellation

If viable enrollment is not reached by November 4, 2013, the program will be cancelled. Participants will be notified and the Administrative Fee will be refunded.

Equal Opportunity and Disability Accommodations

The University of Washington reaffirms its policy of equal opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, or status as a disabled veteran or Vietnam era veteran in accordance with University policy and applicable federal and state statutes and regulations. The University of Washington is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation in the application process contact the Disability Support Services Office at least ten days in advance.