Trinidad and Tobago: Strategic PR in the Global Environment
Port of Spain & Matelot, Trinidad and Tobago
3 undergraduate or graduate credits in Mass Communications
13 June - 21 June 2018
$1,550 + airfare + applicable VCU tuition
Dr. Shana Meganck
15 March 2018
The Global Education Office and the Robertson School of Media and Culture are pleased to offer a unique opportunity to study on site in Trinidad and Tobago. With the globalization of businesses and organizations, being able to understand and work in diverse international and intercultural settings is critical. This course examines the phenomenon of global strategic communications, including the enabling environmental factors, with a focus on Trinidad. Students will learn how to implement an integrated, holistic global communications program and how to manage such a program through a global service-learning experience with the DORCAS Women’s Group in Matelot, Trinidad. Students will also meet with local public relations practitioners and community leaders, and experience Trinidad culture through various activities in order to better understand the global environment.
Course and credit options
MASC 491: Strategic PR in the Global Environment (3 undergraduate credits)
MASC 683: Strategic PR in the Global Environment (3 graduate credits)
MASC 691: Strategic PR in the Global Environment (3 graduate credits)
The Education Abroad office will enroll students in the course upon receipt of the registration.
With the globalization of businesses and organizations, being able to understand and work in diverse international and intercultural settings is critical. This course examines the phenomenon of global strategic communications, including the enabling environmental factors, with a focus on Trinidad. Students will learn how to develop an integrated, holistic global communications program and how to manage such a program through a global service-learning experience with the DORCAS Women's Group in Matelot, Trinidad. Students will also meet with local public relations practitioners and community leaders, and experience Trinidad culture through various activities in order to better understand the global environment.
This course during summer 2018 will finish what the course during summer 2017 started. Last summer we organized a PR plan for the community of Matelot. This summer we will implement the plan.The course will be a combination of cultural activities and coursework. The first few days of the trip will be spent in Port of Spain, the capitol of Trinidad, where we will meet with public relations practitioners and journalists, and participate in several cultural activities. We will then spend nearly a week in Matelot.
This program is open to VCU public relations students in the Robertson School of Media and Culture, and other students with the approval of the instructor. Students who apply to the program will be interviewed by the program director prior to approval. No academic letter of reference will be required. Prerequisites for undergraduates: It is required to have taken MASC 333 and 334, or received permission of the instructor. Prerequisites for graduate students: MASC 671, 672 or permission of the instructor.
Students must be able to walk for lengths of time across uneven, sidewalks, cobblestone and other ground surfaces of Port of Spain and Matelot and up big hills. For demands of the program, students need to be able to walk for long distances, up big hills. There is one hike that students will take as a group, though there is the option for students who feel very uncomfortable hiking to opt out of the hike.
Students are housed in guest houses without 1-2 beds or bunkbeds per room. There is a slight chance that there will also be host family housing opportunities available.
Dr. Shana Meganck is an assistant professor, teaching public relations classes. Her main research interests focus on intersections of health communication, new media and public relations. Shana has a background in public relations and advertising, with nearly a decade of experience working at Richmond-based agencies with a variety of local and national clients. Shana received her Ph.D. from Virginia Commonwealth University in the Media, Art and Text program, her M.A. from the University of Georgia in Journalism and her B.A. from Mary Baldwin College in Mass Communication.
A valid passport is required to leave the US. If a student does not already have a passport, they are advised to begin the application process as soon as they are accepted into the program. The processing time for new passport applicants can be as long as 8 weeks. For students who already have passports, they will need to verify that the passport’s validity dates extend 6 months past their return date. For more information about passports and the application/renewal process, please consult the State Department's website
Payment of fees
In order to complete the application, students are required to submit a $250 registration fee and deposit. This $250 registration fee and deposit is refundable in two cases: if the program is cancelled, or if a student is rejected by the faculty member based on their qualifications to participate in the program. Reasons for rejection could include, but are not limited to, GPA, lack of a pre-requisite, unacceptable or inappropriate statement of interest, etc. and are at the discretion of the faculty program director. However, if a student pays the fee and is not given final acceptance to the program based on failing to complete application requirements, as determined by the Education Abroad office or faculty director, the $250 is non-refundable.
Students will receive two separate charges to their student accounts for this program: one charge will reflect the balance of the program fee (minus the $250 deposit and application fee) and the other charge is for VCU tuition costs (based on the number and type of credits being taken by the student). These bills will be charged through VCU Student Accounting and should appear by May 2018.
Please note: While these charges may post to the student’s account simultaneously or separately, it is the student’s responsibility to make sure the account balance is paid before the billing due date.
Withdrawal procedures and financial commitment policy
All withdrawals must be made formally in writing and submitted to the Director of Education Abroad. Otherwise, the program fee will not be refunded. After committing to the program, students deciding to withdraw will be held accountable for a portion of or the entire program fee based on the following schedule:
- Formal withdrawal submitted later than 30 days before the first day of the program abroad: 100% of the program fee will be charged
- Formal withdrawal submitted within 30-60 days before the first day of the program abroad: 75% of the program fee will be charged
- Formal withdrawal submitted within 60-90 days before the first day of the program abroad: 50% of the program fee will be charged
In the event an unexpected emergency occurs within 30 days before the first day of the program abroad, students must provide a physician’s certification that his/her condition prohibits participation. In this case, refunds will be limited to only those funds VCU is able to recover or that have not already been spent on behalf of the student.
See above for refund policy on $250 registration fee and deposit.
Students should schedule an appointment with their physician or at a travel clinic (such as VCU Student Health) at least 4 to 8 weeks before the program to inquire about recommended and/or required vaccines/immunizations. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that all routine and travel immunizations are up-to-date.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information on recommended and required immunizations for travelers. To view the health risks and requirements for the country to which you will be traveling, please visit the CDC's website
Health Alert: Zika Virus
The CDC has issued a travel alert for countries where the Zika virus is prevalent. Check the CDC’s travel notices
regularly as new countries are being added to this list. Check VCU Student Health
to stay updated as well.
VCU Student Health offers in-depth pre-travel consultation with a health care provider as well as most of the vaccines recommended for safe travel. Prescriptions for recommended medicines are also available. Please visit their website
for full details.
Every effort is made to provide updated and accurate information at the time of publication. The sponsors reserve the right to make necessary changes to the programs and costs. The university reserves the right to revise or alter all fees, regulations pertaining to student fees, and fee collection procedures at any time.