Unique Indian experience for Australian journalism students

Bangalore: Five undergraduate Journalism students from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) are collaborating with Indian students at the IIJNM as part of the UTS Foreign Correspondent Study Tour (FSCT).

Funded by the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan, the FCST will allow Australian undergraduate journalism students to visit local broadcast studios and newspaper offices while learning about the changing demography and economy of Bangalore.

The FCST was conceived and is led by Professor Saba Bebawi from UTS. It first went to Jordan in 2015, funded by the Council for Australian Arab Relations (CAAR) from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and has since expanded to Tunisia, the Philippines and India. The Director of the FCST, Professor Saba Bebawi says, “The FCST first began in 2015 after 10 years of dreaming of taking my students to Jordan where I was a journalist – today our growth is exciting, and it is amazing to see how a small idea in my head has become a big reality!”

“The idea behind the FCST is to discover the “happy” stories of people from the non-Western world – to show Australians that people are the same everywhere and have similar problems. In fact, people from the developing world might have solutions to problems we all face that we could learn from,” says Professor Bebawi.

Leading the tour are Professor of Social and Political Sciences Program, Devleena Ghosh, and Ms Denby Weller from UTS. Professor Ghosh teaches in the Social Inquiry program at UTS and sits on several advisory panels for the Australian Federal and NSW state governments in areas relevant to the Indian community. Distinguished Australian multimedia journalist and lecturer at UTS, Ms Denby Weller is also accompanying the UTS students to Bangalore.

“This immersive experience is invaluable for our students offering unique international study experience outside the classroom,” says Ms Weller. “It will be highly regarded by future media employers.”

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for future journalists from India and Australia to collaborate and share their knowledge and experiences,” says Kanchan Kaur, Dean of IIJNM. “Students from IIJNM will study with the UTS students, sharing local knowledge and context to encourage collaboration and build new networks. This kind of experience is truly life-changing for students.”

The India FCST takes place from 16-30 November, with a similar tour to the Philippines (also funded by the New Colombo Plan) occurring from 23 November to 7 December. A third Study Tour for postgraduate students will also take place in Tunisia from 10-20 November, funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.