The coursework for Global Communication Practices is designed to cultivate the knowledge and skills needed for advanced intercultural communication, which are vital for professionals in global business and communications, including journalists, public relations practitioners, and marketing and communications specialists in both private and public organizations.
It offers practical training in business communication and outreach, research, interviewing, correspondence, negotiation, debate, translation, and interpreting, as well as theoretical studies on global communication.
The program places an emphasis on the development of students’ perspectives on a variety of social and cultural issues to help understand the strong ties among the mass media, governments, non-governmental organizations, and business communities in the global society.
In today’s global society, graduates need to be ready to hit the ground running as soon as they complete their education. With a focus on practical skills used in effective business communication such as negotiation, research, interpreting, and presentation, graduates can put their education to immediate use in any corporation or organization.
In the age of mass communication and social media, citizens are expected to critically evaluate the contents of mass media, form rational opinions regarding public issues, and engage with the public with their viewpoints. Moreover, opinions expressed on the web in blogs, tweets, and web news sites are becoming as important as newspaper editorials or commentaries in TV news. In this program, students learn “web literacy” in addition to “media literacy,” in order to work as communication experts in contemporary society.
AIU’s Global Communication Practices (GCP) is designed to train communication professionals capable of working in, and communicating across, different languages and cultures － in the areas of public relations, journalism, and organizational (business) communication.
Embedded throughout our curriculum, therefore, are dynamic, cross-cultural and cross-linguistic perspectives which go beyond the technical and theoretical exercises of learning. This is crucial, since certain types of professional communication that work in one culture may not resonate in different cultural contexts.
Our teaching faculty draw from extensive professional experiences in corporate communication, journalism and interpretation, (and advertising and PR) all within multi-cultural settings. And to this diverse expertise, students－who themselves come with multi-cultural backgrounds－richly contribute to the vibrant learning environment.
Through faculty-student and student-student interactions, we come to understand the technicality, breadth, and the nuance of international communication that characterize much of today’s challenges in international affairs and business.
Such real-world concerns are interwoven into our classes, lectures and activities (i.e. internships), which working in conjunction are intended to cultivate and inspire relevant knowledge and thinking, leading directly to a professional career in international communication. The combination of classes, internships and research projects, required for graduation typically last for two years but could be shortened to 18 months or less for the most qualified students with high performance evaluation.
In the GCP program, I had the opportunity to learn about international communication from professors with rich expertise and professional experiences. For instance, in the international journalism class, we brainstormed ideas for a story, went out and conducted interviews, and wrote an article. Some work got submitted to professional news media for publication. In this way, I had a chance to work editorially with The Japan Times ‒ the leading national English daily in Japan ‒ and publish two articles with my name in them as the author.
After graduation, I moved to Shanghai to start my career as a legal journalist in commercial legal media. I mainly interview lawyers, conduct research and write articles regarding the Chinese and the global legal industry. Many of the skills I apply in my work come directly from the classes I took in the GCP program. The practical skills such as interview and writing skills I acquired have directly benefited me in my work. The time I spent in Akita was short but sweet, and I feel thankful for all the opportunities available to me.
GCP has given me the opportunity to enhance my knowledge, increase my competitive edge, and tailor my professional interests, all while connecting me with knowledgeable and talented individuals. That perhaps is the most invaluable aspect of GCP: the diverse people that make up this program, ranging from experienced educators to creatively driven peers. One of the most rewarding and productive experiences I’ve had was collaborating with classmates to create original digital marketing content in the Advertising and Promotion course. I’m certainly excited to reenter the professional world with these newfound and polished skills.
From my experience, I believe the true strength of GCP lies in its quality of giving the students the opportunity to explore. Through the program, I have expanded my knowledge, specifically in the field of corporate communications, while also having had the chance to explore the terrain further through the related courses offered. In addition, as a culmination of the program, I have participated in an internship, which gave me a chance to apply the skills I have acquired from classes in a real-life professional setting. This fine balance between practice, theory, and exploration of my interests has made the program a rewarding experience and has allowed me to create the path towards my future career in the renewable energy industry.
Asbjørn Bang JENSEN