Category: Opportunities

Five Tips for Studying Abroad From One PR Student’s Experience

By Caitlin Fratkin

The best decision I’ve made thus far in college? Studying abroad.

If we’re being honest, I was absolutely terrified to leave the country for an entire summer. I would constantly get asked, “How pumped are you to go live abroad for six  weeks?” In my head I was thinking that a part of me didn’t even want to go, but aloud I always told them that I couldn’t wait. The idea of studying abroad was a daunting one to me, but also one that made me more anxiously excited than any other experience I could have had in these four years – and possibly my lifetime.

First weekend in London studying abroad.

Flash forward to June 23, 2018 and I was boarding a 10-hour flight to London to study journalism for the next six weeks with some of my very best friends. Passport, 100 pounds of luggage and an abundance of nerves in hand, I was ready to go. Surprisingly, the flight wasn’t too miserable, which was great news for an anxious flyer like me. Best way to beat the jet lag? Try seven movies and an overnight flight. That way when arriving to your destination, you’ll have had a full night’s rest, fresh and ready for a full day in a new country.

Instead of writing about the entirety of my experience abroad (which could very well take up 20 pages) I figured I would give brief highlights from my European exposure to drive home the value of studying abroad.

Kayla and me arriving to the airport to embark on our summer travels. My parents obviously had to document the moment.

Most weekend trips in Europe are a short one to three hour plane ride away. While studying in London, my friends and I took three different weekend trips, with each  taking us no longer than two hours via plane. Barcelona is the prime spot for a beach getaway. Amsterdam is where you end up wanting to stay for months because of its utter tranquility. Prague is full of history and the beautiful views that extend across the entire city. So, travel! -Travel, travel, travel! Take advantage of the opportunity to hop on a plane and immerse yourself in the many cultures this world has to offer.

It goes without being said but the food. The wide range of cuisines you will encounter when traveling internationally will easily transform your outlook on food and what it really means to a culture. Hands down the best food was in Italy. Surprise, surprise, the best food was Italian, but it can’t get better than homemade pasta, pizza and bread.

The. best. pasta. ever. Bubbling truffle gnocchi in Florence, Italy.

The overall best advice I can give is to enjoy every moment. I never knew time could fly by so quickly until I traveled the world. Take time to soak up the moments and be present. Many opportunities only come around once and this is one that has the potential to change your life tragetory and world view.  

Now enough about me. I asked friends who have traveled abroad for some top tips pulling out the most beneficial ones for future travelers.

Plan any excursions or outside trips ahead of time to save money and stress on flights and trains!

Planning ahead was the most common and most emphasized when asking for top recommendations from my peers. One of the most important aspects of traveling abroad is planning to ensure saving money as well as reducing stress and time spent looking for flights and arranging itineraries.

If you go to a non-English speaking country, know a few phrases in their language and downloading the Google Map of the area you’re in.

Download a translation application on your phone. Traveling to parts of the world where the first language isn’t English can be extremely stressful and difficult. Communicating with Uber or taxi drivers  and navigating transportation in general seemed to prove the most difficult

Be open to adapting to new cultures., Be patient and understanding with people native to that country.

Let go of all expectations and ideas of what traveling abroad may be like. The best thing you can do is have an open mind to what might happen. Be flexible and remain calm in stressful situations.

The fab five take Abbey Road.

Don’t use any of the exchange rate places if you’re exchanging small amounts of cash.

Being unaware of little tips or shortcuts while abroad can make a trip hard and frustrating. By all means, take out money when you need to use cash, however most exchange rate kiosks will try and scam you out of money, so always be on the look out for post offices and banks, which will give better rates.

Do the touristy stuff one day, but make sure to have a day to explore the city’s hidden spots!

Tourist spots are a must for many, as they’re hallmarks of particular  countries and cities, but be sure to do the research ahead of time by reading blogs and boutique websites.That way you can see a city’s more authentic side. . Although famous restaurants and landmarks can make an incredible trip, finding hidden gems and hole in the wall places make for more unique experiences.

Ready to head abroad? Talk to the SOJC advising team and your faculty advisor to see how it fits into your academic track. Also visit the Global Education Oregon (GEO) to learn more about specific programs, scholarships, and general study abroad opportunities.

Winter 2017 Special Courses

It’s almost that time of the term again…registration time! We have a few courses available Winter 2017 that aren’t normally on the class list. These are excellent classes to expand your skill set and gain more PR knowledge. If you are looking for some fun, informative classes to add to your upcoming class schedule check these out!


J399 – Design for PR

with Professor Nicole Damen

Design is more than just aesthetic. It’s communication. As such, effective design is a critical component of successful public relations. In this hands-on course, you will design memorable, meaningful and ethical PR communications for a given message, audience and medium. Course includes design for print, digital and social media.

J480 – Top Strategic Social Media

with Professor Kelli Matthews

Develop your strategic social media skills for public relations as you prepare for the workforce. Social media is more and more on the forefront of public relations. Learn the best practices and get ahead of the game!

Written by Sophie Ey

We are recruiting for the Bateman 2017 Case Study Competition!

SOJC PR is looking for five public relations students to join this year’s Bateman team! Participants will have the chance to compete with teams across the country to come up with a winning campaign for the Campaign to Change Direction, to change the culture of mental health in America.

“I was looking for a challenging course that would test skills I had learned in the PR sequence thus far. PR requires so many different skills and you can’t entirely master all of them without putting the skills into action” said, 2016 participant Drew Forrest (@DrewJF1).

  • Value of participating

For 15 weeks, you will participate in a nationally-recognized competition with four other students to create a winning campaign that will be included in your portfolio. This is a unique start-to-finish experience involving research, planning, implementation and evaluation. This competition challenges you to bring everything you have learned to implement the best campaign you can. Students can receive up to 4 SOJC credits for either Campaigns (J454) or an elective.

  • Things to consider

Students will represent the University of Oregon. The application process and selection is competitive. This is not a traditional PR class, it is a competition, therefore, time commitment is heavy. Participants conduct secondary research over the winter break and finalize their campaign the first week of spring term. You are expected to work in a team and independently.

  • Application process

To apply, email your resume and a cover letter to Professor Kelli Matthews at by Friday, November 18 at 5 p.m.  After you are accepted, you must be a PRSSA member. If you missed the deadline, nationals allows Bateman competitors to join after November 1st. To become a member contact UO PRSSA finance director Erika Goto at

For more information about the competition please visit:

Don’t miss the chance to work for a real client, participate in a nationally recognized competition and challenge yourself!

Written by Maritza Rendon

Get Involved Outside the Classroom: PR Clubs on Campus

Welcome back PR ducklings! Week three is upon us and, at last, we have settled back into college life. It is the perfect time to get involved outside of the classroom, build your resume and grow your network. Luckily, the SOJC is full of opportunities for every type of public relations interest. There are clubs ranging from television to investor relations that allow you to connect with fellow students and build your portfolio. If you want to be more involved, read more and we will show you how!


Want to work with real clients? Allen Hall Public Relations (AHPR) has you covered!


AHPR is the only student-run public relations firm on campus. It is nationally accredited firm that uses traditional and online resources to create real work for clients in Eugene and Portland. AHPR allows students to work in small teams to generate content for small businesses and organizations. Past clients include Olympic medalists Brianne and Ashton Eaton, Fredmeyer and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. Hiring occurs every fall and winter term. Check them out on social media @AllenHallPR

Interested in working in television? Duck TV has the perfect PR team for you!


Duck TV is an on-campus television network that creates short episodes for students on a wide range of topics from sports to comedy. The PR team is responsible for planning events, website development and social media management. Learn to promote and expand an awesome student-run television network on this team of 150 creative minds. Auditions are held during week one of every term. You can also find them on social media @UODuckTV

More of a traditionalist? Ethos Magazine is a great way to get involved in the world of print.

Ethos Magazine is student-run and nationally recognized! It focuses on art, science and food in Eugene and around the world. Ethos has so many things in store for the experience seeking public relations aficionado. Positions are available in fundraising, branding, social media and website development by application. Check them out on social media @EthosMag

Are business and finance more your speed? If so, IR Futures is the place for you.


IR Futures is one of the very few student investor relations clubs in the nation! They host speakers from the financial sector that aim to educate and encourage professional development. IR Futures tackles the topics of investor relations, finance PR and public affairs among many others. If this sounds right up your alley, check them out on Twitter @IRFutures

Want to work on your professional development and networking skills?      The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) has your back.


PRSSA is a national organization and the largest PR club on campus. They offer bi-weekly chapter meetings about networking and skill development that are open to all majors. If you are looking to take on a more active role, you can become a dues-paying member for access to special events, committees and Professional Development Tours. You can also find them on social media @UOPRSSA


Now it’s time to go forth and get involved! The UO PR world is your oyster. 


Written by Sophie Ey, UO PRSSA Vice President

Recent Opportunities: Internships & Entry Level Positions

We hear about jobs & internships all the time! Whether you’re looking for something permanent or more project-based, you’ll find an opportunity that will fit the bill.

Travel Lane County

From Janis Ross at Travel Lane County:

Kelli, we have an interesting project that I’d love to have a student group tackle. It involves creating and producing a short video for a convention proposal bid. The conference is called SoMeT13, and it’s for tourism professionalisms who utilize social media. The group requires that our bid is one-page (and can include links – which is where the video comes in), and the host destination is selected via facebook vote. The winning destination for last year’s conference received some 20,000 votes.

Travel Lane County, together with the Hilton Eugene, has come up with a fun theme – but we really need some assistance in filming, staging, creative, and editing.

Basically, we want to produce a very fun, short video to hype Eugene as a destination for a social media conference. The theme is “Slug Bug” – that game kids play in the car where they slug their neighbor in the arm whenever they see a VW Bug. It’s kind of a play on the poke in Facebook. So we’re looking for quick clips of bugs and people “slugging” other people in the arm (in a fun way!). We also thought we could include the Slug Queen and Sluggo. Our dream would be to include Puddles as well. The video would need to be filmed in various places in the city.

The bid is due on February 22nd, so it’s a very quick turnaround.

Put a team together (or fly solo) and email Janis at: Janis

LaneKids Social Media Internship

Oregon Coast Aquarium PR Coordinator (Entry Level Job)

Network Charter School Internship/Short-Term Project

Downtown Athletic Club Marketing/Communication Intern


Also heard that:

AO Creative is looking for a social media intern. Ask Kelli about it.