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Windy City Wildcats: An Immersive Media Experience


Program Details

Chicago is a global media hub filled with local, national, and international mass communication and media organizations. It provides an excellent opportunity for students to interact and observe media practitioners in action. It will also provide an opportunity for students to learn from faculty and students in media programs in Chicago-based universities and gain different perspectives about media production and the state of a rapidly evolving industry. It will also provide a rich cultural experience. 

Selection Criteria:

  • Be 18 years of age or older


  • Chicago, IL

Program Dates:

March 1 – March 9, 2024


Cost: $1400 (flight not included)

Suggested Payment Schedule (This does not need to be followed exactly. It is a guide so you do not have to pay so much at the end, but you can pay as much or as little as you want so long as the trip is paid in full before you leave):

  • Deposit: $200
  • Dec. 1: $400
  • Jan. 1: $300
  • Feb. 1: $300
  • Mar. 1: $200

Deposit: $200

Deposit is due 72 hours after registration. If not paid in that timeframe, you may be dropped from your trip.

Payments can now be made online! Visit this website for instructions on how to pay your deposit and future payments online. Charges should show on your account within 24-48 hours after registration. If you want to pay with cash or check, please pay at the Hurst Center for Lifelong Learning.

Includes: insurance, tuition, lodging, domestic transportation, excursions, and some meals.

Not included: airfare, incidentals, excess baggage costs, any unscheduled travel, and some meals.


Itinerary is subject to change. Please make sure to attend all pre-departure meetings!

March 1: Depart SLC, arrive at Chicago O'Hare Airport, travel to accomodations

March 2: Program begins, river boat tour, social media scavenger hunt

March 3: Journalism- Chicago Tribune visit, Willis Tower, work on SM project.

March 4: Advertising- Ogilvy visit, Fulton Market, museum

March 5: Film - Northwestern tour/lecture, Wrigley Field tour

March 6: Digital Media- WGN or local affliate, work on SM project

March 7: Public Relations - Edelman PR, street food walk for dinner

March 8: Visual Communication - Getty Images, theater performance

March 9: Depart Chicago O'Hare Airport, return to SLC

Academic Courses

Students who participate in this study abroad program will be able to register for up to three (3) semester credits through Weber State University by choosing either of the following:

COMM 1500: Intro to Mass Communication (3 credit hours, Aaron Atkins)

COMM 4500: Special Topics (3 credit hours, Leslie Howerton)

Program Directors

Dr. Leslie Howerton

Assistant professor of public relations and strategic communication. She is the faculty advisor for Ogden Peak Communications. Her PhD is in media studies. She has prior international leader experience. 

Dr. Aaron Atkins

Assistant professor of digital media with a PhD in mass communication. He is the faculty advisor of Studio 76. He has prior international travel and study abroad trip leadership experience.

Trip Cancellations

If Weber State cancels a trip for any reason, all participants will be refunded 100% of funds paid to the school. If a participant withdraws from the program for any reason, they are subject to the refund policy found on the first page of the application.  Deposits are always non-refundable, unless the program is canceled by Weber State.  No refunds will be issued 30 days prior to program start date. 

Refunds will NOT be given to students due to COVID-19 concerns. Before programs were canceled in 2020, every student was given the option to withdraw from programs without penalty due to COVID-19. This year students are applying, cognizant of the pandemic. Weber State will not intentionally place students into high risk situations. We will work together with Program Leaders and Departments on canceling should the destination demonstrate increased risks, be they from COVID or any other concern. As such, students must abide by the standard refund policy.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact the Study Abroad Office at (801) 626-8715.