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A Communication Major Abroad

March 22, 2018
by Kelly McKeon
  People sometimes seem to think that communication is an easy major, but every business and establishment need skilled communicators. Subtle differences in the ways people use language can completely alter the success of our interactions with strangers, potential business partners, and foreign friends. The ability to deliver information in an effective way is imperative to achieving goals and creating relationships. A teacher without communication skills is just a smart person because there is no way for the students to gain from their experience if they don’t understand what the teacher is saying. Our world is becoming increasingly smaller and yet more global. It is imperative that we have people equipped to carry our messages throughout the world.

Communication is a very broad area of study. Communication majors can go into content production, speech writing, advertising, journalism, and many other prominent fields. These jobs are valuable to society because they influence how we consume information. I initially thought I wanted to become a journalist, but I have since decided I would rather go into public relations. I was partially drawn to communication as a major because there are so many options within the major. From a practical standpoint, I knew that although some jobs will be automated in the near future, the human capability of creative content production--innovation and imagination--can never be replaced with technology. There are many communication jobs based in those two qualities.

  I feel I’ve learned a lot about my field of study from simply living life abroad. One of my professors heavily uses our personal experiences in Seville as teaching examples. We recently discussed how, when conversing with others, we need to be aware of not only what we know to be true, but what the person we are speaking to is aware of. Many times, I’ll get excited when I speak to someone in Spanish and they understand what I’m saying. Only a split second later, though, they’ll respond with a follow-up question I can’t understand. The ability to voice my initial remark isn’t enough to create effective, two-way communication. Both parties need to take into account what the other person is able to understand.

 A tile mural of el Torre del Or

Studying abroad has allowed me to understand how our everyday lives are absolutely reliant on strong communicators. It has put me into real life situations where communication is vital and difficult. Overall, I think my experience as a communication major has only been enriched by learning to live in a foreign country. I hope to learn even more on my journeys.
 View of Sevilla from la Giralda

Kelly M. is the Spring 2018 MOJO Blogger in Seville, Spain. She is currently a Sophomore studying Communication & Marketing at Clemson University.

Kelly McKeon is the Spring 2018 CEA MOJO Blogger in Seville, Spain, and is currently studying at Clemson University.
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