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Global Communication: Social, Political and Business Perspectives

The arrangements for the travel, housing, meals, excursions and course content of this program have been made by the leader. Questions about this program can only be answered by the program leader listed below.

Program Type Departmental
Program Location Paris, France
Course # SA 10304
Duration Summer
Upcoming Program Dates
To Be Announced
Past Dates
Summer 2017 05/11/17 to 05/28/17

France Map

Program Leader

Name Sorin Adam Matei

Program Description


The present study abroad in France will help the students better understand from a comparative perspective some essential aspects of living, working, expressing, or cooperating on the global Internet. Specifically, the program will introduce the students to the main similarities and differences between the US and French methods and practices related to Internet regulation, governance, intellectual property, privacy and human rights, cultural development, business success, economic policy, and political communication.

The program is divided into several modules:

1. Internet technologies: technical principles and social choices
2. Internet regulation and governance: who, in the name of whom, and to what end
3. Freedom of expression and cultural priorities
4. Privacy and human rights on the Internet
5. Business strategies, practices, and regulation
6. Intellectual property

Each module will include a series of readings, instructor-led discussions, and interviews or visits with leading French regulators, political activists and experts, scholars, and business people. Each module will involve comparative study, discussion, and individual research.

Learning objectives 1. Understand the unique global challenges and opportunities created by Internet technologies
2. Understand the diversity of perspectives that shape Internet use in the US and Europe (France)
3. Critically appreciate differences in policy and business choices in different national environments
4. Understand and articulate the differences in regulations and practices across US-French contexts in terms of freedom of expression, intellectual property, political communication, and human rights
5. Critically evaluate and analyze differences and similarities between systems through individual research, writing, and debate

Learning activities

The effective activities will stretch over a period of 2 weeks (May 12-28, 2017). It will include instructor-driven lectures, group discussions, visits and presentations at leading regulatory, political, academic, and business institutions and organizations in Paris. The visits and presentations are at the heart of the program. Each visit will be prefaced by lectures and discussions, which will prepare the students for meaningful conversations with the French experts. The core learning activity will emerge from preparing for, participating in and reflecting via oral or written communication about the main lessons drawn from the visits and conversations with the local experts.

We estimate approximately 16 contact hours per week for a total of 32 hours, which will include discussions, lectures, meetings, and visits. In addition, we will organize two practical activities and student-instructor conversations and advising, which will add 8-10 hours of direct interactions.

The visits will include:

1. Visit and meeting with the staff and decision-makers at the Superior Council for Audiovisual Media (CSA). This is in part the equivalent to the FCC. We will meet with staff members and with a commissioner
2. Visit and meeting with the staff and members of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Cultural Affairs. This is the most important legislative body in France charged with writing and amending the laws that regulate the Internet. We will meet with a senior staffer and possibly with an MP.
3. Visit and meeting at the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (ARCEP). This is also at the same level of expertise and power as the US FCC. We will meet and interact with one of the directors.
4. Visit and meeting with online French businesses (Daily Motion, MediaPArt). We will meet with some of the executives.
5. Discussion with French scholar who specializes in the economics (Francois Moreau) and with a media production company
6. Meeting with members of regulatory and advisory bodies in charge of digital policy (CNIL and CNNum)


For each type of learning activity, there will be a specific evaluation method. Details on Blackboard


Details on Blackboard

Academic Credit

Students who get a passing grade in the class will earn three credit hours, which will be recorded as COM 25100 Communication, Information, and Society The course is in the University core and it satisfies the Information Literacy and STS competencies. With instructor agreement, students may also take COM 435. Extra work is expected for COM 435 credit. A limited number of graduate students may be admitted to the program. Credit will be assigned to a COM 590 (Independent study) class.


Students from any major can join the program. There are no pre-requisites.

Program Cost

Approximately $3500 - includes tuition, lodging, meetings, Internet connection, in-city transportation, two social events. Airfare not included. Purdue Moves grant may lower the cost by $1000-$2000. Details about study abroad grants

Application Deadline

Initial Placement and deposit February 15. Program will receive new applicants until filled, but not after April 1st.

Country map courtesy of The General Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin