By: Lance Lawton

For three weeks in May, I was lucky enough to travel to Europe and visit seven countries within three weeks. Along with seven other students and Dr. Bob Bergland as our trip advisor, I toured through Greece,
Ireland, Scotland, England, Italy, Vatican City and Croatia.

If I were to recommend one country that everyone should put on their bucket list, hands down I would choose Croatia. After stepping off the bus just outside of Dubrovnik’s Old Town walls, I realized
that this place was gorgeous. Walking with the tourist mob inside the Old Town walls, I came across the “main street” where historic buildings lined each side of the street and plenty of shops and restaurants
boasted a treat for everyone.

Before the trip, the only thing I knew about Croatia was that the show “Game of Thrones” had filmed multiple scenes in Dubrovnik. I searched and found the “Walk of Shame” stairs and various other scenes
within Old Town. I also found a shop in the middle of Dubrovnik that had various Game of Thrones memorabilia, including an opportunity to take a photo on an Iron Throne replica, which, of course, I
did immediately.

Besides geeking out on Game of Thrones, we were able to go on a sea-kayaking tour, visit a secluded cave, paddle around Lokrum Island and finished the trek with a wine-tasting. My group also took a ferry to nearby Lopud Island and visited its famous Sunj beach.

Although this three-week trip seemed like it was just a fun trip to go on, it was also beneficial because we could see how journalism affects other countries and what these countries report about and how they report it. The main reason we went to Croatia was for the International Conference on Information Technology and Journalism where I presented research about how the NFL uses Twitter.

To go on this trip, we had to create a research paper and presentation, have it approved by our professor and then sent to the people in charge of the overseas conferences. This let me get creative with my project, and made me realize that I am capable of writing a ten-page research paper with a PowerPoint presentation with ease. It also made me feel even more confident that I was able to present my hard work to a group of intellectuals from around the world at the Dubrovnik conference.

Studying abroad is a fantastic idea for anyone on campus. If you are unsure about it or are interested in the slightest, go to that informational meeting; ask the professor or whoever is in charge of the trip. It is well worth the time.