Twenty-five high school students have successfully completed Northwestern University in Qatar’s summer programme.
‘Northwestern Connect: Journey’ the program was held for two weeks this month and gave students insight into full time university study and a brief introduction into the curriculum at NU-Q, spending a week studying journalism and a week studying communication.
The programme students learned about the theory and ethics of journalism and created a story about a member of the Qatar community. Students chose a subject, interviewed them, and then produced both a written and video piece about the subject.
Rana Abu Al Saed, 16, a student at Qatar Academy, said, “My favourite part was shooting the interview and learning about the different camera shots. And when we did the written profile piece – we learned a totally different style of writing in English.”
The journalism section of the programme was particularly interesting “because you get to explore shocking, surprising facts about things, find out the truth and get information out of people,” said Al Saed.
During the communication project students produced a short comedy film that required them to write a script, develop characters and record and edit the scene they’d created.
Nazareno Hossfeldt, 17, also a Qatar academy student, said, “I’ve had some experience in film, but the course has really helped me expand my knowledge of communication, and set the bar for the future much higher.”
Northwestern Connect: Journey was open to all rising 11th and 12th grade students, but entry was competitive and students were required to apply for the programme.
For some students the programme was a chance to learn more about something a subject they’d had an interest in. But for others it was a chance to get a jump on what they hope will be their university studies.
“I want to study film when I finish high school – so doing the workshops has really helped me with that,” said Hossfeldt, who plans to apply to Northwestern.
Anne Peterson, a Lecturer in Communications at NU-Q who taught the programme, said: “These workshops give students a primer in our journalism and communications courses and are a really great way for them to experience the programmes before they apply. They also get to experience the atmosphere and Northwestern community before they attend.”
“It’s also a good opportunity for them to see what college life is like and of what we expect of them as students,” Peterson said.