When William Samayoa ’19, a double major in writing and rhetoric and media and society, began planning to study abroad, he approached Professor Emeritus of Media and Society Lester Friedman for advice and learned that the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich, England, matched his interests.
“UEA is renowned, nationally and internationally, for its writing and media curriculum,” says Samayoa, who spent the fall semester studying there.
While at UEA, Samayoa took courses focusing on TV, media theory and digital media. He studied with some of the top scholars in the field, such as Professor of Media Studies Su Holmes, who has written extensively on British TV and celebrity culture.
“I am leaving UEA with a global knowledge about media and its conventions,” says Samayoa. “It has been so influential that I’m going back to HWS with ideas on independent research I want to do, which could possibly inform an Honors project.”
Active on social media, Samayoa kept a blog of his time at the UEA, led a takeover of the HWS study abroad Instagram account, and was asked to write an essay for the UEA’s study abroad blog. In that piece, he discusses traveling from his hometown, Los Angeles, to upstate New York, and then to Norwich, and his experiences while in England.
“I chose UEA because of its reputation in both writing and media,” he explains. “In the short time I have been here, I have seen how UEA’s courses and extracurricular activities invite students to engage with and create meaningful content.” Samayoa has also written for Concrete, the UEA’s student newspaper.
This experience is not Samayoa’s first off-campus learning experience. This past summer, he interned at FremantleMedia in Burbank, Calif., and at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Hollywood. FremantleMedia creates and distributes programs like American Idol and America’s Got Talent. At the Academy, he participated in the Gold Talent Development and Inclusion Program, which offered networking receptions with industry professionals and the opportunity to attend screenings.
Samoyoa hopes to use the skills he has gained in the classroom and during his internships to work as a media personality or as a publicist or digital media manager. “My education, and now my time abroad, have made me a global citizen, and I want my life of consequence to be one that progressively engages with media,” he says. “I love working with people, and from my internships I have refined my storytelling across media.”