Foreign Correspondent Training Course, 5-14 January, 2014 - overview

Dates: January 5-14, 2014
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Training fee: Standard fee: €1,185 or US$1,595 including accommodation.

A great introduction to international reporting, this course teaches participants how to carve out a place in a changing, but still fascinating profession and make it work financially. 

Course participants will be trained by highly experienced foreign correspondents and complete a real-life reporting assignment under their guidance that can generate an invaluable clip for an early-career journalist. Trainees will also learn how to shoot illustrative photos to accompany their articles, an essential skill in a profession that increasingly values multimedia proficiency.

What will participants learn?
By tapping into the trainers’ first-hand experiences, participants will learn the essential skills of international reporting, including:

  • how to break into foreign reporting;
  • how to quickly get acclimated in a foreign country;
  • pitching ideas to editors;
  • when and why to bypass official sources of information;
  • finding the story no one else has;
  • staying safe in dangerous and unpredictable places;
  • common mistakes that even seasoned professionals make;
  • and much more!

Will I get a credit for this course?
Transitions Online offers academic credits for students participating in TOL Foreign Correspondent course. For further details, please click on this link.
To see how the course really looks, hear from some of the trainers and TOL staff, and view participants as they report their stories, watch the six-minute video below.

Story-writing project
The practical story-writing project will be an important part of the course, giving participants the chance to apply their skills to a real-life reporting assignment – researching, writing and filing a story from Prague under the guidance of the trainers. Participants will need to do a bit of advance planning and research, so one of our instructors will contact them about a month ahead of the course to help them prepare. (For more information about the reporting project, have a look at Michael Jordan's article in Harvard's Nieman Reports.)


Trainers for past courses have included the following journalists. The full lineup will be confirmed in the summer or early fall.

Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson is on assignment as a foreign correspondent for NPR in Berlin through July 2013. She was previously based in Cairo, covering the Arab world for NPR from the Middle East to North Africa. Her reports can be heard on NPR’s award-winning programs including Morning Edition and All Things Considered. In 2006, Soraya opened the NPR Kabul Bureau, and in 2010 she won a Peabody award, Overseas Press Club award, and a Gracie award for her coverage of Afghanistan. She was also the 2011 recipient of the Elijah Parish Lovejoy Journalism Award, honoring courage in journalism. Soraya came to NPR in 2006, after spending more than two decades as a newspaper reporter. She served as Knight Ridder’s Middle East Bureau Chief from 2002 to 2005 where she specialized in covering Iran. As a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, Soraya was sent on extended assignment to Iran and Afghanistan following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. She spent three years as an editor and reporter for Newsday and was part of the team that won the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for covering the crash of TWA flight 800. Soraya speaks Farsi, Dari, and German. She is arried to long-time reporter Erik Nelson and they have a son.

Rob Cameron
Rob Cameron is the BBC’s correspondent in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, covering politics, human interest stories, arts and other issues for the BBC World Service, BBC domestic radio, BBC Online and BBC World television. Rob moved to Prague in 1993 and began his radio career in 1999, when he joined Radio Prague, the international service of Czech Radio. Rob began producing radio packages for the BBC in 2001, and in 2004 became the BBC’s full-time Prague stringer. He has also reported for the BBC from Albania and Russia.

Bruce Jacobs
Bruce Jacobs is the managing editor for multimedia at Prague-based Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL). In that capacity, he is responsible for video, photo, and audio content on RFE/RL's English-language website. He also advises the company's 21 language services on multimedia issues, and coordinates multimedia projects with them. In his 14 years at RFE/Rl, he has also worked in various capacities as a producer and editor. Prior to joining RFE/RL, Bruce spent eight years at CNN as a writer and producer. He holds a masters in broadcast journalism from the University of Southern California. 

Image 18579Michael Jordan

Michael J. Jordan is a foreign correspondent and journalism teacher-trainer based in southern Africa. Over 20 years, Jordan has reported from 28 countries, mostly across post-Communist Eastern Europe. He was first based in Hungary, then at the United Nations, then Slovakia, and today in Lesotho, reporting for the Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Policy, Global Post, Harvard’s Nieman Reports, among others. During the past decade, Jordan’s also taught several thousand student-journalists and professional journalists – on four continents. As Senior Trainer of our Foreign Correspondence Course, since January 2007, he’s led 20 separate groups through the reporting project. Meanwhile, he also teaches Health Journalism in Lesotho and is a five-time Visiting Scholar in Hong Kong.

Nedim Dervisbegovic
Nedim Dervisbegovic has worked as a multimedia producer for the Balkan Service of Prague-based Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) since 2009. He is responsible for online, multimedia, and social networks and has blogged and written articles for RFE/RL's English page on Balkan politics and other topics. In 2007, Nedim became the first editor in chief of, an independent news and community portal, focused on development of civic society and a culture of dialogue. Earlier, he worked for ten years as a Reuters' senior correspondent from Bosnia, covering politics, economy, sports and other issues while also reporting from other countries in the region. Nedim started his journalistic career in 1992 as a reporter at Studio 99, at the time the only independent radio station in war-torn Sarajevo, before joining the UN refugee agency's humanitarian operation. In 1994, he moved to Italy to study media, politics, and international relations at the American University in Rome, where he worked as an intern for the Associated Press and APTV and as a freelance correspondent for the now-defunct Italian daily La Voce Repubblicana. Nedim has a degree from the University of London in Politics and International Relations.

Jan Rybář
Jan Rybář is a journalist, photographer, and a communication trainer/consultant. Currently he is director of the creative agency, which provides photography courses and a variety of tailored training activities and consultations in many "creative" areas – photography, creative writing, travel writing, journalism, and media communication. As a foreign reporter for Mlada fronta DNES,  the most popular Czech quality newspaper, Jan covered numerous major events in many corners of the world, including wars in the Caucasus, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He won the Czech Press Photo competition, the most prestigious Czech photo contest, for his photo from Beslan, Russia. One of Jan's books, Historky z konce světa (Stories from the end of the world), was voted among the 30 best travel books ever written in the Czech language. Jan has also recently launched a photography website He studied in Prague and Glasgow and holds PhD in international relations. 


Image 20157
The course will be held at a very comfortable 4* Marriott Courtyard Flora hotel located in very silent quarter of the city, just 10 minutes from the centre.

Social and cultural programme

In addition to the training sessions, we've arranged a social program so participants will be able to meet their fellow participants, TOL staff and the course trainers. Activities included welcome and farewell dinners, as well as a concert.

Who should apply?
The course is designed for anyone with an interest in international reporting. This includes journalism students and working journalists looking to break into the field, as well as others with a genuine interest in the subject.

Course Fees:

 €1,185 or US$1,595, including accommodation.

What is included?
The fee includes tuition, accommodation, breakfast, social events and local transport.

What is not included?
Travel costs to and from Prague, meals (other than breakfasts and social events), travel and health insurance, visa and personal expenses.

How to apply?

We allocate places on a first come, first served basis, so please apply as early as possible. Here’s what you need to do.

Step 1
To apply for the course, complete the online application form including:

  • A brief ‘statement of purpose’, stating your reasons for applying for the course and what you would like to gain by attending.
  • A copy of your résumé (curriculum vitae).

Step 2
We will then consider your application and inform you of our decision within 5 days.

Step 3
Should your application be accepted, you will receive an email confirmation with payment instructions.

What did the participants say about our previous courses?

To make sure that we maintain high standards, we asked students to fill out an evaluation form at the end of each course. We’re pleased to report that 100% of the students who completed the forms for summer 2013 Foreign Correspondent course said that they would recommend it to a friend or colleague. Here are a few quotes from them.

  • “This has been a really inspiring week. I feel much more courageous. Thank you!”
  • About the 'life as a foreign correspondent' session: "SO INSPIRING! Made me want to jump on the next plane anywhere. He really opened up the world. Nice balance of realism and optimism."
  • About the reporting project: “one of the best - if not the best - part of the course. Going in the field and confronting the real situation of being in a foreign country was a tremendous experience! It was the thing I liked the most and I want to congratulate the person who had the idea for this course!”
  • About the photojournalism session: "A very useful session. I liked that it was a little technical, but not too much. Another aspect I liked was him taking us through a photo essay, photo by photo and explaining each photos purpose related to the others and the general story of the project."
  • About the 'reporting for radio' session: "I really enjoyed Mr. Cameron’s presentation. Before this, I had not considered working in this medium, but now I am excited to learn more and use this medium to improve income and tell different stories."
  • About the 'covering conflict' session: "Absolutely brilliant. An honest and informative lecture on what it takes to be a journalist and foreign correspondent.

The aim of the TOL Foreign Correspondent course is to provide practical training to people who are interested in international reporting. The course is therefore open to:
  • Journalists who have some experience, but would like to increase their skills and knowledge.
  • College and university-level students. Some journalism experience or academic background is helpful, but not essential.
  • Non-journalists who are interested in citizen reporting from foreign lands and would like to learn the basics of doing it on a professional level.

The course will be taught in English. 



Eka, Georgia
Digital Journalism, October 2011
Henk, The Netherlands
Foreign Correspondent course, July 2011
Maria, Colombia
Foreign Correspondent course, July 2011
Mary, USA
Foreign Correspondent course, July 2011
Ievgenia, Ukraine
Photojournalism course, August 2011
Solana, Canada
Photojournalism course, August 2011
Multimedia Reporting course, January 2011
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