Communication Study Abroad Students Help Save Refugee Lives in Collaboration with PROEM-AID

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This past summer, students with FIU’s Communication and Media Study Abroad Program worked with a Spanish based non-profit organization called Professional Emergency Aid, or PROEM-AID, to help save refugee lives in the Aegean and Mediterranean seas. The FIU students conducted several international multi-media campaigns to raise awareness about the organization, as well as bring in much-needed resources to help them continue working.

PROEM-AID, is a non-profit organization based in Seville, Spain that focuses on saving the lives of refugees as they escape war zones and cross dangerous international waters into safety.

“I knew we had to do something when I saw drowned babies washing along shores on TV” said Jose Amor, a Spanish firefighter who is part of the rescue team. “Since starting PROEM-AID, we have saved thousands of lives.”

As part of FIU’s Communication and Media Study Abroad Program, students gain international and professional experience in Spain by working with a local organization on their media needs. They create social media strategies, plan events, create advertisements, articles and videos, all of which give them a competitive edge once they graduate.  They also visit media companies, enjoy cultural activities and travel to four different cities while in Spain.

According Associate Professor David Park, the director of the Communication and Media Study Abroad Program, “Students gain real-life experiences and share their knowledge beyond the university to help groups in need. They also have fun while they learn about how the world works. It’s a life-changing experience that will help them once they graduate and move into the workforce.”

“From a student perspective, the opportunity to work with Spanish firefighters who were saving refugees was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Beyond that, FIU’s Communication and Media Study Abroad Program combined history, culture, and applicable industry skills into a beautiful package that I’ll never forget, if there is space you have to go!” said Ana Gomez, and FIU student participant. Ana Gomez, along with Maria Pinero and Alexis Woodyard, other program participants, were recently selected by the Spanish Embassy in Miami as Student Ambassadors to Spain.

Each year students from FIU’s Communication and Media Study Abroad program travel to Spain during the summer to help non-profit organizations by evaluating, assessing and helping their communication needs. The summer study abroad program is open to all students and majors.

For more information on PROEM-AID, please visit

For more information about FIU’s Communication and Media Study Abroad program and how to apply, please visit

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