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About the Course

Bournemouth University (UK) and UDLA (Ecuador) are offering the Communications Summer Academy and optional Language programs (English for Communicators and Spanish Course) in Quito, Ecuador. Courses and field studies will be taught by professors from both universities.


Communication Summer Academy: August 3rd – 8th
Language Program: July 20th – 31st


(includes course tuition, accommodation, sightseeing tours, field activities, lunch and welcome cocktail)
1 week Communication Summer Academy (40 hours):
$650 International Students
$530 Ecuadorian Students living in Quito
$499 UDLA Students

Optional: 2 weeks Language Intensive Program + 1 week Communication Summer Academy (July 20th – August 8th)
$ 1300 International Students
$ 1000 Ecuadorian Students living in Quito


COMMUNICATION SUMMER ACADEMY – International Students $650

COMMUNICATION ACADEMY + LANGUAGE PROGRAM – International Students $1.300,00

For whom?

For undergraduate and masters Communications students and lecturers.

Application deadline:

Last spots available


Program Details

The University of the Americas in cooperation with Bournemouth University offers a week long Summer Communication School. The course combines lectures, seminars and co-curricular practical field work led by academic experts from Bournemouth University and University of the Americas. Students also have the option of participating in a two week long Spanish or English for Communications students workshop prior to the Communication Summer School.

The Communications course will cover topics such as creativity and innovation in advertising, social communication, animation design, communication and media. All the courses are taught in English and are suitable for undergraduate and postgraduate students with interest in communication, visual anthropology, animation, production, advertising and corporate communication.

During the lecturers and seminars students will work on developing skills involved in animation production, strategic advertising planning and journalism techniques in media with a special focus on best practices in England and Ecuador. They will also participate in a Pinhole Camera Workshop, which will allow them to understand the physics of light and the basic mechanics of photography. In the afternoon the participants will take part in exciting field activities which will give them the remarkable opportunity to investigate and take a closer look at Ecuadorian society. Furthermore, the course will give students insight into what makes advertising effective, by exploring the work of the best ad agencies in Quito.

In addition, the participants will take part in different sightseeing tours that will allow them to explore the astonishing UNESCO Heritage City Center of Quito, the most beautiful and the best preserved historic center in Latin America. On the other hand, the integration with Ecuadorian students and family homestay accommodations will give participants the opportunity to explore the local culture and explore the Ecuadorian point of view on mass media and freedom of speech making it a rich cultural immersion experience.

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“Housing option available to participants in Quito is staying with host families and depends on the participants’ preference. We coordinate with St. Gallen Haus, an organization with many years’ experience providing accommodations in Quito. A host family stay includes breakfast and dinner, as well as Internet service, laundry and basic cleaning each week.”


Seminars you can choose:

1. Creative advertising

Strategic Planning (Cliff Van Wyk)
Developing the Creative Brief; compiling a strategic advertising plan; advertising effects.

Innovation (Cliff Van Wyk)
Problem Definition; Trend Analysis; Opportunity Identification

Applied Creativity (Cliff Van Wyk)
Contemporary approaches to communications strategy; Behavioural Economics and Choice Architecture; Brand framing and reframing; Experiential / Sensory Communications.

2. Cinema & media in Ecuador

Design thinking (Paulo Guerra)
His workshop will be about the design of interactive products regarding principles and process of Design Thinking. Prior to the interdisciplinary workshop, there will be an introduction about the Processing and Arduino as tools for a quick prototype process. The rest of the workshop will be focused on converting daily objects into interactive, non-traditional interfaces for controlling multimedia content.

Production process in Ecuador (Miguel Muñoz)
The activity will be divided into two parts. First, students will analyze the production process in Ecuador and Latin America with a special focus on developing television products, relating their own personal experiences during the making of the audiovisual products. During the second part (workshop) students will participate in a project of character design and staging.

Documentary cinema in Ecuador (Noah Zweig)
This course will examine the unprecedented upsurge of documentary cinema in recent decades. At a time when traditional print media are entering extinction, and when more and more news agencies are shutting down their foreign bureaus, increasingly citizens are turning to documentaries for investigative journalism. The class examines the landscape of contemporary documentary film, particularly in the context of Ecuador’s “cinema boom” (300 percent growth since 2006), insofar as considerable deal of these films are nonfiction. What does it mean for a country that had almost no film industry to speak of a decade ago to suddenly be documenting itself. For pioneering Scottish documentarian John Grierson (1898-1972), the documentary is “the creative treatment of reality.” This course considers Grierson’s provocative definition, as well as others, as we explore the archaeology (how discursive traces of the past inform the present) of the documentary. We will look at subgenres of the documentary film, including the docudrama and the mockumentary or mock-documentary. Finally we will examine the documentary vis-a-vis issues of digital culture.

Ecuadorian film history (Galo Semblantes)
This course will examine the parallelism between traditional film history and the Ecuadorian film history.  Analyzing the different social and technological  factors that influenced Ecuadorian documentary to where it stands today.

3. Social communication

Introduction to Social Communication (Hilary Stepien)
This session will introduce participants to the concept of social communication. In addition to exploring its aims, objectives and techniques, concepts such as empathy and voice will be explored.

Stigma and Its Consequences (Hilary Stepien)
Types of stigma will be explored in the session, as will the questions who do we stigmatise, why, how and with what consequences? Together, we’ll also consider the role of the professional communicator in addressing stigma.

Mental Health, Communication and the Media (Hilary Stepien)
How is mental health reported in the UK media? This session will explore issues including the tone and volume of mental health coverage, as well as ways that individuals with mental health problems are represented in the media. Finally, strategies and tactics employed in mental health communication campaigns.

4. Animation

The language of Animation (Susan Sloan)
What are the specific languages of Animation? Metaphor, Metamorphosis, Condensation… and others.

Animation Design (Susan Sloan)
Designing characters/ worlds that communicate without words.

Animation Production (Susan Sloan)
Animation pipelines, practice and theory.

Animation Academic Project (Carolina Loor, David Cazar)
The activity will be divided into two parts. First, students who have already collaborated on the project will talk about their experience in developing the animation project, challenges and problems of an academic production.
The second part (workshop) focuses on practice. Students will take part in creating the project regarding character design and staging.

Field activities & Workshops you can choose

1. Visits to ad agencies.
2. Visits to newspapers and TV stations.
3. Photography.

PINHOLE CAMERA WORKSHOP: theory and practice (Leonor Jurado)
Objectives: To expand photographic possibilities and learn the history of photography. The student will build a pinhole camera and investigate the optics of this technique.
Structure: Presentation, demo, practice and photo viewing.
Pinhole photography is a wonderful way to understand the physics of light and the basic mechanics of photography. This process is about discovery: since the camera has no viewfinder, the student will compose the shot in his/her imagination and therefore rely on intuition, logic and risk. The most important requirement is to have enough light to make successful images, and Quito is the perfect place for experimenting with this process: its geographic location makes for unique lighting scenes.
We will be using photographic paper for its easy processing/fixing of the image, so basic darkroom techniques will be required.

4. Documentary shorts.

Tourist activities:

1. City tour.
2. Guayasamín museum.
3. Visit to La Ronda.

Organizing Universities

Bournemouth University, located in the south-west part of England is recognized as the only Centre for Excellence in Media Practice in the UK. The BU´s Media School has been awarded with The Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education, the UK’s most prestigious form of national recognition available to a UK academic or vocational institution. BU was granted for its contribution to world-leading excellence and pioneering development in computer animation. The graduates from the National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA) have worked in Hollywood on films such as Lord of the Rings, Avatar, Gladiator, Star Wars, Madagascar and King Kong.

The Communication Summer Course will be led by three professors from this remarkable British University, all of them experts in their fields of Public Relations, Animation, Advertising and Marketing Communication.

The University of the Americas is located in the center – north of Quito and offers degrees in over 40 majors. Our educational model is based on rigor, innovation and applied learning. UDLA is part of the Laureate International University Network, the largest network of private universities in the world, and our academic offerings are based on the international standards set forth by Laureate International Universities. With over 15,000 students and 1,500 professors at UDLA, you will have the chance to really immerse yourself in the university environment and in Ecuadorian culture.

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Cliff Van Vyk

cliff-van Is Senior Lecturer in Advertising at Bournemouth University, and is also Visiting Lecturer at universities in Spain, France and the Netherlands. Prior to entering higher education, Cliff had a long career in Advertising, working with multinational clients such as IBM, HSBC, Unilever, Nestle and Coca-Cola. He specializes in strategic planning, innovation and applied creativity.

Hilary Stepien

hilary-stepien Is a Lecturer in Public Relations in the Faculty of Media and Communication at Bournemouth University. She teaches at the undergraduate and postgraduate level in areas including PR campaign planning and social communication. Her area of research interest is in health communication, particularly in the area of mental health. Hilary’s professional experience includes practicing issues management and strategic communication for the Government of Ontario in Canada.

Susan Sloan

susan-sloan Is a Lecturer/Artist based at the National Centre for Computer Animation, Bournemouth University. She works collaboratively and individually, using animation to create artworks and public projects. Her work has been exhibited internationally, including The Wall, Photographers’ Gallery, London,2012; International Symposium of Electronic Art, Istanbul, 2011; SIGGRAPH Gallery, San Diego; 404 Festival, Argentina; IVO3 London; IVO6, London, Sydney; Kunstihoone Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia; Yokohama Art Museum., Japan; and Glasgow International Festival.

Leonor Jurado

leonor-jurado Is part of the Faculty of Communication and Visual Arts at the University of the Americas in Quito where she teaches image analysis and photography in the Advertising program. She earned her MFA in Photography and Fiber Arts from the University of Missouri-Columbia and her BA in Studio Art from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She has been teaching photography and design foundations since 2006. She previously taught at the University of Missouri-Columbia, Missouri Valley College and the University of Missouri-Kansas City and led workshops at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City. Her research interests include early photographic methods, the history of photography, image analysis and semiotics. Her artistic work explores themes of displacement both physical and spiritual and her focus is on the handmade production of images by using alternative photographic processes. She is currently represented by García Squared Gallery in Kansas City.

Carolina Loor

carolina-loor Is a Classic Animation, Storyboarding and Character Design professor at the University of the Americas. Carolina received a Bachelor degree in Design at the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador and a Master of Animation from the University Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain. She finished courses related to her academic training in the Instituto Superior de Diseño Industrial (ISDI) in Havana, Cuba at the Universidad Técnica Equinoccial and at the Universidade de Lisboa, in Portugal. Her professional experience includes working with a local producer on audiovisual projects and creating multimedia graphics and animation for digital campaigns for the YAGÉ agency. She has worked for many important brands, such as General Motors, Corporación La Favorita, Merck Sharp & Dohme and Odebrecht. Nowadays, she is working on a research project about Ecuadorian animation.

David Cazar

david-cazar Is a professor of Animation, Digital Sculpture, Illumination and 3D rendering at the University of the Americas. David received his Master of Cinematographic Direction and Production of Digital Animation at the University Camilo José Cela in Madrid, Spain. He received a Bachelor degree in Graphic and Industrial Design and in Communication Sciences at the University of the Americas. His professional experience includes working in the Advertising industry and making animated commercials for television working in the post-production department.

Diana Coryat

diana-coryat Is the Coordinator of Research for the School of Communication, UDLA. A media practitioner and scholar, she works on issues of communication rights, Latin American media reforms and state-social movement-media relations. She is co-founder of Global Action Project, a youth media organization based in New York City, and has helped to build the capacity of media organizations and collectives in Latin America and the U.S. As a Fulbright Scholar, she taught at the Universidad del Valle at the School of Communication in Cali, Colombia. She received a BFA from New York University, an MA from the University of Massachusetts and is a doctoral candidate in communication at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Paulo Guerra

paulo-guerra He received his Master´s Degree in Computer Science / Human Centered Computing from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is an engineer, artist, programmer and investigator who explores new ways of expression and interaction using modern technologies. After completing his master, he worked in the Innovation Center and in the Educational Technologies Laboratory at Illinois University where he worked on developing new interfaces required to facilitate interactions using physical and digital resources in classrooms and museums. He is particularly interested in the principles of Design Thinking and its influence at developing new applications, products and interactive spaces.

Miguel Muñoz

miguel-munoz Advanced Animation, Image Edition, Mastering and Digital Sound professor at the University of the Americas. He holds a bachelor degree in Social Communication from the Salesian Polytechnic University and in Television from the Higher Institute of Cuestv in Quito, Ecuador. During his professional career he worked in local television channels producing and developing programs. He was also a visual communicator and designer in EPMOP-Q and academic teacher in Ecuadorian universities.

Noah Zweig

noah-samuel Received his PhD in Film and Media Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he received the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award in the Department of Film and Media Studies in 2007. He has been published in various academic journals and books and participated in conferences focusing on media and film. In 2014, he moved to Quito, Ecuador, where he is a professor and researcher in the School of Cinema and Performing Arts at University of the Americas.

Galo Semblantes

An Ecuadorian filmmaker, he studied at the University of San Francisco in Quito, where he got his Bachelor degree in Film and Video. He also has an MFA in Filmmaking from the New York Film Academy. Currently he is working on his first documentary feature film about the Tayos Cave in Ecuador.


Optional language course

To complement the Communication Summer Academy, we offer the opportunity for students to participate in “Spanish Program” or “English for Specific Purposes: Communication Course” two weeks before the Communication Summer School starts.

The Spanish Course is designed for those who would like to learn Spanish with a special focus on communication skills and Ecuadorian cultural traditions. There will be 20 hours of classes weekly (40 hours in total) and social evening activities. The Spanish Survival Course will help you to develop your basic communication skills and will familiarize you with the local culture.
On the other hand, the English course will appeal to those students who wish to further develop their English language skills in the area of Journalism and Communication. It will provide journalistic English terms, mass media language, advertising effective vocabulary, social media structures, writing blogs techniques, and more. It will be taught by experienced UDLA professors from the Faculty of Languages. In order to participate in the English course you will be required to take a placement test or have the international B1 level certificate.

During the course, students will have the opportunity to participate in tourist activities that will allow them to explore the beauty of Quito. They will also take a trip to visit the equator at the Middle of the World and enjoy extraordinary views from one of the highest volcanos in Ecuador: Cotopaxi.

We encourage students to travel on their own in their free time with their new friends and host families. In Ecuador you can explore the grasslands and snow-capped volcanoes of the highlands; the dry tropical forests and mangroves of the coast; the rich diversity of the Amazon Region and of course the famous Galápagos Islands. It is easy to move around the country using very affordable public transportation which makes exploring perfect for student´s budget.


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* This programme is subject to final confirmation