We understand that many times, a student’s choice to go abroad is made possible thanks to the support of his or her parents.
This page is for you – not only to explore the hands-on training programs we offer, but to find out more about what perhaps what right now concerns you most: safety, health, and tuition fees, amongst other issues.
We are here to help and have put together the most frequently asked questions we have received from parents in the past. That said, if you have any questions not listed here, please feel free to contact us.
Mother of Katie Bandish, RGNN Academy Class of 2017.
“At first I was concerned and very apprehensive with Katie going to Cuba and had many questions about the travel and arrangements. The staff at ROOSTERGNN were extremely thorough and prompt with their responses and very accommodating. They addressed every doubt I had to where I could relax knowing Katie was in great hands. My daughter thoroughly enjoyed the program and the ability to indulge in the culture of Cuba by living in colonial houses with Cuban families. It was exciting for her to experience new foods and living conditions that differed from her own. Her stories about the wonderful locals and the music that filled the streets bring a smile to her face every time she tells her stories. She met wonderful new friends on the trip and shared many good times with them. Katie has traveled to other countries but found Cuba to be a very unique experience. She so appreciated the learning opportunity to write and publish articles and indulge in her other passion of photography. I would definitely recommend this trip to others.
Katie enjoyed working with peers and mentors and learning more about travel journalism. She enjoyed the group she was traveling with and was delighted to meet and interview the locals for the articles she published. In addition, living with the host families was a great opportunity for Katie to practice her Spanish and learn more about the culture.
I know I was personally concerned about the travel and the fact this was only the second trip to Cuba for this program. I was thoroughly impressed by the staff at RGNN and their responsiveness to answering all of my questions. For example, I did not want Katie to sit in the airport for several hours upon her arrival and wait for the next group bus, so RGNN staff assisted in getting Katie car service that we paid a little extra for. They went the extra mile to let me know Katie arrived safely and was with her group. They sent a great group photo of all the students on Day 1.”
Father of Alessia Bisini, RGNN Academy Class of 2016.
“At ROOSTERGNN, my daughter Alessia Bisini learned how to improve her writing and reporting skills, and she also gained a lot of confidence in speaking a foreign language. At first I was a little apprehensive because I didn’t know what to expect from this experience, but it turned out she not only had a whole lot of fun, but she also learned something new, which will help her greatly in her future. The best thing about the Journalism Internship & Mentoring Program at ROOSTERGNN was for Alessia to have the opportunity to learn from the best in the industry: real journalists with a lot of experience. Would I recommend this program to future students who are looking to get hands-on journalism experience? Absolutely yes.”
Father of Ana Londoño RGNN Academy Class of 2016,
“I am really happy that my daughter, Ana Londoño, went to ROOSTERGNN. There she explored the journalism career, learning about different jobs that she can have once she graduates from Emerson College. When we were first looking for summer programs abroad, I told her she should choose a shorter program because of the lack of funds we had. However, I was concerned that in two weeks she was not going to learn anything. On the contrary, she came home having learned about subjects, such as fixers, that she wouldn’t have learned at school.
I think the best thing about ROOSTERGNN was qualified mentors. When we saw the list of experts, we were happily surprised that she was going to learn from journalists with a great history of experience. However, we never expected how helpful they would be. They gave my daughter excellent feedback that she can use again in the future.”
Mother of James Rae, RGNN Academy Class of 2017
“My son James started talking about going on the Cuba Travel Journalism & Photography Internship & Mentoring Program in October 2016. I didn’t take it too seriously at first but then he asked for his 18th birthday money in advance so he could pay for the trip!! I was not at all sure about it and did a lot of research into safety in Cuba and ROOSTERGNN Academy. I was reassured that it was all above board and James was passionate about going so he set of with my blessing early in January, just 10 days after his 18th birthday.
There is no doubt that he loved every minute of his time in Cuba. He has learned so much about journalism and photography. He enjoyed meeting people from all over the globe and particularly liked meeting the Cuban people. He loved the color and the scenery.
Before he went I said it would either be an expensive mistake or it would be the best thing he ever did in terms of setting him on a career path. Fortunately, the latter is the case; James is now determined to have a career in travel journalism as a result of his time on the RGNN Internship & Mentoring Program in Cuba. Research everything you are concerned about. You might find a lot of your fears are unfounded. This was a well organized, worthwhile trip.”
OOSTERGNN was qualified mentors. When we saw the list of experts, we were happily surprised that she was going to learn from journalists with a great history of experience. However, we never expected how helpful they would be. They gave my daughter excellent feedback that she can use again in the future.”
The importance of hands-on training
In today’s increasingly competitive job market, practical experience is fundamental. Especially in the fields of journalism, communications, marketing, social media, public relations, fashion and more, future employers will frequently request samples of published works, previous hands-on experience and/or professional references before hiring a candidate.
ROOSTERGNN Academy specializes in hands-on training. From day one, students learn from our prestigious Experts and Mentors, acquiring the latest tools and skills, attending Editorial/Communications/Marketing/Social Media/Fashion Meetings, hands-on Workshops, Mentoring Sessions and Feedback. At the end of each program, students graduate with a series of certifications, please read the full program for the specific certifications included in a particular program.
ROOSTERGNN Academy certifies academic credit for all programs completed. Again, please read the full program for the specific certifications included in a particular program.
ROOSTERGNN follows a strict evaluation process for issuing academic and/or curricular documentation. Students must have completed all requirements of the program to obtain any type of academic and/or curricular documentation.
The benefits of study and internships abroad
All of the Experts and Mentors at ROOSTERGNN Academy are bilingual (English and Spanish).
All of our programs can be completed entirely in English. Spanish skills are not required.
The tuition fee for the Internship & Mentoring Program includes central accommodations in the city of Madrid. The accommodations are double rooms (2 students per room). The accommodations will be assigned by ROOSTERGNN according to availability of the different Academy locations in Madrid.
If you are applying with a friend and would like to be placed in the same accommodation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to indicate this.
Food is not included in the tuition fees. Madrid offers a wide variety of dining options for all budgets, from affordable tapas (1-2 Euros) to menús del día (daily menus, ranging between 8-12 Euros for a first course, second course, dessert, coffee/tea).
We highly recommend that, once in Madrid, students purchase a metro-bus (subway-bus) ticket to get around the city. For more information, please consult the official subway website here.
The nearest airport to fly in to is Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez International Airport, in-flight search engines found as “MAD”.
Money and budgeting
Your son or daughter will need to budget for food and drinks. Depending on his or her lifestyle choices, the budget will vary. We usually recommend between 100 and 200 Euros per week to cover these costs.
Madrid is a well-connected city. Numerous cafés and all public libraries have Wifi. The library at the Reina Sofia Museum is a particularly beautiful option for conducting research with free Wifi (more information here). All EMT (red public buses) have also been equipped with wifi.
It is recommended that students purchase a pre-paid phone or SIM card in order to save on local and international calls while in Madrid. Another option is to consult with your local phone company back home to see if you can get an affordable international data plan.
Health and Safety
In the case of an emergency, family and friends can contact RGNN Academy via email or phone. Students are also asked to list two emergency contacts in their pre-arrival forms. Enrolled students will be provided with a local emergency support number, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, during the Internship & Mentoring Program.
Enrolled students will be provided with details (such as the nearest public hospital, 24-hour pharmacy and police station) in their Welcome Packets. We also recommend the following English-speaking Private Clinic: Unidad Medica Angloamericana, Calle del Conde de Aranda 1, 28001 Madrid, +34 91 435 18 23. www.unidadmedica.com
Medical and travel insurance is not included in the tuition fee. It is highly recommended that students consult with the insurance company to obtain medical coverage during their travels to and stay in Spain.
Visas and flights are not included in the tuition fee. Please consult with your local embassy or consulate on visa regulations for your nationality. Generally speaking, most students visiting Spain for less than 90 days will not require a visa.
Additional travel information
It is highly recommended that students consult updated Madrid/Spain guidebooks and/or the consulates or embassies in their respective countries for additional travel information.
Accommodation in colonial “boutique” style houses with Cuban host families. The Cuba program tuition fee includes housing in colonial “boutique” style houses with Cuban host families specifically selected by RGNN in Havana and Trinidad, with a Cuban family to welcome and attend to them. The accommodation is shared in double rooms (2 students per room). The rooms, of a colonial style, are spacious and well illuminated, and all of them have their own bathroom and air conditioning. All of the houses moreover have a spacious common area, such as a salon or rooftop terrace, to study and work on the projects assigned. The accommodations will be assigned by ROOSTERGNN according to the availability of the different Academy locations in the selected city.
The Cuba program tuition fee includes daily breakfast. Please consult the full program and terms for more information.
Money and budgeting
Your son or daughter will need to budget for food and drinks. Depending on his or her lifestyle choices, the budget will vary. We usually recommend around 200 CUC (equivalent to 200 Euros) per week to cover these costs.
We highly recommend that students carry cash, for example in a money belt. U.S. credit and debit cards are still not completely operative on the island and bank transfers to local Cuban bank accounts can be difficult.
Cuba is changing by the minute, and wifi is becoming more and more available (see this article in the BBC here). U.S. apps such as Skype are also not completely operative on the island, although that, too, is subject to change.
It is recommended that students consult with their local cell phone company back home to see if they can get an affordable international data plan that covers Cuba. All students and parents can call a Cuba-based cell phone number, to be picked up by our 24-hour local support staff. More info will be provided to enrolled students.
Health and Safety
The Cuba program includes local, bilingual (English and Spanish) support staff available 24 hours a day, to accompany students in any medical or other emergencies.
In the case of an emergency, family and friends can contact RGNN Academy via email or phone, as well as a Cuba-based cell phone number from our 24-hour local support staff (details will be provided to enrolled students in their Welcome Packets).
Students are also asked to list two emergency contacts in their pre-arrival forms.
Medical and travel insurance is not included in the tuition fee. It is highly recommended that students consult with the insurance company to obtain medical coverage during their travels to and stay in Cuba.
Visas and flights
Please consult the following link for updates on visas and flights for U.S. students here.
Additional travel information
It is highly recommended that students consult updated Cuba guidebooks and/or the consulates or embassies in their respective countries for additional travel information.
ROOSTERGNN Global News Network (RGNN.org) and its Academy are non-profit organizations that support hands-on education of the next generation of journalism and communications professionals.
Thanks to the support of our benefactors, we are offering need-based scholarships and financial aid for our RGNN Academy programs. We hope that this need-based funding policy will allow talented students, who otherwise would not have the financial means to afford the full tuition fee, to participate in our RGNN Academy programs.