When students study abroad, they may wander the streets of Rome, maybe even climb Mt. Everest, but some fashion merchandising students at TCU will be diving headfirst into the catwalks and fashion headquarters of New York City this upcoming May.
The students in the fashion merchandising department are being offered a three week program in New York this summer.
Madison Schwan, a senior fashion merchandising major, said she has been on the two trips offered by the program. The program alternates between New York and Paris every other year.
“I think both the Paris and New York trip are equally beneficial," Schwan said. "If students have the opportunity to go on both trips, it is even better because it opens up your eyes to two different realms of the fashion industry,” Schwan said.
Schwan said Paris was a cultural shock and New York was a huge learning experience.
“My favorite experience of the New York trip was meeting Tommy Hilfiger himself," she said. "I was so in shock when we went to the headquarters, I just froze.”
"Students gain intern and career prospects and major networking skills while in New York,” said Janace Bubonia, associate professor and head of summer programs for the fashion program at TCU.
Bubonia said about 20-24 students attend the summer trips every year.
Brittany Justice, a junior double major in fashion merchandising and business marketing, is one student who is going to New York this May.
Justice said she decided to go on the New York trip this Maymester so that she can graduate on time and take the History of Contemporary Dress class that is available.
“This trip has a real life component that deals with the class we will be taking before hand,” she said.
Justice is looking forward to exploring the industry through another perspective and hoping to go straight into an internship in New York after the trip.
Bubonia said the students would take History of Contemporary Dress taught by herself, or Consumers in the Market Place, taught by Professor Patricia Warrington before the actual trip.
The program fee is $1,700 which includes hotel lodging in New York for six nights, 12 professional appointments, metro card, MET Museum costume exhibition, Circle Line cruise, one group tea at the Pierre Hotel and one Broadway show. The course that is taken beforehand is an additional fee of $3,600.
Bubonia said there are a few more spots available for those who want to take the course and make the trip, but there are no more information sessions. Students must contact her by email or phone.
Schwan and Justice both advise students to take the opportunity if it is accessible to them.
“You get a goosebump-like feeling when you are in the playground of Coco Chanel, and the fast-paced lifestyle in New York motivated me to make it in the fashion industry,” Schwan said.