Cannes Lions Study Abroad Spotlight

By Francisca Zakowicz-Blanco

Studying abroad is something that so many students want to do, but many students are nervous about taking the first step. The benefits of studying abroad are endless and include cultivating unique experiences and forming lasting memories. The University of Georgia, specifically Grady College, offers a wide variety of study abroad programs that encourage students to not only study abroad during their time at UGA, but to make the most out of the experience. I interviewed Ellie Hamrick to learn a little bit more about her experience studying abroad on the Cannes Lions program through Grady, focused on global advertising and marketing.

What was your favorite part of this program? What is your favorite thing that you learned on this program?

In general, the festival was super cool. It was really interesting to see all of the businesses there including Spotify and Meta. All their festival booths were very interactive and I loved learning about how they advertise. Though technically not a part of the program, I met a bunch of people on this trip and we would hop on the train to explore towns on the French Riviera, which was also so fun.

What makes this program unique from other study abroad programs?

It’s really unique because we get to attend the festival. At the festival, we talked to a lot of people who were there with their respective PR and advertising agencies which was awesome. A sentiment that people expressed to me was how cool it was that I got to experience this festival as a 20-year-old because so many people at the festival were middle-aged or older and it was also their first time at the festival.

Hamrick, pictured right, with friends at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.

Do you feel like the length of time was enough to experience Cannes?

I think the length of time was perfect. It was two weeks of classes and then one week of the festival. You get to experience the French Riviera fully without getting tired of it.

How did going on the Cannes trip help you with your future career goals?

Honestly, being in Cannes and at the festival really taught me how to network. I was very shy beforehand and it was hard for me to step out of my comfort zone, so this festival really encouraged me to break out of my shell. Since I’m a PR major, it was really cool to learn something different and learn about global advertising.

What is something you would tell people who are wanting to go on this program in the future?

I would say just to take advantage of the festival – it really is such an amazing opportunity. Go to the different tents, network with others and just enjoy the experience.