For Video Produced on South Africa Study Abroad Program
By Suzanne Willever
When Tyler Horst (SMC ’15) embarked on a study abroad program in South Africa in the summer of 2014, he could only imagine the impact his experience would have on his personal and professional development.
During Temple’s four-week journalism program in Johannesburg, South Africa, Professor Linn Washington, the program director that year, tasked students with writing articles or producing videos about the "Born-Free" generation: those born into post-apartheid South Africa.
This journalism program, offered through the Study Away Office at Temple’s School of Media and Communication, first introduces students to various perspectives and resources through course excursions in and around the city being studied, for Horst, Johannesburg. Then, students must become independent journalists and producers, compiling their own stories. When they return to Philadelphia, students have one week to edit and submit their stories.
For his project, Horst was interested in how the “Born-Free” experience was articulated through the arts. . Since he has always been passionate about music, he created a short documentary, “South Africa: Born–Frees in Hip Hop (See http://bit.ly/1N9dUYO)” that examined rappers from different generations and how they expressed freedom and social responsibility through rap. In 2015, Horst received an Emmy (College/University Production) for his documentary.
According to Horst, visiting South Africa was especially enlightening because “a lot of the issues people face there are similar to our own in the U.S.—things like a politically frustrated youth and complicated race relationships coming from histories of segregation. Being able to examine our own problems through a different country's lens was empowering. On top of that, a lot of us made good friends in South Africa.”
Horst first learned the value of studying abroad in the spring of 2013, when he spent the semester on Temple’s program in Oviedo, Spain (See his blog).
“I was really invigorated by the way that living in a new place throws you off balance and makes you pay close attention to the world around you,” Horst said.
“As for the Emmy,” Horst added, “It was a huge honor to accept that win, and I couldn't have done it without the support of Prof. Washington and the other incredibly dedicated students in the program.”
Since graduation, Horst has been freelancing and producing professional work, and the Emmy win has provided a tremendous boost in the respect he receives professionally. “The great thing about having an Emmy is people start to take you seriously,” said Horst.
Even if he hadn’t won the Emmy, according to Horst studying abroad in South Africa was among the best experiences of his college career: “Showing up in a foreign country for the first time and then having five weeks to produce, shoot, and edit a short documentary by myself was such a rewarding challenge.”