Welcome to ROOSTERGNN Academy!
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.
“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.”
— Jackie Bandish, mother of Katie Bandish, RGNN Academy Class of 2017, Havana & Trinidad, Cuba
“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 the 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.”
— Ignacio Londoño, father of Ana Londoño, RGNN Academy Class of 2016, Madrid, Spain
“My son James started talking about going on the Cuba Travel Journalism & Photography Internship Seminar 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 Seminar 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.”
— Lorraine Rae, mother of James Rae, RGNN Academy Class of 2017, Havana & Trinidad, Cuba
“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 Seminar 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.”
— Attilio Bisini, father of Alessia Bisini, RGNN Academy Class of 2016, Madrid, Spain
ROOSTERGNN Global News Network (RGNN.org) is a non-profit news agency promoting freedom of expression and journalism education. We currently have more than 700 contributors worldwide, publishing content in English and Spanish.
ROOSTERGNN has been featured in numerous media outlets, including The Guardian, National Geographic and El País. ROOSTERGNN journalists have gone on to write for The Huffington Post and Reuters, amongst others.
The ROOSTERGNN Academy arises from the need for hands-on journalism education. Our programs provide real-world experience and training, connecting students with recognized experts in the field and giving them the necessary tools to successfully pursue their profession.
In today’s increasingly competitive job market, practical experience is fundamental. Especially in the fields of journalism and communications, 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 prestigious Experts and Mentors, acquiring the latest tools and skills, attending Editorial Meetings, Journalism Workshops, Photography & Video Workshops, Mentoring Sessions and Feedback. At the end of each program, students graduate with a portfolio of published content, published in the global news agency, with the student’s name on each of his or her articles and/or photographs.
ROOSTERGNN Academy certifies academic credit for all programs completed. Academic documentation included is subject to each program, and may include but is not limited to,
- Certifications of Portfolio of Published Content.
- Journalism, Photography & Video Internship Certifications.
- Journalism, Photography & Video Seminar Certifications.
- Certifications of Academic Credit.
- Processing of University Agreements (Convenios) and/or other External Documentation for University Academic Credit.
- Letters of Recommendation of Merit.
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.
Please consult the following links for details on the academic documentation included in each program:
- Academic documentation available for Travel Journalism, Photography & Video Internship Seminar in Madrid, Spain.
- Academic documentation available for Travel Journalism & Photography Internship Seminar in Havana and Trinidad, Cuba.
The benefits of study and internships abroad
All of the Experts and Mentors at ROOSTERGNN Academy are bilingual. To participate in the program, it is required that students have knowledge of at least ONE of these languages. Students can choose to write their articles in English, Spanish or both (English-Spanish). Students who are interested in improving their Spanish skills while abroad can do so speaking to their Mentors in Spanish, interviewing locals, or even writing articles entirely in Spanish.
Success stories of ROOSTERGNN Academy graduates
Please consult the following link to read about success stories:
Housing in furnished studio apartments selected by RGNN in the central neighborhood of Salamanca in Madrid, Spain. Thirteen (13) nights. Housing is shared in double apartments (2 individual beds). Each studio apartment has its own bathroom and kitchen, air-conditioning, as well as weekly cleaning and change of sheets and towels. The building moreover has wifi, 24 hour concierge, laudromat and dryer room, swimming pool and sundeck. The entry of persons foreign to the Program is not permitted in the houses. Alcohol within the apartments is also not permitted. RGNN will assign accommodation.
Please note that the location and time of all Seminar-related activities will be sent out in the Welcome Packet shortly before the start of the Seminar.
Apart from program-related activities, such as cultural immersion events and site visits, food is not included in the tuition fee. 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 (subway) ticket to get around the city. There are 10 ride tickets (called “metro-bus”) available at metro stops for 12,20 Euros (prices from March 2016), which are valid for subways and buses.
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. For accommodation costs, please see above.
Madrid is a well-connected city. Public libraries, such as Biblioteca Manuel Alvar (Calle de Azcona 42) 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 a affordable international data plan.
Health and Safety
In the case of an emergency, family and friends can contact RGNN Academy via firstname.lastname@example.org or +34 911 287 235. Students are also asked to list two emergency contacts in their pre-arrival forms. Enrolled students will be provided witha local emergency support number, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Useful emergency contacts include:
Nearest Public Hospital: Hospital Universitario de la Princesa, Calle de Diego Leon 62, 28006 Madrid, +34 915 20 22 00.
Nearest 24-hour Pharmacy: Farmacia Astura 24h, Calle Francisco Silvela 36, 28028 Madrid, +34 91 35 63 573.
Nearest Police Station: Comisaría de Distrito Madrid Salamanca, Calle del Príncipe de Asturias 8, 28006 Madrid, +34 91 444 81 20.
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.
Our Cuba program includes accommodation in colonial “boutique” style houses with Cuban host families, all of which have been hand-picked by ROOSTERGNN Staff. The houses are located in Central Havana and Central Trinidad, with a Cuban family to welcome and attend to them. The accommodation is generally in shared in double rooms (2 individual beds) and there is also one big triple room (3 individual beds) in Trinidad and several single rooms (1 individual bed) in Trinidad and Havana. 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 journalistic projects assigned. The entry of persons foreign to the Program (Cubans and non-Cubans) is not permitted in the houses. The sale of alcohol within the houses is also not permitted. RGNN will assign accommodation.
Our Cuba program includes half-board: daily breakfast and daily lunch (or packed lunch for days in which an excursion is organized), as listed in the program, please read it here.
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.
The Cuba program includes transporation to all program-related activities, as well as airport pick-up and drop-off at Havana airport. Students will be asked to provide their flight details before the program. More information will be provided to enrolled students.
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@example.com or +34 911 287 235, as well as a Cuba-based cell phone number from our 24-hour local support staff.
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.
Please consult this link for our Madrid, Spain, program tuition fees.
Please consult this link for our Cuba program tuition fees.
ROOSTERGNN Academy follows a rigorous selection process for all programs, including an interview for every candidate. Once a student has been accepted by ROOSTERGNN, he/she will have seventy-two (72) business hours to pay a five-hundred (500) deposit. There are payment plans available for the rest of the tuition fee payment for both the Cuba and Madrid program.
Tuition fees should be paid via bank transfer or cash deposit into a bank account that will be provided to selected candidates on the Enrollment Confirmation Form. ROOSTERGNN Academy is legally represented by ARXALIA FACMAN S.L., Calle Juan Bravo 58-60, 28006 Madrid, Spain, with tax number CIF B-85232023. ARXALIA FACMAN S.L. handles all of our accounting, management and legal issues. Payments will be made to a bank account by ARXALIA FACMAN S.L. Once accepted, each student will receive a unique internal reference number so that payments can be tracked correctly.
All tuition fees, including the deposit, are non-refundable and non-transferable. ROOOSTERGNN reserves the right to terminate the enrollment of any student who does not respect the norms or mission of the program.
Important note: the tuition fee stated is the exact amount in Euros to be received by the ROOSTERGNN Academy. Students are responsable for inquiring with their bank about possible wire transfer fees, and if so, for covering fees incurred by their bank.
All tuition fees are subject to the program, please see the links above.
With the goal of supporting the future of journalism education, RGNN Academy offers scholarships for young journalists. Scholarships are currently only available for our Cuba program.
Please read the complete Scholarship policy here.
With the goal of supporting the future of journalism education, RGNN Academy offers Financial Aid for groups of students that apply and formalize enrollment in the same RGNN Academy Seminar.
Please read the complete Financial Aid policy here.