Students hope documentary will promote studying abroad

Published 5:11 pm Friday, March 24, 2017

LaGRANGE – Three LaGrange College sophomore students – Jamal Shakir, Marcus Campbell and Shamar Slappy – are in the process of raising money to work on a multimedia production overseas, a part of the Study Abroad program LaGrange College offers its students.

Shakir, Slappy and Campbell all participated in JanTerm, which is a mini-semester that takes place in the month of January and gives students the opportunity to study different courses and not traditional academic courses. In JanTerm, all three studied film and became intrigued with the idea of studying film abroad.

“I’m a film production major, so for me getting the opportunity to shoot hands-on is a major plus for me,” said Shakir. “I took a media production course during this past JanTerm, which allowed me to do a lot of things behind the camera to enhance my ability and I wanted to take it further with the study abroad opportunity.”

“I took the JanTerm class with Jamal and throughout the class, I fell in love with camera work, editing and all the training that goes into it,” said Slappy, a business marketing major. “So when Jamal thought of the idea, I was on board with it.”

“I was also in the JanTerm class with them and I fell in love with the editing and the whole process with the camera work,” said Campbell, also a business marketing major.

The film production the three will be working on will consist of shooting a documentary that will include promotional scenes and commercials for the institution that will reveal to other students how remarkable the experience of studying abroad can be and compare what it’s like for students studying overseas to what it’s like studying in America.

“The objective will be to compare and contrast students studying at their home school and then students studying abroad,” said Shakir. “We want to look into the cultural adaptation and just see how the education overseas differs from the education here. We want to show students the first-hand experience they will get studying abroad and the reasons why every student should experience it, if they have the chance to.”

The trip will take place over a course of 10 days in Italy. The three will spend the first four days in Rome, then they will travel to Naples and will wrap up the trip in Florence.

“We definitely want to get first-hand experience,” said Slappy. “Going into the documentary, we like to communicate with some locals and see their perspective of other people coming into their country. Things like that.”

The project needs an estimated of $7,000 (which also includes materials needed to shoot the footage) and the trip will take place starting on Jan. 9, 2019. In the meantime, Shakir, Campbell and Slappy have sent cover letters out to multiple businesses to help with the funding of their documentary.

While they continue to search and raise enough funds for their upcoming trip, all three are excited and feel like showing a documentary like this to other students will encourage them to travel overseas to both learn and experience something different culturally.

“I’m excited because this is something I’ve never done because I’ve never been outside the country,” said Campbell. “I think it’s important that the school does this production because I feel it will attract students to the school and convince students that are already at the school to take the JanTerm and want to go overseas to study.”

“It’s very important to me because I have a passion for filmmaking and I have a chance to help my college,” said Shakir. “The documentary will attract students to the college and will help them see different things. It will help them step outside their comfort zone and give them a chance to see what the experience of studying abroad can be like.”

“Me personally, I’m really excited about it,” said Slappy. “Just having the opportunity to study abroad. I feel like this doesn’t get talked about enough. I feel like that should change and every student should have the chance to go overseas and study. LaGrange College offers it to everyone and I think students should take advantage of it.”


Reach James Simpson II at 706-884-7311, ext. 2155, or by email at