Journalism professor’s last year at Baylor to end with study abroad trip

Professor Maxey Parrish is in his last year of teaching before retiring. Audrey La | Photographer

By Briana Garcia | LTVN Reporter/Anchor

Since 2009, Baylor professor Maxey Parrish has traveled the world with students. As the program director for study abroad programs in the journalism department, he has been to Australia, Nicaragua and Spain. Now, Parrish is looking forward to his final year before retirement.

“I am sad that this is Professor Parrish’s last year leading the program at Baylor,” Austin junior Logan Foust said. “However, I am grateful that I get to join him for his last study abroad program.”

Parrish joined the staff as a professor in 2001. In 2009, he applied and became the program director for Baylor in Maastricht.

“That trip made me convinced that we needed our program for our department,” Parrish said. “I took 50 students on that trip, and they were every major under the sun.”

Parrish helped start up the study abroad program for the journalism department. Baylor in Florence and Baylor in Maastricht were the locations from 2011 to 2015, but Parrish knew something was missing from students’ experience.

“Florence lost a lot of its appeal because it was overrun by American tourists,” Parrish said. “Sure, it’s got the heart and the history, but there were too many American tourists.”

Parrish said that he and the global engagement committee started talking about other places, and Budapest jumped to the top. There were no study abroad programs in Eastern Europe, and Parrish knew this would be a great location for students to gain an amazing experience.

“I had an affinity for Eastern Europe, so I was very excited,” Parrish said.

Parrish’s trip to Budapest consisted of two things that he wanted his students to gain. The first is to advance in their journalism skills. Parrish said that the program is a stimulating atmosphere, and students have a setting where they have an array of things to photograph, write about and even use for social media.

“I want them to advance their skills in a way that I don’t just teach a class, then a lecture and an assignment,” Parrish said.

Parrish said that at the end of the program, the students come together and develop a website that is a bundled version of the web magazine. Everyone can work on different things and come together to have the final project completed.

“The finished product makes you better — rather than if I just say, ‘Hey, go out and write an 800-word feature story,’ because you’re not contributing to something bigger,” Parrish said.

The second concept that Parrish wanted his students to gain during their trip is culture inversion. He said that he wants the students to experience what the citizens of that country go through.

“What really compelled me to study abroad is the aspect that we get to immerse ourselves into the culture of others,” Foust said. “Baylor and Professor Parrish are doing a good job at helping us achieve this by housing us in apartments rather than hotels.”

Foust said that the students also get to experience going to grocery stores and learning how to make native dishes.

“Staying in the city also allows us to explore the sites around us,” Foust said.

If you’re interested in learning more about Baylor in Budapest or other study abroad programs, you can visit the website for information about dates and COVID-19 guidelines.