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Cannes Lions Festival Study Abroad Program

A ticket to Cannes.

Brandcenter’s Cannes Lions Festival Study Abroad Program, powered by the VCU Global Education Office, offers undergraduate and graduate students a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and rub elbows with today’s top creative leaders.

Known as the “Oscars of Advertising,” the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity—held annually in Cannes, France—is the largest festival for creative communications, advertising, and related fields. Each year, the creative community gathers to learn, network, and celebrate the industry’s best work.

Through the Cannes Lions Study Abroad Program, you can score a ticket to Cannes, unlocking the opportunity to learn from industry thought leaders, digital innovators, and marketers.

Program Dates: June 1-July 9, 2024

This program includes attending the Cannes Lions Festival and pre- and post-festival work and presentations.

Pre-Festival Work: June 1-14, 2024

Beginning June 1, 2024, students will complete required pre-work. During these initial weeks, students will review award-winning material from previous years, as well as plan out their viewing strategy for the festival week. This work will be done online and asynchronously.

Cannes Lions Festival: June 15-23

From June 15-23, students will attend the Cannes Lions Festival, where they will explore and discover creativity at its finest among 90+ other countries and attend workshops, lectures, and gatherings, led by leaders of major brands and many of the best creative people in the creative industry.

Post-Festival Work & Final Presentations: June 24-July 9

Upon their return home from the festival, students will reflect on their learnings and present final projects due July 9.

Course Credit

Course Description: VCU Brandcenter Cannes Lions Festival

Students will earn 3 credits for successful completion and participation in this course.

BRND 591: Do you want a career in marketing, advertising, branding, communications, or PR? This program is for you! Attend the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and engage in workshops and talks by leaders of major brands and exceptional creative leaders. Enrollment is open to VCU and non-VCU students.


The Cannes Lions Festival Study Abroad Program is open to VCU and non-VCU university undergraduate and graduate students in the United States, who study or are otherwise interested in advertising, public relations, digital, and other marketing communications. Though an advertising or PR major is not required, an interest in a potential career in these fields is preferred. A minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher is preferred, but not required. See below for more about eligibility requirements from the VCU Global Education office.

VCU Education Abroad Program Requirements

All participants in VCU Education Abroad programs must be at least 18 years of age or older by the start of the program and degree-seeking students (at VCU or another accredited institution of higher education). Exceptions to these and other eligibility requirements require approval from both the faculty program leader and the director of Global Learning.

VCU’s Global Education Office Standards of Participation

In addition to meeting the program-specific requirements, all students who wish to participate in VCU education abroad experiences must also meet VCU’s Global Education Office standards of participation. VCU expects its study abroad participants to represent VCU with a sensitivity to cultural and other differences in the global community. Because studying abroad requires a higher level of tolerance and a willingness to adapt to the different (and sometimes much less comfortable) living and learning conditions from those on VCU’s campus, students should possess a high level of initiative, motivation, maturity, integrity, self-reliance, and adaptability to be most successful as a study abroad student. Students should demonstrate a genuine interest in cultural engagement, the ability to work in teams toward a shared goal or mission, and a willingness to encounter challenging situations.

Learn More

Visit "Cannes Lions Festival Study Abroad Program: The Power of Creativity" on the VCU Global Education Office website for more information.

Program Director

Jess Collins Headshot

Jess Collins

Professor, Strategy

About Jess Collins

An alumna of the Brandcenter, Jess Collins is a full-time strategy professor at the Brandcenter, having previously taught at the VCU Robertson School of Media and Culture for over five years. In that time, she was also the Advisor of the VCU Ad Club, which was named the 2022 VCU Student Organization of the Year. During that time, she managed over 100 club members on agency field trips, speaking panels, and workshops. She was also the ongoing coordinator for the annual VCU Ad Club trip to New York City over Spring Break to visit well-known advertising agencies. Those duties included helping students with budgeting, planning travel, and crisis management. While she did not attend those trips in person, she was on the ground at VCU fielding calls during the length of the trip to help with personal emergencies, health issues, and contact with the members’ parents.

Jess Collins was also the faculty representative chosen to visit the University of Nicosia in Cyprus during the summer of 2022. That trip was her first experience in the world of study abroad programs, where she learned immense knowledge about the way study abroad programs function, logistics including housing, transportation, and meals, as well as the amenities and level of learning students expect when creating their study abroad consideration list.

Jess is fluent in Spanish and proficient in French. She has traveled through Europe extensively, having visited the UK, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Germany, and Austria. Other international travel includes Peru, Canada, Mexico, and many of the Caribbean islands.

Ocean view of Cannes, France

The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity

Learn more about the festival.

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