Once again in the 2018-19 school year, the entire world became St. Thomas classrooms as 772 students studied outside the United States, which ranks ranks 17th in the nation for undergraduate study abroad participation at doctoral institutions, and the top in Minnesota.
The Office of Study Abroad’s annual Study Abroad Photo Contest helps capture some of the countless amazing experiences Tommies have while abroad, highlighting the many ways in which St. Thomas students are engaging globally on J-Term, semester- and yearlong programs.
“The Office of Study Abroad thanks all of the student participants for the opportunity to see the world through your eyes,” staff members said.
Photos were submitted in four categories. First-, second- and third-place winners in each category received cash prizes:
- The Global Classroom: Students captured learning happening within the landscape and/or culture of their host country.
- A Sense of Place: Students captured the landscape and culture of the unique atmosphere of their host country.
- Tommies Abroad: Photos captured St. Thomas students abroad in a way that reflects the overall study abroad experience and/or St. Thomas pride.
- Most Epic Selfie: Epic selfies were voted on via the Study Abroad Facebook page to determine a winner.
Check out the winning photos below, as well as on display in O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library and on the Study Abroad website and Facebook page.
“Tommie Pride in Petra” in Petra, Jordan. “Tommies enjoy the beautiful view after hiking alongside donkeys and camels above the ancient tombs of Petra, Jordan.”
“Rafting Down Under” in Australia. “This photo was taken on a day off of class in Cairns, Australia, during our white water rafting adventure.”
“Making New Friends in Plaça Catalunya” in Barcelona, Spain. “My family had visited me in Barcelona in October 2019, and my sister and I were in Plaza Catalunya (one of the busiest/main plaza) where the hundreds of pigeons were. I was taking a photo of my sister when a pigeon just landed on my back, so I decided to take a selfie with it.”
“Wool” in Imbabura Province, Ecuador. “Our group was grateful to spend one weekend of our trip in the Imbabura Province, an area where many indigenous and Afro-Ecuadorian people live. Here we were welcomed into Kichua-Otavalo families, participating in their daily farming, cooking and cultural celebrations. We had the opportunity to watch a weaving demonstration by one of the few traditional weavers still operating. In the photo, my classmate Carlos attempts the intricate and vigorous process of combing out the wool.”
“Tommies Take on Trolltunga Hike” in Trolltunga, Norway. “My Australian rugby teammate/best friend and I decided in spring to take a trip to Norway to get out of crazy London and enjoy what we heard was gorgeous scenery and nature in Norway. In middle school I had seen a photo from the infamous Trolltunga hike and knew it was in Norway, so naturally I NEEDED to do that hike. I convinced my buddy that it was a good idea to drive the four hours to complete this 28-kilometer hike. We arrived and hiked through swampy/wet/snowy/squishy ‘trails’ for what seemed like forever, constantly wondering if we were going the right way, when all of a sudden we turned the corner and saw the picturesque view of the picture I had seen in middle school. We ate our lunch and took in the view, took as many pictures as possible and I threw up the St. Thomas flag for an awesome picture. Through the water, snow and ice we had wind burns and soggy boots but there’s nothing I would have changed about that day; the journey and rewarding view were all worth it.”
“The Colors of Spain” in Barcelona. “A beautiful sunset at Sagrada Família.”
“Who knew camels had such great smiles?” in Assilah, Morocco. “While studying in Spain, I went on a trip to Morocco for a weekend. I made the impulse decision to sign up for a camel riding excursion on the beach in Assilah. The sights, sounds and smells made for an unforgettable memory!”
“Drumming Back to My Irish Roots” in Tenerife, Canary Islands. “My friends and I stumbled upon an Irish pub in the Canary Islands and before I knew it, I was volunteered to go on stage. We were the youngest people there by 20 years, but playing the Irish drum alongside English retirees in a pub in the Canary Islands was a definite highlight of my study abroad experience.”
“Charm is a product of the unexpected” in Cuba. “Before we left Havana, a few friends and I decided to take a tour around the city in a vintage car. Cuba is a remarkable country full of color and people eager to share their rich history. We were welcomed by our host families and the residents with nothing but excitement and care. This UMAIE course let me collaborate with students from other universities across the Midwest and engage in critical dialogue about US-Cuban relations and what the future has in store for this country. I was able to set foot in a land not seen by most Americans. I recommend going to countries you’ve only heard about on the news or in pop culture. I assure that once you get there, and let the people around you tell THEIR stories, you’ll see everything in a different light.”
“London Eye-Ball” in London, England. ” In my time abroad in London I took a lot of walks down by the Thames; there’s so much going on by the river always. On this particular walk I brought my photo equipment with me and a glass ball. I designed the shot to look at the London Eye through a new lens. At the time I had thought it was a cool photo that provided an interesting perspective on a subject that is often photographed plainly.”
“Studying by Snorkeling” in South Caicos, Turks and Caicos Islands. “Snorkeling was a significant part of my study abroad program in the Turks and Caicos Islands. We snorkeled to study for exams by observing various marine species, and even took a few exams while snorkeling at different reefs and writing on underwater slates. During our field research projects, we snorkeled to study fish populations, coral reef health and seagrass bed communities. This photo was taken during one of the recreational snorkels we had the opportunity to go on twice a week. It was both incredibly calming and exciting to be swimming in the middle of the ocean alongside sea turtles, eagle rays and massive schools of fish.”
“Snowy Classroom” in Vik, Iceland. “A friend of mine studying in Scotland and I had the awesome idea to go to Iceland when we had free time in our semester abroad. We arrived in Iceland on separate planes and met together at our hostel. The next morning we hopped in our rental car and drove three hours from Reykjavik to Vik through a heavy snowstorm to go check out ice caves that form when water melts through glaciers. We arrived at our pickup point, we then met our guide and got in these vans with oversized/huge tires that drove us through fields of snow three feet deep. The photo here is us leaving the ice cave while the snowstorm we had fought all morning still raged on.”