The Office of Study Abroad at St. Thomas congratulates this year’s winners of its annual Study Abroad Photo Contest.
The winning photos will be on display in O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library in Coffee Bene, the Anderson Student Center, and on the Study Abroad website and Facebook page.
The photos were judged by members of the Office of Study Abroad, Art History Department, Campus Stores, Disability Resources, Campus Life, Anderson Student Center staff and a study abroad returnee.
First-place winners received $100, second place received $50 and third place received $25. The winning photos of the contest represent a glimpse into the many different experiences students had studying throughout the world.
This year over 300 photos were submitted into three categories:
- A Sense of Place: capturing the place and landscape of the unique atmosphere of the country in which you were a guest
- An Intercultural Experience: capturing an interaction between the host culture and students that features learning, play, shared labor, music, dance, cooking, outdoor adventures and more
- Tommies Abroad: photos of St. Thomas students abroad that reflect the overall study abroad experience and St. Thomas pride
Congratulations, winners! (Click photos to expand into slideshow.)
First Place, Intercultural Experience: Jessica Brown, Karatu, Tanzania. “Learning the ways of the Masaii: I had the opportunity to learn about the traditional Masaii people. They’re the largest tribal group throughout Tanzania, where over 145 tribes are present. Each has its only language and characteristics that make it stand out. The Masaii people are traditionally known for being herders and having a diet that consisted of only of what they could get from a cow: blood, milk and meat. Nowadays not all Masaii still practice these customs.”
Second Place, Intercultural Experience: Jessica Brown, Karatu, Tanzania. “Masaii warriors: After puberty Masaii boys go through a period where they become warriors. This includes getting their own food without family help and often living without their families for months at a time. They live with other young men caring for their families’ cattle. To get enough grass they travel far distances at times. During this period they grow their hair out until they complete their training. When they shave that is when they become full warriors.”
Third Place, International Experience: Tori Soderberg, Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. “Smilin’ Sadhus: Throughout the different towns of the valley, we would frequently see sadhus on the street. They were always a sight to see with their long hair and colorful, painted faces. A sadhu is a Sanskrit word for a ‘religious ascetic’ or ‘holy man.’ The two pictured had never had their hair cut before.”
Honorable Mention, Intercultural Experience: Andrea Diamond, Istanbul, Turkey. “Lunch in the School Garden: I traveled to Istanbul, Turkey, with my Children a Multicultural Context class (from Denmark), and we made several academic visits over the course of the week. This photo was taken at Nefus Nakipoglu, which is an incredible school for students with special needs. Everyone at Nefus Nakipoglu was so warm and welcoming! At the end of our tour, the staff led us to the garden for lunch. All of the food served was prepared for us by the students and their families. It was lovely!”
Honorable Mention, Intercultural Experience: Caitlin Woodard, Kathmandu, Nepal. “A Tilaka Blessing: The Pashupatinath Temple is a sacred Hindu site near the Bagmati River, where cremation ceremonies are commonly held. Holy men and women gather here to give blessings to the living and the dead. The tilaka marking is one such blessing given.”
First Place, A Sense of Place: Jane Swingle, Santorini, Greece. “Les Cloches: I spent a week on Santorini during a break from studying in France (hence the title of the photo – ‘The Bells’ in French), and it exceeded every expectation. The island is one of those rare places that must be experienced firsthand to really understand what makes it special. It isn’t easy to capture the breathtaking ‘sense of place’ on Santorini, but I’m happy to say this photo came close.”
Second Place, Sense of Place: Tori Podzimek, Venice, Italy. “Gondola Parking: This photo was taken from the edge of Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Square) looking out over one of the many canals at Santa Maria Della Salute (Church of St. Maria). The way that Venice sits within the Mediterranean Sea is outstanding to me. Venice is technically a collection of over one hundred islands connected by foot bridges. It took my friends and I a few hours to realize why a city bustling with people was so quiet … there are no cars! Water has a natural tendency to attract human beings, but nothing can compare to this city literally on top of the sea.”
Third Place, Sense of Place: Allie Martinson, Copenhagen, Denmark. “Bicycle: Copenhagen is the first bike city in the world. Whether it is a sunny summer day or a snowy winter day you will always find the bike lanes full of Danes biking to work, school or anywhere around the city. The biking culture was one of my favorite parts about studying abroad in Copenhagen. Hopping on my bike every morning and riding to class was always so peaceful. It gave me time to reflect on the city and my time spent there.”
Honorable Mention, Sense of Place: Caitlin Woodard, Kathmandu, Nepal. “Nepali Reflection: I took this photo on my first day in Nepal. I think it perfectly captures the basic living conditions of the average Nepali. The architecture is so simple yet mesmerizing.”
Honorable Mention, Sense of Place: Caitlin Woodard, Kathmandu, Nepal. “The Boudhanath Stupa: The Boudhanath Stupa is a sacred destination for Buddhists and tourists alike. Meditations are offered by walking clockwise around the base of this stupa. Monks at the neighboring monasteries burn cedar incense, which contributes to the calming atmosphere.”
First Place, Tommies Abroad: Evan Keil, Botswana, Africa. “Farming in the heat, Tommie style: During our month-long stay in the country of Botswana, we were able to traverse much of the country. We saw public health clinics, private hospitals, HIV and TB clinics, kgotlas (the traditional courts of Botswana) and cattle posts, where this photo was taken. We took the long trek out of the city to this cattle post to see where many of Batswana (people of Botswana) make their living and were all completely humbled by their efforts to farm in such a harsh climate. We thought it appropriate to bring some Tommie purple with us on this trek to the cattle post.”
Second Place, Tommies Abroad: Evan Keil, Botswana, Africa. “Mokoro ride through the reeds: We were blessed with the opportunity to take a class in the heart of Botswana, Africa. We spent many days seeing firsthand the difficulties that Botswana has gone through and is currently facing. We ended our trip with a safari in the delta region of the country and had the opportunity to be guided through the shallow marsh area in the traditional fashion. These ‘Mokoro’ canoes are carved from a tree and used to travel across far distances – in this case, to the hippo pool.”
Third Place, Tommies Abroad: Michaela Schleinz, Tangiers, Morocco. “It’s Time for Africa: This photo was taken in Tangiers, Morocco, during a three-day trip to Africa. We departed for the trip from Seville, Spain, by bus and then took a ferry across the Strait of Gibraltar in to Morocco. Here we visited markets in Tetouan, the blue city of Chefchaouen and lastly Tangiers, where we rode camels and had lunch before departing back to Spain.”
Honorable Mention, Tommies Abroad: Andrea Diamond, Flåm, Norway. “Swing to the Mountains: This photo was taken in Flåm, Norway, while I was on a travel break from school in Denmark. Our hostel was part of the small town tucked among the fjords, and we happened upon this little swing set while exploring on our first day. I felt like a kid again!”
Honorable Mention, Tommies Abroad: Samantha Yang, Costa Rica. “A brave Tommie with the country’s most cherished animal: Costa Rica is a beautiful country filled with so many animals; however, the most colorful and beautiful animal is their national bird, the toucan. As I was waiting in line to get the chance to have the toucan on my arm, I was jumping in excitement because was so impatient. The moment the bird was set onto my arm I was so happy, I smiled so big and I almost forgot to take a picture, but I did because moments like those don’t last forever.”