Academics and Research

Photo contest lets student share study-abroad experiences

Senior international business major Scott Larson finished his study-abroad trip to the Burgundy School of Business in Dijon, France, by joining some American friends for a trip to Morocco. “We went on a camel ride through some small villages and towns, but we weren’t allowed to photograph in the villages,” Larson says. “This was one of my favorite pictures from the camel ride tour. It was definitely an eye-opening experience.”

From the Great Wall of China to the Eiffel Tower, from elephants in Thailand to sea turtles in the Great Barrier Reef, DU students have seen it all. And they’ve captured it all with visual mementos documenting their study-abroad adventures.

Each year since 2003, students returning from studying abroad have submitted their prized photographs for a chance to win a photo contest hosted by the Office of International Education.

The contest gives students an opportunity to share their transformational global experiences with the DU community when they return to campus.

“The Study Abroad Photo Contest is one of the most fun things we get to do during the year,” says Paula Knutson, operations coordinator for the Office of Internationalization. “We see them so much before they go abroad, but when they get back that’s what we see, is their pictures.”

DU ranks third in the nation in the percentage of undergraduate students who study abroad from U.S. higher education institutions, according to the Institute of International Education’s 2011 Open Doors Report. In 2009–10, 824 DU undergraduate students studied abroad, boosting DU’s ranking by one spot over the previous year.

Through the University’s Cherrington Global Scholars program, eligible students can study abroad for the same price they would pay for tuition and fees while on campus. DU also helps students pay for travel-related costs, such as transportation and fees for visa applications and insurance. DU currently offers more than 150 study-abroad programs in 58 countries.

“Deciding to study abroad is the best decision I ever made,” says junior communication studies and French major Merrill Pierce, who studied in Senegal in fall 2011 and who received honorable mentions for two of her travel photos. “The hospitality of the Senegalese people, the vibrancy of the country’s art and music, and the overall richness of the culture deeply impacted how I see our world.”

See a slide show of the contest-winning images here.

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