Welcome to the 12th Annual Global Images Photo Contest for the 2019/20 Academic Year Photo Contest. This contest is open to all Colby Colby students who studied or worked abroad during the 2019-2020 academic year, including the summer.

Please submit your photo(s) that capture the people and places that contributed to your unique experience abroad.  Follow the guidelines and registration information in the Photo Contest Rule section below.

There are four distinct categories you can choose from and you can participate in two at once. The winning photos are selected by a student, faculty and staff panel and there are prizes to be won! Submission Deadline: Wednesday, September 30th, midnight.

 

Four Photo Contest Categories (see rules for full description):

 

Landscapes and Streetscapes: A landscape or streetscape that reveals your vision of the place you visited and provides a sense of that place.

 

    

Portraits: A portrait of a person or group of people you encountered abroad. 

 

    

The Global Classroom: A representation of an academic aspect of your off-campus study experience.

 

 

Environment: Representation of an environmental issue (climate, sustainability, etc.)

 

 

Photo Contest Rules

Title

CONTEST RULES

  1. Submit up to 2 photos, each photo must be in a different category and from international locations outside the U.S.
  2. Send high resolution, original photos (minimum size of 1MB) — photos copied from Facebook or your phone do not have high enough resolution for enlargement.
  3. Photos must have a file name that includes your Lastname_Firstname_class year_ Country.jpg. Please put PHOTO CONTEST ENTRY in the subject line of your email.
  4. Submit “Photo Registration Form”  (OCS photo contest Registration form ’20)  for EACH photo (including Student name, class year, title of photo, location, and must include the mandatory description/caption).
  5. Email the Photos and Registration forms to smforbes@colby.edu. Photos with no or incomplete registration information will be disqualified and not considered for the contest.

CONTEST CATEGORIES

  •  Category 1 – Landscapes & Streetscapes: A landscape or streetscape that reveals or symbolizes your vision of the place you visited and provides a sense of the place in which it was taken. What about this image makes it meaningful for you?
  • Category 2 – Portraits: A portrait of a person or group of people you encountered abroad. How did this encounter occur or what was your relationship with this person(s)? How does this portrait capture or illustrate, for you, the way of life or cultural context of the people among whom you lived during your studies abroad? What does it tell you about the people of this country?
  • Category 3 – The Global Classroom: Select a photo which represents an academic aspect of your off-campus study experience, indicating the name and type of program on which you studied. The photo should:
    • Show a learning experience you had either in the classroom, during a course-related excursion, a cultural event/activity, or while engaging with local culture
    • Illustrate the process of learning (and how it may or may not be different than learning at Colby), or
    • Depicts a product, outcome or achievement which is a result of your academic experience
  • Category 4 – Environment:A photo that depicts climate action, sustainable practice, pollution, etc. How did the environmental issues of your study abroad experience affect you or what did you learn about the practices of the country you studied in? 

SUBMISSION DEADLINE

Deadline

  • Please don’t miss the Submission Deadline: Wednesday, September 30, midnight. Late entries will have to be disqualified.

JUDGING

Judging

  • First, Second and Third place winning photos in each will be selected by a panel composed of OCS staff, student workers, and Colby faculty/staff members.
  • Photos will be judged on the basis of artistic and technical merit, originality, and the image’s ability to capture an experience, location, or event abroad with an emphasis on the student’s description and interpretation of the meaning of the photo as written in the photo caption.

PRIZES

  • The first, second and third place winners in each category will receive a $100, $75 or $50 (respectively) gift card and an Off-Campus Study t-shirt.
  • Winning photos will be on display in Pulver Pavilion and will be exhibited at other locations around campus. The photos will also be on our OCS website and Facebook pages.
  • All submissions can be viewed (after the submission deadline) on our Facebook page Off-Campus Study at Colby College.

Past Photo Contest Winners

 

Photo Contest 2019: winning photos from students abroad in 2018-19

Landscapes and Streetscapes

A landscape or streetscape that reveals or symbolizes your vision of the place you visited and provides a sense of the place in which it was taken. What about this image makes it meaningful for you?

“Sunrise Over the Nile” by Tessa Schaupp ’20

Something about the stillness in the morning, as this photo was taken at 5 am, watching the fertile green of the river valley fade into the desert left me with profound awe. Luxor is known for its history, the Valley of the Kings and many temples, and it was incredibly special to experience a place I first encountered in the Egyptology exhibit at The Met in real life. The thrill of riding in a hot air balloon further enhanced what was already a once-in-a-lifetime morning.  (Luxor, Egypt)

 

Portraits

A portrait of a person or group of people you encountered abroad. How did this encounter occur or what was your relationship with this person(s)? How does this portrait capture or illustrate, for you, the way of life or cultural context of the people among whom you lived during your studies abroad? What does it tell you about the people of this country?

“Food for Thought” by Lucie Cunningham ’20

It is not only portraits of our own species that allow us to see our world’s truths. Digging through photos of my time abroad, this portrait of an Angkor Wat monkey better represents the Cambodian culture than any shot I took of a person. It shows how intertwined their religion is with nature, how beautifully they can share their sacred spaces with nature, and how peaceful we can be if we take a moment to look into the eyes of those with whom we share our planet. (Ruins of Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia)

 

The Global Classroom

Select a photo which represents an academic aspect of your off-campus study experience, indicating the name and type of program on which you studied. The photo should:

  • Show a learning experience you had either in the classroom, during a course-related excursion, a cultural event/activity, or while engaging with local culture
  • Illustrate the process of learning (and how it may or may not be different than learning at Colby), or
  • Depicts a product, outcome or achievement which is a result of your academic experience

“Above-City Oasis” by Mae Sefransky ’20

My Sustainable Development course visited rooftop vegetable, herb, and flower gardens in Malmö, Sweden; this particular oasis lies atop an industrial office building in the middle of a lower socio-economic district. Hidden gardens like this can be found above the metal and concrete environments of cities across Sweden as the work of The Scandinavian Green Roof Institute – a not for profit organization that facilitates research and promotes green roofs and facades throughout Scandinavia. Just meters from congested motorways and pedestrian walks, these green roofs manage to memorialize the human-environment connection that is so important for our (and nature’s) well-being. Among their numerous benefits are the provision of fresh organic produce, the creation of natural air and water filtration systems, and the replication of natural habitats that may have been destroyed during the construction of the area. These green roofs are invaluable; they showcase a human-nature harmony of which we all must strive toward, especially in this increasingly urban world that nears the tipping point of permanent alteration. (Malmö, Sweden)

 

The Student Experience

Look at the photos you took. Looking beyond the beautiful views or funny shots to select an image that illustrates or documents a personal or professional skill you developed while you were out seeing the world. What does your photo actually say about you and the skills you used or gained during your time away? Explain “what you see” in the photo at first glance (what the picture is about) versus “what you get” (what lesson(s) or skills you derived from the activity or experience.

“Photo by Kid With Cows” by Sunny Dangui ’20

I would not say that this photo is professional by any standards, but it documents a serendipitous, off-the-grid experience of mine in a nameless Celtic village in Northern Spain. Following the smell of manure, I searched for cows in the village to take a selfie, simply out of fun. As I approached the cows, a dog started barking at me, and I was about to give up on the idea. Suddenly, a young Spanish boy ran out of the house and told his dog to be quiet. He asked me if I wanted a picture with the cows, and offered to take it for me. I was skeptical of it being a tourist trap at first, but the boy was genuinely interested in creating this unique experience for a total stranger. From what I could make out of my then broken Spanish, I realized that the boy wanted to be a photographer. There are many tiny things that could mark you for life. For me, it was this picture; maybe for him, it could be his determination to become a photographer. (A Celtic Village in Spain, name unknown)

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Photo Contest 2018: winning photos from students abroad in 2017-18

Landscapes and Streetscapes

A landscape or streetscape that reveals or symbolizes your vision of the place you visited and provides a sense of the place in which it was taken. What about this image makes it meaningful for you?

“Sunday Morning in Old Bratislava” by Alex Berardo ’19

Photography is a method of storytelling, and every narrative is founded on the dynamic between what is revealed and what is withheld. This is a photograph of Kapitulska Street, the heart of the medieval Old Town district of Bratislava, Slovakia. It is one of the rare authentic medieval streetscapes left in Europe, with colorful buildings, a cobblestone road, and a Gothic-style church rising toward the sky. This photograph shows how I like to remember Bratislava, but it is not representative of what the city really looks like. One block to the west of this street, a four-lane highway divides the Old Town from its castle. Three blocks south of this street, a structure the locals call the UFO Tower marks the bridge that connects Bratislava with the south bank of the Danube. A quarter-mile east of this street, the cobblestones and Gothic architecture give way to featureless gray blockhouses with tangles of wires overhead. Bratislava was transformed under Soviet rule in the 1960s, and much of its built environment today reveals the scars of its Communist past. I believe that photographs don’t have to show the whole picture to tell a story. These buildings look just as they did in the 1400s, and though there are few of them left, they reflect the resilience of the Slovak people in the face of centuries of invasion and oppression. In my mind, this is the essence of Bratislava: a quiet place whose inhabitants view the medieval district not as a tourist magnet, but a source of pride and respect for history.

 

Portraits

A portrait of a person or group of people you encountered abroad. How did this encounter occur or what was your relationship with this person(s)? How does this portrait capture or illustrate, for you, the way of life or cultural context of the people among whom you lived during your studies abroad? What does it tell you about the people of this country?

“Monk Brothers” by Melody Larson ’20

In this photograph, the two little monks are caught up in some sort of playful tussle grabbing each other’s hands and arms trying to push or pull the other. The life of these little studying Buddhist monks that we observed while visiting this monastery in Kalimpong was quite interesting and inspiring to me. Their boarding school style of life allowed them to create strong bonds with their fellow monk brothers. Although I saw boys of similar ages hanging out, playing, and eating together, I also saw beautiful interactions between younger and older monks. The familiar bond that these boys living here had with each other was inspiring. Although I can’t imagine leaving your child at a monastery at such a young age, the loving brotherhood that these monks had was something to be envious of. I find it interesting that to become a Buddhist monk one cuts off most ties with their family if they have one, yet at a monastery like such, one gains a whole new family. I think this speaks to the fact that humans crave attention from other humans and even though in the life of a Buddhist monk one is supposed to become less attached to human bonds, one cannot help but to create them.

 

The Global Classroom

Select a photo which represents an academic aspect of your off-campus study experience, indicating the name and type of program on which you studied. The photo should:

  • Show a learning experience you had either in the classroom, during a course-related excursion, a cultural event/activity, or while engaging with local culture
  • Illustrate the process of learning (and how it may or may not be different than learning at Colby), or
  • Depicts a product, outcome or achievement which is a result of your academic experience

“Treacherous Waters” by Dylan Moglen ’19

Sometimes doing is the only way to learn. As part of my time abroad in Ecuador, students spent a week living in the amazon doing research and learning local traditions and practices. Among these learning how to catch food, while recognizing potential dangers, was especially crucial. And for students too squeamish to eat maggots and tarantulas (the easiest prey to catch) the only real option was the river. Unfortunately rivers in the amazon can contain some very nasty surprises: water snakes, electric eels and even the nightmare inducing toothpick fish. But for those determined to learn there was no better way to play lookout and dive right in- and that is exactly what we did.

 

The Student Experience

Look at the photos you took. Looking beyond the beautiful views or funny shots to select an image that illustrates or documents a personal or professional skill you developed while you were out seeing the world. What does your photo actually say about you and the skills you used or gained during your time away? Explain “what you see” in the photo at first glance (what the picture is about) versus “what you get” (what lesson(s) or skills you derived from the activity or experience.

“The Real Venice” by Alex Berardo ’19

The most common advice I heard during my visit to Venice was “keep following the crowds so you won’t get lost.” Everyone seemed to have taken that advice: an endless river of visitors flooded the path between the Rialto Bridge and St. Mark’s Square, the two biggest tourist draws. At first I decided to stray from that main path just to find a shortcut. But as I put some distance between myself and the crowds, the city showed me a peaceful side I would never have seen if I hadn’t been willing to question and challenge the advice to (literally) follow the crowds. Alleyways barely wide enough for two people gave way to canals that glistened in the light and reflected on the sides of old palaces and churches around them. I let myself wander for the rest of the day, following the canals and seeing a Venice that few visitors ever give themselves the chance to see. My stroll ended at the banks of the Grand Canal at sunset, where I took this photo. I was close enough to the Rialto Bridge that I could hear the dull drumming of thousands of feet trampling over the bridge, but I was alone. My trip to Venice taught me the value of questioning assumptions, which helped me squeeze every drop of knowledge I could from my semester abroad. In this moment, though, all I knew for sure was that Venice’s true beauty lies deep within its labyrinth of alleys and canals, where it’s quiet enough to hear gondolas gliding through the water.

 

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Photo Contest 2017: winning photos from students abroad in 2016-17

Landscapes and Streetscapes

A landscape or streetscape that reveals or symbolizes your vision of the place you visited and provides a sense of the place in which it was taken. What about this image makes it meaningful for you?

Silence at Sunrise
Silence at Sunrise

Silence at Sunrise

Many people have seen photos of the blue cat filled city in Morocco, but few can explain the surprising and unusual feeling when walking through these streets. The surrounding blue hues are all encompassing and throughout the day of exploring, I began to realize the subtle sense of tranquility and peace that the network of blue walls had gradually instilled in me. The peaceful blues have a fascinating effect on ones mood as you wander through the medinas, which has walls veiled by intricate Moroccan rugs, leather and scarves. Although I was just in Chefchaouen for a single day, I left these streets feeling more curious and hopeful than ever for the next adventure. (Julia Saul, Morocco)

Coastal Colors
Coastal Colors

Coastal Colors

The colors in this photo suggest what it felt like to aimlessly wander the narrow, winding, and steep streets of Menton, the last stop on the French Riviera before crossing the Italian border. The ochre dwellings pictured here spill down the hillside to the glistening Mediterranean Sea. The mountains behind the sleepy town protect it from cold northerly weather, creating a particular microclimate that allows for stunning exotic gardens and citrus to be grown year-round. Menton doesn't offer the celebrity glitz like its neighbors of Cannes, Nice, and Monte-Carlo, however lemons abound! The most perfect lemon wedge accompanied each dish at the quaint restaurants which offer the finest French cuisine. The charming and vibrant Italian architecture along with the citrusy aromas carried by the sea breeze made for calming walks along the Promenade. Menton was my absolute favorite place that I visited in France during my semester. I couldn't help but stare at the bright hues of the buildings and the sea, reminding myself that colors can tell us so much about the culture of a place. (Katie Nicolaou, France)

Late Afternoon in Positano
Late Afternoon in Positano

Late Afternoon in Positano

The colors in this photo suggest what it felt like to aimlessly wander the narrow, winding, and steep streets of Menton, the last stop on the French Riviera before crossing the Italian border. The ochre dwellings pictured here spill down the hillside to the glistening Mediterranean Sea. The mountains behind the sleepy town protect it from cold northerly weather, creating a particular microclimate that allows for stunning exotic gardens and citrus to be grown year-round. Menton doesn't offer the celebrity glitz like its neighbors of Cannes, Nice, and Monte-Carlo, however lemons abound! The most perfect lemon wedge accompanied each dish at the quaint restaurants which offer the finest French cuisine. The charming and vibrant Italian architecture along with the citrusy aromas carried by the sea breeze made for calming walks along the Promenade. Menton was my absolute favorite place that I visited in France during my semester. I couldn't help but stare at the bright hues of the buildings and the sea, reminding myself that colors can tell us so much about the culture of a place. (Kylie Walters, Italy)

 

Portraits

A portrait of a person or group of people you encountered abroad. How did this encounter occur or what was your relationship with this person(s)? How does this portrait capture or illustrate, for you, the way of life or cultural context of the people among whom you lived during your studies abroad? What does it tell you about the people of this country?

A Man and his "Miel" at the Market
A Man and his "Miel" at the Market

A Man and his "Miel" at the Market

One of the most enriching parts of coming to know the ins and outs of Aix throughout my semester there was becoming increasingly familiar with the vendors at the markets. Aix is famous for its daily markets boasting fresh produce, herbs, baguettes, meat, eggs, and dairy. Held in two different squares in town, the markets are bustling with people from dawn until two in the afternoon. Although I did not know the man pictured here personally, I walked by him now and then and looked forward to seeing him deep in conversation with his regular customers. The market culture in France, and specifically in Aix, taught me so much about what French people value when it comes to what they consume. I had never eaten so locally and seasonally in my life, and gotten such quality food at such incredible prices. More importantly, I got to know the vendors whose stands I frequented and made friends who made it hard to say goodbye. This photo picturing the man selling honey represents what it means to be an "Aixoise". The people of Aix buy their food at the market, and have meaningful relationships with the people who grow and sell what they'll eat each week. I got to experience this way of life each week, accompanying my host parents on their trips to the larger Saturday market, where we would fill large backpacks, carts, and baskets to the brim with precious goods. This aspect of French culture caused me to reevaluate how and where I choose to buy my food, and how important it is to forge connections with the people who provide it for me. (Katie Nicolaou, France)

The Lighthouse
The Lighthouse

The Lighthouse

This man was the keeper of the lighthouse that is part of the fortress that guards the bay of Havana. The fortress is the largest in Latin America, so a friend of mine and I went to explore it one evening and met this man at the top of the lighthouse. He told us about the history of the fortress and even about the farm he lives on outside of the city. This conversation was one of many that seemed to spark with ease around Havana, making it feel like a small town. Despite the language barrier, I met people at pizza and ice cream shops, and even walking in the street, discussing everything from food to politics. Conversations like this one showed me the openness and patience of life in Cuba. (Jake Lester, Cuba)

Healing Orange Pain
Healing Orange Pain

Healing Orange Pain

Nguyễn Hoa Niên is a ten-year-old boy who I met while working an internship at the Hoa Vang community center run by the Da Nang Association of Victims of Agent Orange (DAVA). Agent Orange sprayed by the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War continues to pose harmful health risks to generations of Vietnamese citizens today. DAVA aims to improve the quality of life for all Agent Orange victims in the Da Nang region. Niên’s disability prevents the proper use of his limbs, and he cannot speak. Despite his physical condition, he showed pure happiness while spending time with volunteers like myself and other children at the center. (Loan Heilner, Vietnam)

 

The Global Classroom

Select a photo which represents an academic aspect of your off-campus study experience, indicating the name and type of program on which you studied. The photo should:

  • Show a learning experience you had either in the classroom, during a course-related excursion, a cultural event/activity, or while engaging with local culture
  • Illustrate the process of learning (and how it may or may not be different than learning at Colby), or
  • Depicts a product, outcome or achievement which is a result of your academic experience
Amazement at the Edge of the Globe
Amazement at the Edge of the Globe

Amazement at the Edge of the Globe

My Arctic Geophysics class, at the University Center in Svalbard Norway, taught us about the movements of glaciers and the observable effects that climate change has on the glaciers in the Arctic. In this photo, we climbed into the Longyearbreen glacier crevasse. We set up devices to measure the temperature and humidity in the glacier caves. We also observed different forms of rock that were churned up by the glacier movement, in order to understand how the glacier has been moving though recent years, compared to its historical movement. I was just in awe of the greatness that was this glacier crevasse. In this moment, I was so grateful for the academic opportunities that were presented to me. My mind became open to the tangible impact that humans have even at the remote edges of the world. (Will Wisener, Svalbard, Norway)

Ein Gedi
Ein Gedi

Ein Gedi

I came to Israel fresh out of physical therapy after shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum and fractured humerus. The international school's first excursion was a weekend hiking trip to the Ein Gedi nature preserves, the Dead Sea, and mount Masada. Having been in a serous shoulder brace and sling literally 3 days prior, I almost skipped the trip, but I am so glad I didn't. While in Ein Gedi we had hands on learning experiences on topics ranging from Middle Eastern botany to Bedouin folklore to applied international relations. This photo was taken at the top of a peak in Ein Gedi, facing into the country Jordan (the mountains you see in the background are actually Jordan). As an anthropology student, having the opportunity to talk about the cultural impacts of Israel's relationship with Jordan while literally staring at the border between the two countries was incredible. This semester, as a senior, I am writing an anthropology thesis about Israel, and that academic interest was sparked on this very trip, as our group crested the peak and looked over the vast expanse of the Dead Sea. (Rachel Bird, Israel)

Good Morning, Lama La
Good Morning, Lama La

Good Morning, Lama La

This photo is token in our wooden library in Bodh Gaya, India, the Buddha’s Enlightenment place. As part of the program engagement experience, a group of the students chose to ordain to be a monk or a nun for one week. After shaving our hairs and putting on robes, we got a totally new experience and understanding on Buddhist culture and philosophy. This photo records our Tibetan language class, where we had the chance to talk to local lamas. Besides practicing our oral Tibetan language, we also had the chance to learn about their experience and got a better understanding of Buddhist life and culture. (Ling Ding, India)

 

The Student Experience

Look at the photos you took. Looking beyond the beautiful views or funny shots to select an image that illustrates or documents a personal or professional skill you developed while you were out seeing the world. What does your photo actually say about you and the skills you used or gained during your time away? Explain “what you see” in the photo at first glance (what the picture is about) versus “what you get” (what lesson(s) or skills you derived from the activity or experience.

The Last Day of Sinlight
The Last Day of Sinlight

The Last Day of Sinlight

In my early years at Colby, I took for granted the amazing opportunities that were presented to me as a student. I let myself get caught up in the day-to-day and I rarely took a step back to look at my path. In this photo you see a group of friends hiking atop an endless ridge of mountains at sunset or sunrise. You are right on all accounts, except, the sun is not east or west in this photo; it is due south. This is the last day of sunlight on Svalbard, in late October. We hiked 6 hours to the top of the tallest mountain to catch the last 30 minute period of sunlight on our humble, arctic island. We cherished those 30 minutes, but we knew that the polar night would not stop us. From then on, I took every opportunity to explore end engage with the people on Svalbard. The loss of sunlight gave me agency. There was no more day-to-day, there was only opportunity to the next opportunity. I learned that in some places the sun does not shine, and the people there make the most of it anyways. I brought that attitude back to Colby, and because of it I am more connected with my community and my peers. It required me to go to the edge of the world in order to appreciate and love the path that I create in Waterville, Maine. (Will Wisener, Norway)

Silence at Sunrise
Silence at Sunrise

Silence at Sunrise

I had spent years imagining what it would be like to travel by boat and weave my way through the labyrinth of the Halong Bay islands. Upon entering the islands, I sat on the upper deck of the boat myself and cried tears of overwhelming joy; I was finally here. Despite the incredible beauty of the bay, I quickly realized there was more than meets the eye. We traveled alongside hundreds of tourists as trash floated by us in the water and we learned there were regulations against swimming as a result of the pollution. This place that had sat on the top of my bucket list turned out to be a construction of photographs and ideas. I will still regard Halong Bay as one of the most beautiful places in the world, but this experience opened my eyes to the power of photography and narrative. In this photo you see a peaceful and perfect morning, while the pollution lies just below the surface and oil rigs are just on the horizon. (Julia Saul, Vietnam)

Intersection
Intersection

Intersection

As a Classical Civilizations major, Athens means so much to me. On a break from my program in Oxford, UK, I spent over a week in Athens, just wanting to see everything. This photo, to me, demonstrates the way I see Athens--a beautiful, colorful clash of old and new, history and contemporary. Worth the hike, it seems to say that Athens can only been truly, objectively seen from above, through a lens that encompasses both history and art. Furthermore, it highlights how a modern twist and cultural flair can leave a mark on ancient history today. On the surface, it seems like a photo that showcases a beautiful city. But it has taught me a lot about the importance of perspective: only when we interweave the strands of the past and the present can we see the whole picture. Perspective was one of the most important lessons I learned abroad-- exposure to new perspectives is integral to any educational experience and can often be hard to find in one small community. Traveling enabled me to see the world from many new exciting angles and perspectives, and I'm so grateful for the experience. (Jess Greenwald, Greece)

 

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Photo Contest 2016: winning photos from students abroad in 2015-16

Landscapes and Streetscapes

A landscape or streetscape that reveals or symbolizes your vision of the place you visited and provides a sense of the place in which it was taken. What about this image makes it meaningful for you?

A Window in Granada
A Window in Granada

A Window in Granada

This is a photo I took inside the Alhambra looking out over the city of Granada. Some of my most memorable experiences in Spain were weekend trips sponsored by our program. One of these trips was to the neighboring city of Granada, where a group of about 30 students and I were given a tour of the Alhambra by two of our professors. There’s a reason it is the most visited tourist destination in Spain – the views and architecture throughout the Alhambra are stunning, and the history of the palace and surrounding buildings is fascinating. This is one of many architecturally impressive rooms in the Alhambra, with a spectacular view of the town and mountains that surround it. (Sevilla, Spain) submitted by Ben Bostwick '17

Africa’s Greatest Vanishing Act
Africa’s Greatest Vanishing Act

Africa’s Greatest Vanishing Act

While I was in Botswana, I was captivated by the dramatic landscapes and the amazing wildlife. I was so fortunate to get to experience everything I did, but I did not truly understand how fortunate I was. Every morning I would wake up and see lion, leopard, or wild dog prints outside of my tent. Every morning I would watch as the sun rose over the tree line, listening to the sounds of elephants playing, or wild dogs hunting. The Okavango Delta is one of Africa’s, if not the world’s, most intact wilderness areas. Wildlife thrives there, and poaching and resource extraction is very minimal. This does not tell the full story, however. Africa as a whole, is dying. Landscapes are changing drastically, and wildlife populations are being decimated. Elephants are the most visible example of this, with current populations (~415,000) being a tenth of what they were estimated to be in the early 20th century. This photo embodies my experience of Africa, both captivating and untamed, but not truthful. I was blinded by all the wildlife I saw and interacted with, but this photo was a subtle reminder of that truth. (Mababe, Botswana) submitted by Fen Bowen '17

On Foot
On Foot

On Foot

I started to marvel at how the invention of the wheel has revolutionized human destiny since my first time to the States. At the same time, I can't help wondering how far we are still travelling on foot and how much we are still learning from such a laborious experience. Studying abroad in the U.K. allowed me to walk (almost!) anywhere and everywhere. This sunrise was captured on the Isle of Wight, southern England. Unlike the driver who might be grumbling over the piercing sunlight and mindful of various things that could suddenly cross the street, I was mulling over what awaited behind the sun. Would it be another curvature, a valley, or a sea view? What is more likely since I am in the middle of the island? On my foot, I stopped once in while, turning around to examine the architecture, hence the personality, of houses that, by a glance, looked almost the same. Instead of taking a given ride, I chose my own footpath to explore, to venture and ruminate. Isn't it all about youth? (Isle of Wight, England) submitted by Phuong Le '17

 

Portraits

A portrait of a person or group of people you encountered abroad. How did this encounter occur or what was your relationship with this person(s)? How does this portrait capture or illustrate, for you, the way of life or cultural context of the people among whom you lived during your studies abroad? What does it tell you about the people of this country?

Caras de la Crisis
Caras de la Crisis

Caras de la Crisis

One of the most valuable classes I took abroad happened to be one I added on a whim at the last minute – a photography class. The course revolved around a semester long project of our choosing. With the conscious objective to explore the city and improve my language skills, I decided to photograph the city’s homeless population and conduct follow-up interviews with each of them. Each of these interviews was challenging, and this one with Mari was no different. Living with a disability, she has struggled to find work in a country whose youth unemployment has hovered around 45%. Yet one of her biggest struggles, she said, was watching so many people pass her each day and feeling as though no one cared about her or her situation. I took this picture before our discussion and was struck by how her sentiments shown through in the picture. (Sevilla, Spain) Submitted by Ben Bostwick '17

Sunday Afternoon
Sunday Afternoon

Sunday Afternoon

Art is an important component for London and its people. I encountered this young, hippie, and broke couple enjoying Mona Hatoum’s exhibition at Tate Modern, London. The exhibition ticket was not cheap but they were probably the happiest couple in the world this Sunday afternoon. (London, England) Submitted by Yichen Lu '17

Mother and Daughter
Mother and Daughter

Mother and Daughter

Beyond the beautiful sunsets, hiking trails, and delectable food found in Cinque Terre, the moments that stood out to me most from my visit to the Italian coast involved witnessing the ways that the Italians detached themselves from the many crowds of tourists on the narrow streets and sought ways to enjoy one another’s company. I found this mother-child interaction to be especially moving – although the basketball net was not even upright, the mother and daughter made do with passing the ball back-and-forth again and again, smiling and cheering each other on with each catch. (Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy) Submitted by Cara Goldfarb '17

 

The Global Classroom

Select a photo which represents an academic aspect of your off-campus study experience, indicating the name and type of program on which you studied. The photo should:

  • Show a learning experience you had either in the classroom, during a course-related excursion, a cultural event/activity, or while engaging with local culture
  • Illustrate the process of learning (and how it may or may not be different than learning at Colby), or
  • Depicts a product, outcome or achievement which is a result of your academic experience
Glacier Ice in Patagonia
Glacier Ice in Patagonia

Glacier Ice in Patagonia

While backpacking through Torres del Paine, the famed national park of the Chilean Patagonia, local employees of the park taught us all about glaciers, including how the beautiful blue color of the ice is caused by the slow removal of oxygen during the melting and refreezing of ice blocks. They also gave me my first real world lesson of climate change, describing how the Patagonian glaciers (including the one in the picture) are receding by over a hundred feet every year. Its amazing what you can learn from strangers. (Patagonia, Chile) submitted by Craig Ballard '17

A Reminder of Their Old Existence
A Reminder of Their Old Existence

A Reminder of Their Old Existence

At Colby, we learn a lot of theory, but we rarely have the opportunity to see how such theories play out in the world. The best part about studying abroad with SIT’s IHP: Cities in the 21st Century: People, Planning, and Politics program was having the opportunity to learn about the the problems in a city from the perspective of the people being affected by an issue instead of from the perspective of an academic. This image was from my time in Ahmedabad, India in a neighborhood by the name of Charmaliya, which means four stories in English. Charmaliya, the grey apartments featured in the photo, is one of the government’s housing complexes where displaced slum communities were relocated to during the construction of the Sabarmati riverfront redevelopment project. This photograph was taken during the our Neighborhood Day, which is a small group assignment where we visit a neighborhood in the city to learn about the people who live there, the history of the neighborhood, and some of problems that the neighborhood is currently facing. For me, this photo represents the effects of displacing people. The displaced residents in Charmaliya have to look over into the neighboring community and have a constant reminder of their old home. In every interview that we had with a  community member, someone mentioned, “we don’t know how to live in vertical houses” or “ this housing is worse than our old houses.” An architect, an expert in his/her field, designed this housing, yet, they could not foresee the unintended consequences that may come with the design. At this moment, I realized that I never want to lose sight of the human element in my work, whatever that may be, for the sake of progress and validating my expertise.  (Ahmedabad, India) submitted by Ant-quanique Dancy '17

Learning To Go Aloft
Learning To Go Aloft

Learning To Go Aloft

This photo depicts students of SEA Semester class S-263 learning to go aloft. Going aloft is an important aspect of sailing, it is required to set and strike sails, and to ensure proper maintenance of the rigging. While sailing aboard the SSV Robert C. Seamans, I had the unique opportunity to learn many new things and to gain many new experiences. A large part of our education over the course of this program was learning how to sail a tall ship as well as many maritime traditions. I found this experience to be both challenging and rewarding. I was able to progress from simply observing the sailing to leading my own watch. This was truly a once in a lifetime experience and I grew greatly from the education that I received.  (South Pacific Ocean) submitted by Hayley Kushner '17

 

The Student Experience

Look at the photos you took. Looking beyond the beautiful views or funny shots to select an image that illustrates or documents a personal or professional skill you developed while you were out seeing the world. What does your photo actually say about you and the skills you used or gained during your time away? Explain “what you see” in the photo at first glance (what the picture is about) versus “what you get” (what lesson(s) or skills you derived from the activity or experience.

The Sailboat//Sejlåden
The Sailboat//Sejlåden

The Sailboat//Sejlåden

One of the last activities I participated in consisted of sailing with my host mom, Bolette, and her friends from the Danish Marine Coast Guard. Now this was one of the few times I had been on a boat, so no sailing skills were gained in this excursion, but this was an experience that culminated my bonding with Bolette as well as my involvement in Danish culture. Originally, I was supposed to be on the same boat as Bolette, but because of a conflict, I ended up on a sailboat with two of her friends while she was on the boat that is in the picture. Throughout my time abroad I learned to be adaptable in situations that may make me uncomfortable, like being on a boat with two strangers or not being able to communicate with others. Learning to be flexible in life can open you so many amazing experiences that you might not have engaged in otherwise. Thankfully I was able to enjoy my host mom’s love of sailing, and I even got to steer the boat through the harbor! After our sailing excursion, we ended the night with “hygge” - good food, company, and conversation - a Danish farewell from my host mom. (Greve Strand, Denmark) submitted by Danielle Bagley '17

La Chiva
La Chiva

La Chiva

A chiva is a type of open air bus commonly found in Ecuador. They are known as party buses because Ecuadorians often rent them to sing, dance, and drink with friends and family while riding around the town, usually to commemorate a special event like a birthday. I took two chiva rides while studying abroad -- one during my first week in Ecuador and again during my last week in the country. These different chiva rides remind me of my growth as an independent traveler while studying abroad. When I first arrived in the country, I easily felt embarrassed when I tripped up on a Spanish word or had a cultural misunderstanding with my host family. By the end of my time abroad, I became more comfortable expressing myself and interacting with Ecuadorians on a daily basis. The fact that my chiva rides happened at the very beginning and ending of my abroad program reminds me of how far I had come in my learning experience. I took a picture of this particular chiva while touring the popular town of Baños de Aguas Santas with a fellow Colby student. We saw the chiva pass through a waterfall and then drive through the mountains. It is said that many years ago the Virgin Mary appeared near a waterfall in this town; after this, Baños became an important Catholic site in Ecuador. This photo is a memory of not only my trip to Baños, but a culmination of my personal journey while studying abroad. (Baños, Ecuador) submitted by Jasmyn Davis '17

The Other Side of the Trees
The Other Side of the Trees

The Other Side of the Trees

Just on the other side of these trees is the Champ de Mars, the grassy park at the foot of their Eiffel Tower and one of the busiest and highly congested tourist areas in Paris. This side of the trees however, is almost exclusively visited by locals running and walking their dogs. During my stay I got in the habit of running in this area in the mornings. For me this photo embodies my experience of transitioning from an outsider to someone truly integrated into my host city. This image represents a moment where I felt completely at home and the independence I gained living in this incredible, beautiful, international city. It also helps that, aside from the Eiffel Tower peeking out of the trees, this scene could easily be in Maine. (Paris, France) submitted by Cate Johnson '17