A (Study Abroad) Picture is Worth a Thousand Words…

UW-Eau Claire
Nov 15 · 9 min read

Studying abroad is one of the many joys college has to offer. Many students who attend UW-Eau Claire take advantage of this opportunity to both study and see the world abroad. Whether it’s Scotland, India, Australia or Korea, there’s a study abroad program for everyone!

We wanted to highlight our students’ experiences abroad and what better way to do that than through a photo contest?! These photos from UW-Eau Claire students currently abroad are only a few of the 100 photos submitted. There were two categories students could participate in: Selfie Time or Beyond Tourism. Judges scored photos in each category.

For International Education week, all of these photos will be in a display case on the third floor of Davies Center. Make sure you visit to see all the different experiences!

Now… On with the results!

Selfie Time

10th Place

Villarica by Claire Ganschow

This photo resonates with the theme of “Selfie Time” because it is, in itself, a selfie. A quite unique one at that because most people don’t take selfies with gas masks on at the top of an extremely active volcano. Volcán Villarica did not disappoint, and this selfie shows just how much fun we had making it to the top, despite not being able to see our smiling faces beneath the masks.

9th Place

Dhia by Mai Yang

I realized how connected I can become when conversing with children and playing with them. I felt comfortable. That time and moment in Nam Tuang interacting with the children has given me the love I needed.

8th Place

So Local by Kari Orr

This photo was taken halfway through my study abroad program and shows how much Florence felt like home. It took awhile to get use to, but getting the hang of how to get places and not feel like a tourist takes time. It’s important for students to remember that adjusting to a new culture is hard, but once you get the hang of it and look around you, it’s the best experience of your life.

7th Place

Jump Around by Julia Wopat

This photo was taken in the Tasman Valley of Mt. Cook/ Aoraki National Park. My friends and I decided that we were tired of taking the regular standing and smiling pictures and wanted to mix it up. We set the self-timer on my camera and gave it a shot. Believe it or not, we got it on the first try! I think this picture accurately represents our feelings about being in this amazing place!

6th Place

Just Another Day by Kirsten Jacobson

This photo was taken of me at the peak of a volcano in a southern Chilean town called Pucón. I had just finished the 4-hour hike to the top. Volcán Villarrica sits at 3,280ft tall amid the Andes mountain range. It is an active volcano, which is why I am wearing a gas mask — to protect me from the chemicals and fumes that seep from this volcanos crater. This hike was one of the hardest and most dangerous hikes I have ever completed. The volcano was covered in snow and ice, making the last hour of hiking quite treacherous. The challenge of this hike made the view and completion all the more worth it. I named this photo ‘Just Another Day’ because while I was studying in Chile, it felt like each day I did something new and crazy, that it just began to feel like a normal routine.

5th Place

Old Man’s Peak by Kirsten Jacobson

This photo is a picture of me resting and overlooking the Incan City of Machu Picchu during my time traveling in Peru. I had just finished the hike to the top of la Montana Machu Picchu, which stands at a staggering 2,139ft tall. The temperature was hot, and I was out of breath — not only from the hike but also from the high altitude. However, neither of these things could prevent me from taking in the beauty of this beautiful and ancient city. I gave this photo the title of Old Man’s Peak because that is what it’s given name of ‘Machu Picchu’ translates to in English — from the indigenous language Quechua.

4th Place

Heaven Has Highland Cows by Anna Kroll

This photo captures one of the most fulfilling moments of my time in Scotland. Discovering Highland cows was a top priority on my to-do list while in this beautiful country, and while on a Highlands tour in the Isle of Skye, I hit the jackpot. Look how close I got to these magnificent creatures! Not only did I get to see them, but I got to pet them, put my arms around them, and joke with them, just like we were old friends. I cried happy tears and did lots of happy dancing. You can see the pure joy on my face. An unforgettable moment.

3rd Place

London is only a short flight away from Scotland, so my friends and I found a weekend to go. This is a photograph of me enjoying the view of the London Eye over the water. My favorite part is, I had no idea this photo was being taken. Candid moments truly make the best memories.

2nd Place

This photo was taken in Mt. Cook/Aoraki National Park in the South Island of New Zealand. After a long day of hiking, my friends and I wanted to take a picture with the mountain backdrop. We decided that we were tired of the normal, boring standing and smiling pictures, so we set the self-timer on my camera and had a bit of fun with it. Quite possibly my favorite picture we took together this semester!

1st Place

This photo was taken in the Sahara Desert in Morocco, on a dune near our desert camp where we watched the sunset. This trip was by far my favorite, as the golden dunes and the pure beauty of the vastness of the desert were breathtaking, and the people I met made it an unforgettable experience. I think it fits with the category of “selfie time” because it is a photo of me at one of the happiest moments of my life. I had dreamed of going to the Sahara for years, and it was surreal to actually be there, and this photo captures the calmness, vastness, and magic of the desert.

Beyond Tourism

9th Place

Road Block by Emma Zenzen

This picture represents the common occurrence of having to share the road with the locals. Stopping for sheep, usually more than one, is typical outside of town in Scotland and most inhabitants wouldn’t find it amusing enough to snap a photo.

8th Place

Rowing Local by Abby Tekiela

One early morning, my friend and I decided to get up and explore the beach of Lago De Atitlan. As we stood on the dock, this man rowed by us in a small wooden boat. It was clear that this was not his first time, as he stood up and paddled with ease.

7th Place

The Road Less Traveled by Olivia Jonasen

This photo was taken during a walk with some friends that I met during my first few days in Florence, Italy. I believe that the best way to really appreciate a city that you are visiting is to not always have every part of your visit planned. Allow yourself time to wander around and really appreciate the culture, architecture, and design of the city instead of just restricting yourself to the high-draw tourist locations.

6th Place

Cloudy day at Plaza San Pablo by Emma Holtan

This church was in the Plaza San Pablo, like many locals I would walk by it and not think very much about it. However, the day I took this, it was just gloomy day, but the sun peaked through for just a moment and caught my eye, and I was luckily able to snap a photo of it.

5th Place

Hidden Gem by Julia Wopat

This photo was taken in a secret glowworm cave near my host city. Studying abroad allows you to get to experience your host country in so many more ways than a regular tourist would be able to. In this case, I got to explore a cave that only the locals know about instead of paying to see one.

4th place

Spain; My ‘Cup of Tea’ by Amanda Flandrich

A typical drink of choice in Spain is tea. I drank tea almost every day when I lived abroad. Here, I discovered my love for tea and the traditions tied to it. Spain has many Moroccan influences, and part of the tea experience is to have tea, couscous, and finish with conversation and a shared shisha. My friends and I did this very often and it became a part of our lifestyle as we lived abroad.

T-3rd Place

Here, there are spectacular views amidst grand mountain landscapes, while traveling in Jaipur, India. The picture was taken at the exact moment as a great flock of birds soared above us. We stared in wonder at the beauty of India. This was truly glory unfolding among the gorgeous scenery.

Beyond tourism reflect the many kinds of relationship built abroad. Like many exchange students, my friend Sophie and I took this photo, out of many, to reminisce our memories in Korea. I cherish the relationships that I built in Korea because it travels back home, despite, the time and distance. Therefore, building friendships and getting to know people from different backgrounds move beyond the act and idea of tourism.

2nd Place

Walking along the trails in Southern Ireland was one of the most peaceful experiences I have experienced in my life. Rounding each corner introduced us to new explorations that we happily embarked on. While the gorgeous landscapes and bright skies were a welcome site, the thing that made us smile the most was the friendly face we encountered on our journey. It seemed as though the sheep was welcoming us travelers, as it looked at us and then proceeded to walk along the trails with us, as if a tour guide in its home. We continued to walk and explore, all the while remembering that we don’t know what is around each corner, but sometimes, that can be the exciting part.

1st Place

One of the first trips my friends and I took was to Edinburgh, Scotland. We didn’t know each other that well yet, but by the end of the trip we had formed a great bond that only grew as the semester went on. I took this picture as we hiked up King Arthur’s Seat.

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