Study Abroad Photo Contest

Each year, the Center for International Education at UW-Eau Claire hosts a photo contest for students who are currently studying abroad or have done so during a previous semester.

This year’s contest called for entries in the categories of “Once in a Lifetime Moment” and “Friends All Over the World.” Take a peek at the top 10 photos selected for each category….

Once in a Lifetime Moment:

10th: “Top of Mt. Olympus“ — Taylor Pomasi

While in Greece, my class had the opportunity to climb Mt. Olympus. We hiked for 30 hours over two days. 9000 feet later, we got this view. It was the greatest thing I’ve ever done.

9th: “The End of the Pier” — Carissa Zibolsky

Chiloé is a fishing island off the coast of Chile. It is an adorable little place, and every town there has a cute small-town vibe. The scenery is some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve seen in my life, and the people some of the nicest. We were there in off-season which means there weren’t too many people around, and we got a really nice picture of what Chiloé and its people are truly like without the constant hub of tourists. This picture was taken at Muelle de las Almas. This specific spot took about two hours to hike to, and, exhausted as we were, was worth every step. In this picture, you can see the pier that leads to nothing and points out over the ocean. It was breathtaking to stand out there feeling the wind whirling around me and gazing at miles upon miles of pure blue ocean. It was by far one of the most incredible moments of my life.

8th: “Arno River at Sunset” — Taylor Salzwedel

I was walking across the Arno River going to my friend’s house for dinner and I had never seen a sunset this color before. When I noticed the rowers below me, I thought this was one of the most picturesque moments I had ever witnessed.

7th: “Kelingking Beach” — Casey Ryan

We went to a secluded island in Nusa Penida, Bali. This view looked photoshopped in real life! It’s difficult to get to and people from all over the world try to find this hidden beach for the view.

6th: “Manual Antonio” — Kelly Opie

This photo is from Manuel Antonio State Park in Costa Rica. The park has three beaches, sloths, monkeys, alligators, and a lot of biodiversity. This photo always reminds me of the unique experience I had in the jungles of Costa Rica.

5th: “In the Cairngorms” — Josie Myers

Before I left for Scotland, my older brother handed me his old film camera and a few rolls of film and told me to “capture moments.” It took me a few weeks abroad to understand what he meant, but once I did, I made it my goal to capture moments instead of just pictures. I took this particular photo during an experience I’m likely to never have again. I elected to attend a field trip climbing in the Cairngorm Mountains with my Environmental Studies professor. Only 5 students out of our 150-person lecture signed up, and I’m so happy that I did. Experiencing a few days in the mountains, surrounded by miles of wilderness and guided by an extremely experienced professor is a memory I won’t soon forget. I not only learned about the landscape, history, and folklore, but also all the things I’m capable of.

4th: “Tortuga Island” — Kelly Opie

Every weekend in Costa Rica we spent going coast to coast, and often island to island. This photo is when we had a class trip to Tortuga Island. We rode up on a boat and this was our first glimpse. I remember thinking “I can’t believe this is my life”.

3rd: “Tour de Eiffel” — Olivia Large

This photo represents a once in a lifetime because of the special impact it has on my personal life. This photo was taken on a bright sunny morning. I captured the sunflower because of its beauty, but I also captured the Eiffel Tower because of its beauty. Later that night, we watched the Eiffel Tower sparkle under the night sky. After taking Metro home, I found out my grandma passed away earlier that day. Her favorite flower was the Sunflower, and It was her dream to see the Eiffel Tower Sparkle.

2nd: “Racing through the Vinyards” — Kayla Stadem

On our trip, we visited four different vineyards, this picture capturing one of their views. A few BluGolds decided to run down the aisles of the vineyard towards the Andes. It was like something from the movies, too bad there wasn’t a sunset or a sunrise to really capture the astounding moment. Well, to be honest, it was my idea to run through the vineyard because I realized how incredible it would be. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity. When else will you get the opportunity to visit the wineries in Mendoza, Argentina, specifically this winery with the amazing view? So, I captured this moment where another BluGold realized this once in a lifetime moment as she raced down the vines towards the mountains.

1st: “Hairy Coo” — Tess Rosner

This was a once in a lifetime moment because as soon as I found out I was going to Scotland, one of my goals was to see the famous Hairy Coo in person. These are highland cows that are native to Scotland and are usually only found in the high hills of Scotland. This cow was especially friendly and let me pet him alongside the road.

Friends All Over the World:

10th: “We are All Friends” — Jack Fischer

I made a lot of friends on the other side of the world on this day!! During our stay we visited a secondary school to interact with Chinese students. Here is a picture of me introducing myself to a Chinese student. This was a 5th Grade Chinese classroom. They were so happy to have met us. I cannot describe the feelings I had during this visit. It was so unique. I’ve never felt more blessed in my entire life.

9th: “Castle On the Hill” — Emma Zenzen

This photo was taken in Stonehaven, Scotland in front of the Dunnottar Castle. My friends (left to right) Isabel, Vince, (Blugold) myself, and Maggie (Blugold) hiked along the cliffs to reach the castle where we explored the ruins.

8th: “Friends, Hot Chocolate & Volcanoes” — Casey Ryan

A group of us from all the over the United States took a trip to Bali. We climbed up a volcano at 4am. When we got to the top, the sun was just starting to rise. We could see smoke coming out of the volcano as we were drinking our hot chocolate after climbing two hours in the dark.

7th: “Catarata Andante” — Kelly Opie

This picture was taken in front of one of the many waterfalls in Costa Rica, called Catarata Andante. We spent the day horseback riding up a mountain and hiking the rest of the way to reach the biggest, bluest, and most spectacular waterfall I’ve ever seen. Seeing this hidden gem with some of the friends I made in Costa Rica made the experience that much better.

6th: “Distance is temporary, family is forever” — Cait Mary Mcmanamon

I cannot explain the time I had abroad, but I can say the success of the adventure lies mostly with this group of people. We came from 6 different countries to live together in Limerick, Ireland. What started as awkward hellos quickly turned into family dinners, weekends traveling and late nights spent talking about anything and everything over a plate of fries covered in mayo (it’s a European thing). We bonded over our similarities, differences and the many memories created over the semester. Five months later and we still talk every week, counting down the days till our next reunion. #Plassey4ever

5th: “Stonehenge” — Emma Mabie

The University of Winchester, England sponsored numerous trips around England for the international students. One of the trips was Stonehenge. The entire time we were there it was raining, which was not a surprise when it comes to England as it rains about 87% of the time. It was also cold and extremely windy, but we managed to make the most out of the trip. A group of my friends and I explored the area together and found this replica of one of the rocks that you could take a picture with. What better way to show that we were at Stonehenge than attempting to pull a giant rock back to America with us?

4th: “Friends for the Journey” — Josie Myers

One of my goals for my time abroad was to travel solo. I achieved this goal in a big way while spending 3 weeks walking the Camino de Santiago from St-Jean-Pied-de-Port, France to Burgos, Spain. I was worried about spending so much time alone, but I quickly realized that new friends were everywhere along the way. This is a photo of myself and a friend I met earlier that day from Copenhagen, Stine. We met one of the first days and just kept running into each other along the way. I’ll value the friendships I made on the Camino for the rest of my life.

3rd: “Final Goodbyes” — Alexandra Larson

This photo was taken on our last night at the Harlaxton Manor before the final dinner and commencement ceremony. We called the Harlaxton Manor home for 5 short weeks, and each of us came to Harlaxton as strangers but we left as lifelong friends.

2nd: “Salt for Miles” — Carissa Zibolsky

A fellow Blugold and I took a trip to Bolivia during our time abroad! We spent 3 days with seven people from all over the world in absolutely freezing temperatures, staying in buildings without heat, and cuddled up below thousands of blankets just to stay warm. But it was completely worth it for the last day of our trip: seeing the sunrise over the Uyuni salt flats and spending the day there taking millions of pictures like this one. It was an incredible place- miles and miles and miles of pure salt.

1st: “Synchronized Silhouettes” — Jake Olson

Big Bald Rock in Girroween National Park (QLD, Australia) is exactly what it sounds like; a big bald rock. It also happens to be a perfect place to watch the sunset and, in our case,, coordinate one jump between 13 friends from all over the world.

If you’re interested in studying abroad, don’t hesitate to contact the Center for International Education. You can also check out all the programs and more information here: