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Study Abroad Photo Competition: Meet the Winners!

Study Abroad Photo Competition: Meet the Winners! main image

If one image summarized your study abroad experience, what would it be? Would you be sipping a coffee with classmates under the Eiffel Tower, navigating your way through a bustling market in Mumbai, or soaked (and probably clinging on for dear life) on a boat at Niagara Falls?

In our recent photo competition, we asked international students to send us an image that captured what studying abroad meant to them. Read on to see our winning entries, with a short commentary from each of the three budding photographers.

Runner-up 1: Austin Otto

Austin had this to say about his photo competition entry, which depicts the Panama Canal in Panama, Latin America: “It was always my dream to learn more about the Panama Canal. I am a mechanical engineering student, and the canal is an engineering marvel. I was in awe of how it was created so many years ago without all the modern equipment we have today. It was interesting to learn about the new canal that is being built and the differences in construction in this modern day.”

He also explained the benefits of being an international student, and what he got out of his study abroad adventure: “Traveling is so important to open me, as it opened my eyes to the differences in culture. As an engineering student, I appreciate the realization that engineers are making a difference everywhere, even in countries without the wealth of the United States. As I continue my journey through my engineering education, I hope to take another J-term to visit another country to do some engineering service work.”

Finally, we asked Austin if he had any advice for anyone considering their own study abroad experience... “I recommend others to take the time to study, even in for a few weeks, in another country. To sum up my experience, I would say it was inspiring, memorable, educational, motivational, and fun!”


Runner-up 2: Martí Aymà

Martí’s entry shows his time as an international student in the UK. “My picture was taken right in front of Big Ben, in London. I picked this photo because this monument is iconic, not only representing London but the whole of the UK. I had a great time there, walking around the city, with all of its markets and parks… I loved it! If you go to London, don't forget to check out the musicals and theatre plays in the city’s famous West End, where there are many great productions!”

He also explained that the friends he made while studying abroad were the real highlight. “I think that the best thing about my semester in the UK were the people that I met. There were lots of international students who came from all over the world, and this gave me the chance to learn a lot about other cultures, languages, and the chance of making friends worldwide.”

And of course, we asked Martí to share his advice for others considering study abroad. “It is a great experience that helps you not only to improve a foreign language and your CV, but also to grow as a person and become more open-minded. If I had to sum it up in five words, I’d simply say “The time of my life!”


1st Prize: Ben Taube

The winner of our photo competition, Ben, explains that the joy of studying abroad comes from the friends you make along the way, whether they’re human or animal! “My photo was taken in the Galapagos Islands. I picked it because getting to be so close to all the wildlife there is something I’ll never forget. This was a very friendly baby sea lion that I later went swimming with! What stood out to me was the opportunity to immerse myself in another culture and understand how other people live.”

And what does he have to say to other students considering their own international adventure? “I would say to students looking to study abroad in the future: Go for it! The experiences you’ll have abroad are life-changing! My study abroad experience in five words? When can I go back?!”

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Written by Joseph Birdsey
Jo is part of QS's social media team. He also writes content for the site, and holds a BA English degree from Goldsmiths, University of London.

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