Student Stories

A look back on Study Abroad 2019-2020

Student photo, video and writing contests showcase the UChicago Study Abroad experience

Each year, UChicago Study Abroad hosts contests for students to capture their experience learning abroad through writing, photography and videography. With 67 programs in 32 cities in Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East, students from all disciplines in the College have the distinct opportunity to pursue their studies around the world. In a year of dramatic global change, these winning entries reflect the enduring value of new experiences, intensive study and cultural exchange.

Take a look back on 2019-2020 in UChicago Study Abroad:

Rising fourth-year Ashley Yu captured this first-place photo while traveling in a taxi during the Dakar: African Civilizations program last winter.

“Usually with taxis, you get into the car, maybe exchange some niceties with the driver, and then that's the extent of the interaction,” Yu said. “Especially when I was in Senegal, with the language barrier it was even less likely for us to strike up a conversation with the drivers. But the moment I saw the driver's eyes in the rearview mirror, it felt like I was getting a more intimate snapshot of what it's like to be a cab driver in Dakar.”

Rising fourth-year Charlotte Lewis, winner of Best Photography Portfolio, also participated in the Dakar: African Civilizations program.

“I hope that the photographs communicate something about the beauty and dynamism of Senegal,” she said. “I feel that each photograph features a character or a narrative, and that they clearly enunciate my own status as a visitor. I hope that viewers are drawn into the place by each photo, and that they feel like learning more about such a wonderful country!”

Photo contest gallery

Study Abroad in 60 seconds

For this contest, students were challenged to capture their experience living and learning abroad in just a minute of video. This year's winning videos showcase programs in Paris, Pune, Rome and Hong Kong.

View the other video contest winners here.

Writing Contest

Study Abroad accepts fiction, nonfiction, poetry and other works of writing that address the prompt "Why We Travel." This year's winners explore the study abroad experience through food, exploration and conversation.