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Images of Study Away, from Ritual to Monkey Business

Images of Study Away, from Ritual to Monkey Business March 6, 2018
Images of Study Away

Photos taken by students on ACM study away programs in Tanzania, Brazil, Jordan, and Costa Rica were awarded prizes in the 2017-18 ACM Off-Campus Study Photo Contest.

The 1st place photo was Fire from Scratch by Jessica Zhou from Colorado College. She took the photo in Northern Tanzania during a Maasai ritual called Orpul, which includes creating a flame using the friction of wood against wood.

Other prize-winning photos captured moments during a parade in Rio de Janeiro, visits to a Middle Eastern historic site and a Nicaraguan church undergoing renovation, and the antics of a white-faced monkey in the Costa Rican rain forest.

The annual contest awards five cash prizes for photos taken by students who participated on ACM off-campus study programs during the preceding year. The 1st through 4th place photos are selected by a panel of judges and the Fans’ Choice Award goes to the student whose photo receives the most “likes” on the ACM Facebook page.

The contest was established to highlight the cross-cultural learning and transformative nature of off-campus study, as well as the ACM colleges’ commitment to providing those opportunities.

2017-18 Photo Contest winners

The comments of the students who were awarded prizes showed that taking photographs was a valuable part of their study away experience as well as a way for them to share their time off-campus with others.

“The process of taking photos is highly selective,” wrote 2nd place winner Yuxuan Feng (The Color of Pride) from Colorado College. “Each element, time, weather, character, event, or emotion could influence the narrative of the story behind the picture. When I kept reflecting on the value I want to express or spread through the pictures, I learned more about Brazilian culture and more about myself. “Those photos I took in Rio are my treasures.”

In taking pictures of the predominantly savannah landscapes surrounding her in Tanzania, “I pushed myself to figure out specifically what details made this unfamiliar landscape unique and beautiful, and tried to capture this in my images,” Zhou wrote. “I think that in taking photos while studying in Tanzania, and in paying attention to these small yet vital details, my study abroad experience as a whole was enriched greatly.”

“For me, photography was my form of journaling throughout my entire study abroad experience,” Grinnell College student Megan Tcheng noted. Her photo A Meeting, which garnered 4th place, was taken during the Costa Rica program’s trip to neighboring Nicaragua.

“Whether I was documenting one of our weekend getaways, my walk home, or a lazy afternoon on ACM’s campus,” she wrote, “I knew I was building important links to my time abroad that would keep me connected to Costa Rica long after I’d returned to my hometown or my college campus.”



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