• Study Abroad Creates Scenes of Discovery

    College students share cultural adventures through photo, video, and essay contests

By Dianna Douglas
Photo by Varsha Sundar (Istanbul)
July 7, 2014

Every year the Study Abroad office collects hundreds of photos, videos, and essays from students in the College, looking for scenes that capture the awe, delight, romance, discovery, and challenges of living abroad. This is a small selection of this year’s winning entries.

Currently 40 percent of students in the College study abroad. They travel to UChicago centers in Paris and Beijing, to partner universities in far-flung places like Chile and South Korea, to Civilization programs with faculty around the world, and to undertake intensive foreign-language study programs or original research projects. For many, it is a transformative experience.

“The students who study language, history, and culture in foreign lands are embracing a kind of intellectually rigorous globalism that will surely be a hallmark of the new liberal education of our century.”  
— John W. Boyer, dean of the College.

 Sydney Combs, a fourth-year anthropology student, traveled to Tanzania in 2013 for field research with the Maasai tribe, and brought back photos and videos that show the clash of the rural and urban, and developed and underdeveloped areas where she worked. Combs won first place in this year’s photo and video contests.

“Studying abroad in Tanzania gave me the chance to finally put my language and cultural studies to good use, and solidified my love for fieldwork and anthropology,” she says.

Like many students who study abroad, Combs plans to continue working and researching outside the borders of United States. “I had so many wild adventures and met so many kind people that I can’t wait to go back.”