So, you just got back from Norway. Or India. Or Ghana. Or Tennessee. No matter where you studied abroad, coming home can be a bit of an adjustment. Luckily we’re fortunate enough to have cameras, tablets, or smart phones to take as many pictures as we want while we’re away (at least as many as an SD memory card can hold) to remember the highlights of our trips. We know you took a ton of great pictures or videos, and we want to see them!
Twice a year, ISEP holds a Photo/Video Essay contest. The current round is open to ISEP students who studied abroad in the Summer or Fall of 2012. We’re excited to announce that this year, the voting will be done by you and your friends on ISEP’s Facebook Page. Want to participate? Check out more contest details.
To get your creative juices flowing, we thought you might want to take a look at last year’s winning submission from Matthew Foxx Duncan. Matthew is from Georgia College & State University, and studied abroad at Karlstad University in Sweden in the Fall of 2011.
My studies were rigorous and demanded long hours of homework and studying in the library and on campus. However my friends and I always found time to explore our host university and have fun.
The Swedish friends I made surprised me at every turn. From karaoke nights at the student bar to outings at the local skate park their friendliness and eagerness to immerse me in their culture redefined all notions I had of northern Europeans. Here Emma flashes a smile with her BMX helmet on after a jump into the foam pit.
Thomas, from The Netherlands, stares out into the choppy wake of Lake Vänern on a cold and windy day. The friends I made studying abroad encouraged me to explore all opportunities and get out of my comfort zone — I would not have found such amazing places if not for the passion of my friends.
Late summer in the north provided a unique opportunity for me to learn about the culture of respect the Swedish show towards nature. Recycling, waste disposal, and preservation of the environment are core to the daily life of the Swedish — this contrasted drastically from my experience in the U.S. and helped me reshape my relationship with the nature around me. This boardwalk runs the length of a nature preserve in the park Mariebergsskogen near the city center.
Desks situated in the Karlstad University Library. The library was an essential resource for me and my peers and its wide open spaces with large, expansive windows created a fresh and welcoming environment to learn.
Fall in Karlstad revealed a landscape far more beautiful than I had ever imagined. The city of Karlstad prides itself on the care taking of its grounds. Tree-lined canals, picturesque cobble streets, and brightly colored blue benches dotting the lawns of all public spaces; this newly fallen leaf rested on a bench overlooking a canal running through the heart of the city.
A trip up to Abisko, Sweden in the Lappland region opened my eyes to the beauty of the true north. Being from the southern U.S. extreme cold, deep snow, and polar twilight were all novel concepts I had never experienced. This week-long trip with close friends exposed me to a way of life and natural environment that was totally alien to me; I returned from the trip permanently impressed by the sublime nature of Lapporten, The Gate to Norway, and the simplistic beauty of Abisko. This photo was taken of train passing in front of the beginning of Abisko National Park.
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