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Blugolds Abroad: A Photo Contest

| Isaac Risseeuw

UW-Eau Claire continues to be a national leader in providing students from all majors with meaningful international experiences. You can choose from over 50 exciting places in all parts of the world to study and explore as you immerse yourself in new cultures and experiences.

Through its annual Study Abroad Photo Contest, the Center for International Education and Council on Internationalization and Global Engagement are showcasing the many amazing experiences Blugolds are having as they navigate new cultures, explore new worlds and make new friends.

The following are the top 11 photos that were selected from the submissions for this year’s contest, beginning with a photo titled “Love has no Boundaries” that was taken by the first-place winner Leen Wadi in the In the Neighborhood category. Leen took the winning photo in the winter of 2017 while studying in India.

You can view the top photos — and many more — at the display in the lobby of the McIntyre Library and in this online album.

In the neighborhood

Love has no Boundaries by Leen Wadi

India Globalization Faculty-Led immersion, Winterim 2017


"Immersing myself in the culture of India for three weeks has truly been one of the most unique trips I have been fortunate enough to experience. The diversity in the cities we stayed in was so eye opening to see first hand. The diversity of people - From Individuals and families living on the streets all the way to individuals so high up in power living in million dollar homes. The diversity of religion. Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, and Buddhism just to name a few. The diversity of languages - 22 recognized languages ranging from individuals speaking one language all the way up to four. The diversity of women – From women who completely cover their entire body and face to women showing off their body. The diversity of food. The diversity of the education system. The diversity of the physical features. Just to name some more. No matter where you came from, who you are as an individual, or what you believe in did not matter when we met the people we did, but that we all come together and learn from each other. This is important to remember with everything going on in today's world… We are all one and that love has no boundaries."


Lunchtime Blues by Danielle Mares

International Fellows Program: Galapagos Islands, Summer 2016


"For such small, remote islands there is so much life here in the Galapagos. Everywhere you look, you can see animals and people going about their business, side by side. Sea lion pups nurse on the busy sidewalk, sharks swim around the taxi boats, frigate birds and pelicans beg for fish at the wharf. Looking around it’s so amazing to see all of the people and animals coexisting in such a natural, peaceful manner—as if it’s inconceivable that life elsewhere works any other way. In this photo a hopeful frigate bird is caught hovering excitedly as some fisherman work to clean their midday catch of fresh fish. If he’s lucky they’ll toss him some scraps: if not, well, there’s always the next boat."


Sunrise at the Taj Mahal by Shannon Dixon

India Global Feminism Faculty-Led Immersion, Winterim 2017


"Despite being one of the seven wonders of the world and a popular tourist destination in India, the Taj Mahal at sunrise is remarkably peaceful. I knew it was going to be a breathtaking site but there was something about the chilly air and the sun just above the horizon that made the experience more than just a check mark on my bucket list but one that really allowed me to appreciate the beauty of this tomb built by one Mughal ruler, Shah Jahan, for his beloved wife, Mumtaj Mahal."


Aussie Beach Days by Melissa Pomaville

Lismore, Australia, Spring 2016


"While studying abroad in Lismore, my friends and I frequently visited Byron Bay which was just a short bus ride away. Byron Bay is definitely one of my favorite places in the world, with its stunning beaches, incredible views, and the cutest little beach town. This picture captures a typical day at the beach in Australia, including surfers preparing for their ride and the breathtaking skyline."


Blugolds helping hands by Rachel Russell

Guatemala Social and Environmental Justice Faculty-Led Immersion, Winterim 2017


"We got to spend the morning with local community member Rene building this home for a family to live in through the San Lucas Mission. Rene was even quite patient teaching me how to use a power saw for the first time! Overall, this gave us the opportunity to help out, and interact with the local community."


Blugolds Abroad in...

Desert Styled Taxi by Maggie Jackson

Lorenzo de' Medici, Florence, Italy, Spring 2016


"This picture was taken while traveling to Morocco for spring break while studying abroad in Italy.  Specifically, it was taken in the Merzouga sand dunes where I rode a camel during sunset into the desert and stayed the night with my tour under the incredible desert stars.  Our guides cooked us an amazing meal which partly consisted of camel, which made me feel slightly guilty about considering I just rode one!  Then we all gathered around a fire and sipped wine and told old folklore and riddles while basking in the desert stars.  Easily, the best night of my life."


Swing at the Edge of the World by Clarissa Moschkau

Ecuador Faculty-Led Immersion, Winterim 2017


"During our program, we had a free weekend where we had the chance to explore the country and all the excitement it has to offer."


Swing at the Edge of the World by Hailey Nelson

Ecuador Faculty-Led Immersion, Winterim 2017


"There's nothing quite like swinging on the edge of a mountain, next to the active Tungurahua volcano, at the edge of the Amazon Rainforest in Baños, Ecuador." 


Pulpit Lounge by Jessica Pearson

Harlaxton, England, Fall 2016


"This was when we climbed pulpit rock in Norway. I was a 3-hour hike up and we decided to bask in the sun for a while."


#BlugoldsAbroad in Nicaragua by Mikala Russell

San Isidro de Heredia, Costa Rica, Spring 2016


"This photo was captured in a small town in Nicaragua where we got to swim in this lake that formed in a volcanic crater. It actually has just a bit of sulfur in it that is great for the skin. It's surrounded by mountains and absolutely breathtaking. You don't realize how small you really are in this great big world that we live in until you have an experience like this."


Gardening—Galapagos Style by Danielle Mares

International Fellows Program: Galapagos Islands, Summer 2016


"This summer I took gardening to a whole new level. Although the Galapagos Islands are tropical, they can also be very dry and have a very harsh, hot climate. Therefore the species that live here have to be tough to survive. In recent decades human interaction has made this struggle for survival even more difficult, which is why the Galapagos Verde project was started—to help restore the islands to their natural, endemic states. For me, an intern on the project, this meant many days spent processing research data in the station office, but it also meant field-trips. Despite the heat, dirt, hard physical labor and many, many cactus spine splinters, this was the best part of the job. On these days I traveled to new islands and spent my time monitoring, watering, and planting the next generation of seedlings. Unlike your garden variety tomatoes or cucumbers, though, these seedlings have a lot riding on their survival. Someday, if everything goes well, they will be responsible for restoring the unique ecosystems found in these islands, ecosystems that are found no where else in the world. In this photo we are planting baby cacti on South Plaza island. Due to invasive species this island has become almost barren except for this red creeping succulent when it should actually be covered in tree size cacti. With our help, someday it will be again."

Have questions or want to learn more? We have experts in the Center for International Education office who work with you from start to finish. Learn more about studying while seeing the world.

The Study Abroad Photo Contest is sponsored by the Council on Internationalization and Global Engagement, Center for International Education