Winner (Jami Weinstein) - "As I studied abroad in New Zealand, I had a whole other world to explore. I traveled almost every single weekend and took advantage of every opportunity. This photo was taken on my first weekend trip with some people I had just met, that later became some of my best friends. We drove south to a beautiful town called Wanaka. I had no idea what the plan was, I just went with the flow. I was told we were going to hike Roy's Peak that Saturday morning, little did I know my first big hike would be an incredibly difficult trek. I had to stop at every turn but I would not give up, and boy was I glad I didn't. When I reached the outlook before the summit, I was astounded, I had never seen something so unreal and perfect. And that was the view in my photo that I took of my friend Grant Wible on my IES program. We were on top of the world. This was by far the best way to kick off my semester abroad in New Zealand, and undeniably my favorite spot."
Runner-up (Sofia Stevenin) - "Spending our evening in downtown Copenhagen near Nyhavn, IU student Sara Kamen rented a bike joining in on a typical activity in the Danish culture. In Copenhagen, biking is seen as the preferred mode of transportation over any vehicle. The area of Nyhavn has a vibrant atmosphere between the colorful buildings and the abundance of boats."
Winner (Abby Wiiken) - "This picture was taken in Santorini, Greece during a four hour hike from Fira, the capital of Santorini, to the coastal town of Oia. I traveled there with 6 of my friends from IU and we were blown away by the beauty of Santorini from architecture to the water, and especially the unbelievable sunset in Oia. I am so grateful for my experience abroad because it allowed me to see incredible places like Santorini that I've always dreamt about seeing in real life!"
Runner-up (Lauren Meskis) - "I took this photo inside La Sagrada Familia. I distinctly remember getting chills while taking it, as the light streaming through the windows created rainbow colors throughout La Sagrada. La Sagrada Familia is one of the most iconic churches in the world and the most famous site in Barcelona, my home abroad."
Winner (Natasha Harvey) - "This photo was taken in Chefchaouen, Morocco, also known as "The Blue Pearl". Every building in this small town is painted a shade of blue and one can easily get lost strolling amongst this sea of blue. As I was walking down one of the small alleyways in Chefchaouen, I came across the curved entryway pictured here and, upon poking my head inside, I was amazed at the amount of authentic artifacts I found. The small boy in the image greeted me at the entryway and when I asked him if I could step inside, he ran inside to retrieve his father. His father excitedly ushered us in and proceeded to dress us up in many of the clothes and hats seen here in a way that he claimed to be authentic Moroccan dress. This trip to Chefchaouen occurred at the beginning of my time abroad and speaking with these locals was extremely beneficial and eye-opening to what the rest of my semester was going to be like. Through this trip and the interactions captured here, I was enlightened to how much I would learn throughout my semester if I chose to step out of my comfort zone and truly interact with locals whom I met. One of the benefits of studying abroad is getting to immerse yourself in a new culture, and that can only be done if you open yourself up to interacting and communicating with people you wouldn't normally."
Runner-up (Erin Powell) - "During my time in the Dominican Republic, we were looking for ways to provide sustainable solutions for the locals. We surveyed men, women, and children to see what their most crucial need was. It was a way to access an ever-flowing stream of clean water. Their only source was rainwater or puddles near cow manure. Just before we left the bate, I took this photo of children who looked onward at the hills that interrupted their easy commute to a busy road. Later I found out that the next IU group that went down to the DR paved ways for clean water to be given to the small town."
We'd like to give a massive thank you to all of the sponsors for their help not only with the photo contest, but for the continued support within the Bloomington community.
Bloomington Bagel Company
The Chocolate Moose