REMEMBERING STUDY ABROAD IN ANNUAL CONTEST
During study abroad, many students take pictures so that when they come back from the trip, they can relish and remember their times overseas by looking at their photos again.
The CU Denver Study Abroad Photo Contest was created in 2009 to engage students and keep social media sites active. The contest is held annually every fall, encouraging all students who have recently studied abroad to submit their photos to the Global Education website.
“I think a lot of students at CU Denver realize they can study abroad, mostly because we do short-term programs primarily,” said Peer Advisor and Student Assistant Nicole Herrin. “It generates new interest.”
There are four categories in which students can submit at least two photos each. The categories are landscape, culture, wildcard, and CU Denver students, where the students are included in the shot.
Last fall, the program received submissions from 16 different students. From there, Herrin and six to seven other staff members evaluated every photo and used a point system to vote. Ultimately, they choose the finalists and posted them on social media for public votes.
“It’s a gut reaction to how you like the photo,” said Herrin, who managed the contest for the first time last fall.
After the voting period is over, those who have liked the page can “like” the pictures, the votes are tallied and the winners for each category are announced.
The top two winners from each category receive an 8 x 10 inch framed photo, and a travel guide book to any country of their choosing. The photos are also displayed on the Discovery Wall in the library.
“For kids who go abroad, it’s such an amazing opportunity,” Herrin said. “Having a contest helps them remember it, and have a fun time looking through the photos that they took.”
Business Administration student Derek Mertins sent several photos, ultimately placing third for his photo titled “Wild Wembley,” where he snapped a picture of a football match at the Wembley stadium in London.
“It was kind of like a sports fan’s dream,” Mertins said. “I saw the opportunity, and I liked the photos that I took. I was excited that someone else liked the photos that I posted.”
Physician Assistant AnnaMaria Salas travelled to Guatemala last year, and when receiving a notification about the contest, she jumped at the chance. “I have all these great pictures and the country was really beautiful,” she said. “I figured why not?”
Salas placed twice for the CU Denver student category, and although she didn’t expect to win, she was grateful for the opportunity. “There were some really, really good photos,” she said. “It was interesting to see the variety of places that people were going.”
Above: The photo of the first place winner at the CU Denver Study Abroad Photo Contest.
photo courtesy Kevin Forey