Selfies and Sunrises Earn Ithaca College Students Accolades in Study Abroad Photo Contest

By Emma Silen, March 28, 2016

Selfies and Sunrises Earn Ithaca College Students Accolades in Study Abroad Photo Contest

Each year, students who study abroad come home with dozens, if not hundreds, of interesting photos. This year, three Ithaca College juniors’ photos earned them more than just praise from family and friends. They were named finalists in the Institute for the International Education of Students (IES) Fall 2015 Photo Contest.

The contest features photos taken all over the world by U.S. college students studying abroad. Out of over 600 photos submitted, the IC students’ photos were among 70 selected as finalists in four categories: Landscapes and Landmarks; Global Classroom; Student Experiences; and Most Epic Selfie.

Jessica Ovalle's photo of her and fellow IC student Abbey Pomeroy in front of the famous IAMsterdam sign in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, was honored in the ‘Most Epic Selfie’ category. Like most standout selfies, the photo was captured with a bit of luck.

"The picture was taken on a GoPro so I had no idea how it was going to turn out,” said Ovalle. “But it ended up being perfect since it got the whole sign in there."

Eduard Mostert, who studied abroad in Sydney, Australia, had photos recognized in two categories. Mostert's photo in the ‘Global Classroom’ category depicts "a local Balinese man [as he] prepares a meal for him and his family." Mostert's other photo, "Cape Tribulation Sunrise," selected in the ‘Student Experience’ category, depicts an early morning sunrise seen by his study abroad group.

Laurel Maley's photo "Bartolome," which depicts a stunning scenic view of the Galapagos Islands, was recognized in the ‘Landscapes and Landmarks’ category. To capture the perfect shot, Maley hiked to the top of one of the most famous peaks of the Galapagos.

"Once we got to the top and were totally exposed to the wind, our hair was blowing everywhere, people had to protect their hats from blowing away, and there were tiny particles of sand and dirt getting blown into our legs at such high speeds it actually hurt,” said Maley. “Still, we gathered around and just looked out over all the scenery. We could literally see for miles, and of course had this especially spectacular view just before us."

Of her featured photo, Maley said: "This was just one of the many I took, and I just loved the richness of the colors in it."