Moody unveils study abroad photo contest winners

Sara Schleede

Photographs from countries including the Czech Republic, Nicaragua, Morocco and New Zealand were honored Tuesday at the unveiling of the winners of this year’s Moody College of Communication Study Abroad Photo Contest.

Moody students who studied abroad during the past year submitted photos from their trips to Moody for recognition.

“This is a way of showing some of the students’ experiences captured in this visual frame,” said Karin Wilkins, Moody’s associate dean for faculty advancement and strategic initiatives. “When you go somewhere in person you get to see things and experience things in a way you can’t through a screen.”

Three winners were selected out of more than 30 participants, and three students were also given an honorable mention. 

Advertising senior Jenkins Bender, who received an honorable mention, took her photo of a daily tea ceremony while on a weekend trip to Marrakesh, Morocco, during her study abroad experience in Barcelona.

“It was neat to be part of a ritual that is so normal to them and to be a complete outsider and be welcomed in with open arms,” Bender said.

After studying abroad, Bender said she believes it is one of the best ways to invest in your education. 

“It’s all experiential knowledge, so you can apply it to your entire life,” Bender said. “It’s so important to know how to communicate with people who are different from you and maneuver in an environment that is different to you.”

Jennifer Jin, a UT alumna who graduated this summer and received an honorable mention, visited Seoul, South Korea. She said her photo, which depicted her friend playing a violin on the street, was inspired by his music and the colors of downtown Seoul.

“In that moment, I wasn’t trying to impress anyone,” Jin said. “I just wanted him to have some memories to take back when he went home.”

The event also served as an opportunity for students to learn more about opportunities to study abroad with Moody. Currently, 7 percent of Moody students study abroad, but Wilkins said she hopes to see the program grow. 

“We are very eager to have our students have experiences outside of Austin, outside of the United States,” Wilkins said. “So we are supporting our study abroad programs and celebrating them.”