UI study abroad returnees, international students share impressions
Wednesday, November 13, 2013

University of Iowa International Programs' annual photo contest, held in conjunction with International Education Week Nov. 11-15, not only gives UI students a chance to reflect on their experiences abroad—it gives the public an opportunity to vicariously relive their adventures around the world, as well as see familiar images of Iowa through the unique perspective of UI international students.

These photos are more than just striking images; they show people the profound impact a study abroad experience can have on a student’s education. A vibrant dance of local children is a lasting memory of one student’s experience learning how dialogue and forgiveness have been crucial to the reconstruction and peace-building process in a development village in Rwanda.

This knowledge can’t simply be learned from inside the classroom. Like UI student Jeff Nielsen says about swimming with 30-foot whale sharks, “It was truly a once in a lifetime experience.”

The images also illustrate international students' impressions of the United States, whether a Hawkeye football game, UI Homecoming, or the iconic Iowa State Fair.

Check out the photo gallery below to see this year’s student winners, which includes the following by hometown, major, and college:


Iowa City: Daniel Alder, environmental science and biology, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS).

West Des Moines: Jeff Nielsen, finance and entrepreneurial management, Tippie College of Business.


Chicago: Julia Julstrom-Agoyo, international studies, CLAS.


Regina: Cassidy McFadzean, creative writing program, Iowa Writers’ Workshop, CLASand UI Graduate College.


Chongqing: Yufei Chen, biology, CLAS.

Hangzhou: Chenzhe Zhu, cinema and French, CLAS.

For more information about the photos and to see the winners of the video and essay contests, visit this website.