Contest rewards traveling students

About 20 photos have been submitted for this year's study abroad contest.

Elizabeth Giorgi

Whether students have studied there or not, a photo of Mayan ruins or the Eiffel Tower could be their ticket around Europe.

In an effort to encourage students to consider studying abroad, the Study Abroad Office announced the beginning of the 2006 International Photo Contest. The contest will end Feb. 13.

Attendees of the 2006 Spring Learning Abroad Fair will vote on submitted photos Feb. 15. Everyone who attends the fair may vote for a photo.

The photo contest is part of the University’s attempts to increase study abroad numbers, as well as to emphasize coordinating a study abroad trip into a student’s four-year plan.

The photos may visually illustrate to students the different types of experiences available to them if they choose to go abroad, Sarah Tschida, student support services assistant said.

Tschida is coordinating the program and said the contest has only received about 20 photos so far.

The contest began a couple of years ago as a way to encourage students to investigate various study abroad programs, she said.

“”It really gets people interested in other areas of the world and maybe just seeing different landscapes from different areas of the world,” Tschida said.

The study abroad office hopes to give away 10 or more prizes to winning photographers.

This year’s grand prizes will be two 15-day Eurail Flexipasses. The passes can be used in Europe to travel from country to country for 15 days, she said.

Tschida said other prizes include travel books, travel photography books and coffee table art books that have photos from around the world.

Any graduate or undergraduate student at the Twin Cities campus can submit a photo, she said. Also, students did not have to study abroad at the time of the photo. Photos can be from family vacations or other trips, as long as they are taken outside the United States.

Psychology and political science senior Kristen Denzer said she submitted a photo in last year’s photo contest and didn’t win.

Denzer said she used a photo she took when she was studying abroad in Mexico.

However, she said she might not submit this year.

“”It is kind of a pain, because you have to find the photo, and go make a copy of it in a 4-by-6 because you don’t want to turn in your original,” she said.

Computer science senior Stephen Fluin said he never heard about the contest.

He said he would have submitted a photo of his study abroad trip to France if he had known about the contest and prizes.

Tschida said the contest usually receives many photos taken in Europe.

A majority of photos submitted from students who have traveled in Europe likely are because many students choose to study abroad in different regions of the continent, she said.