LSA’s Center for Global and Intercultural Study (CGIS) offers U-M students the chance to study abroad on any continent in the world. Each year, CGIS holds a photo contest in which students can submit snapshots taken on their journeys. The entries are then placed into categories: sites, students, and engagement with local residents. This gallery features the 2013 award winners and gives a glimpse inside the variety of experiences that U-M students have through international travel.

While studying in Greece, architecture student Brooke Dexter worked on an archaeological dig and visited Athens and Santorini, where she captured this stunning view. “I love that this image shows many different aspects of Santorini; it shows the tourists waiting for a sunset along with people that probably live there. This path is also close to where donkeys trek up the hill, something Santorini is famous for,” says Dexter.
Architecture junior Karen Lee snapped this photo near Annecy, a city commonly called the Alpine Venetia, in France. She visited the area while living in Grenoble for three months.
Lucy Perkins, a senior majoring in English and communication studies, visited Patagonia while studying abroad in Argentina. There she stumbled upon this refugio—or shelter—after hiking up a mountain for four hours. “This building was so isolated from the rest of the world, it was incredibly peaceful. I had to remember it,” says Perkins.
“This was taken on a tour of La Alhambra, the last Moorish palace in Granada, Spain,” says senior Kirsten Corneliussen. “I wanted to capture the history and Arabic influence of the architecture, while also including the city that grew to surround the palace. I think this photo captures Spain's religious and cultural history, and also highlights the amazing preservation of a palace that was built in the late ninth century.”
LSA junior Allison Epstein took this photo at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris. “The Musée used to be a train station and the old clock at the top still stands, through which an amazing view of Paris can be seen,” says Epstein. “I loved the look of the silhouetted clock hands and other museum visitors against the backdrop of Paris; it had a beautiful sense of wonder to it.”
While participating in a four-week immersion trip in Gabon, Africa, Jaclyn Tolchin, a junior majoring in ecology and evolutionary biology and evolutionary anthropology, snapped this photo in the village of Oyem. She and a group were on their way to visit a pineapple plantation, owned by a village elder.
Junior Blake Mackie snapped this photo of junior Jerusaliem Gebreziabher filling up her U-M water bottle from a fountain in Florence, Italy. Mackie was there as part of CGIS’ spring/summer language program, studying Italian 230 in Sesto Fiorentino, Italy.
“All over Beijing, there are what seem to be ‘adult playgrounds’: structures for stretching, exercising, and climbing. I was doing field research with my project team, and we came across one of the structures. We played on it with the locals, who were amused to see us explore,” says Nina Levin, a senior majoring in comparative literature.
“Semana Santa, or Holy Week leading up to Easter, is one of the most important events in Sevilla all year,” says senior Hope Peskin-Shepherd, who spent six months in Italy. “The traditions start young, and this little boy, dressed as a nazareno—a miniature version of processional participants—is waiting among a large group gathered in a plaza to join the holy activities.”
Junior Smita Bhattacharya spent a month in Kumasi, Ghana, through the Global Intercultural Experience for Undergraduates (GIEU) program. “We attended a royal funeral, which consisted of merriment and dancing, as it was a celebration of life,” says Bhattacharya. “The Asante leader attended this funeral, and we were all very honored to meet him. He is wearing red and black because those colors symbolize mourning in this culture.”