Wide Exposure

Last year more than 700 Vanderbilt students received part of their education outside the United States, choosing from more than 100 Vanderbilt study abroad programs. During the past decade Vanderbilt has significantly increased resources to make international study accessible to more students. From nearly 300 entries submitted to the Global Education Office’s photo contest this year, these 12 were selected for the GEO’s annual calendar.

Find out more: www.vanderbilt.edu/geo


Umbria, Italy

Study abroad meant a great chance to break out of the normal engineering cycle and see the world for a semester. It made me a better-rounded person [and] a more attractive job candidate.

Photo by Aaron Thompson, BS’10
Study abroad: Vienna, Austria


Deadvlei, Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia

Grand Prize Winner

I took the photo of Deadvlei because it captured the desolate nature of the Namibian desert and also because the contrasts among the black tree, white sand and orange dunes created a nice composition. This photo reminds me of how varied my experience in Africa was. While I spent most of my time with CIEE (Council on International Educational Exchange) Cape Town in an urban setting, I also had plenty of opportunities to travel to other parts of the African continent.

Photo by Ben Woods, BA’10
Study abroad: Cape Town, South Africa


Orbit Restaurant,
Sky Tower
Auckland, New Zealand

Sharing a meal has always been something that brings people together, whether in celebration, mourning or just catching up. I love that the experience is not confined by cultural barriers, but brings out fellowship and community.

Photo by Vanessa Yu, BS’10
Study abroad: Auckland, New Zealand


Amsterdam, Netherlands

While it was hard to leave Vanderbilt, I would never take back the four months spent in Italy. I had the chance to explore many cultures outside my own, to speak different languages, and to learn to live in an environment totally foreign to much of what I have known.

Photo by Catherine Spaulding, BA’10
Study abroad: Florence, Italy


Mount Roy
Wanaka, New Zealand

I met incredible people and gained insight about things I never would have known otherwise. Making the decision to spend a semester on the other side of the world was risky, liberating and unpredictably rewarding.

Photo by Shane Stever, BS’10
Study abroad: Wellington, New Zealand


Tanzhesi Temple
Beijing, China

Studying abroad in China was one of my most humbling experiences thus far. Every day I was learning something fascinating and new while coming closer to the realization that I know so very little.

Photo by Amanda Heinbockel, BA’10
Study abroad: Beijing, China


Atacama Desert, Chile

My semester in Chile gave me the opportunity to see beautiful things, meet wonderful people, and prove to myself that I could launch headlong into a completely foreign setting, survive, and come out of it a stronger, more confident person.

Photo by Kathleen Flanigan, BA’10
Study abroad: Valparaiso, Chile


Ancient Corinth (Archaea Kórinthos), Greece

Studying in Greece for the summer ignited a desire to delve into Greek history because I witnessed firsthand how Greek historical facts are real and tangible, not just [something found] in a textbook.

Photo by Elena Benitez, Class of 2011
Study abroad: Kenchreai, Greece


New Brighton Beach, Christchurch, New Zealand

Although I found much in common with New Zealanders, I celebrated our differences just as much, if not more so. I grew personally by gaining a broader yet more acute perspective on America, New Zealand, and the world between the two.

Photo by Sarah McKibben, BA’10
Study abroad: Christchurch, New Zealand


San Telmo Fair, Buenos Aires, Argentina

I was at a huge fair in an old part of the city where people were selling art, crafts, knick-knacks, antiques, food, jewelry and more. This bottle vendor stood in a little square; I was drawn to the colors as the light glinted through the glass.

Photo by Rachel Shelton, BA’10
Study abroad: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Sarah-Williams-Paris-FranceParis, France

Study abroad was really a learning experience that could never take place within a classroom. It was a chance to integrate into a totally different culture and learn a new appreciation for foreign traditions.

Photo by Sarah Williams, Class of 2011
Study abroad: Dresden, Germany


Great Wall of China, Miyun County, Beijing, China

We had spent the day hiking this more remote section of the Great Wall and had spent a very cold night sleeping on top of the wall. We awoke just before sunrise and went for a morning stroll on the wall to catch a glimpse of the first rays of sun; the orange rays started at the tops of the peaks and slowly worked their way down. The beauty was spectacular, and just knowing a little of the very long history of the wall made me respect it even more.

Photo by Reid Bartlett, BA’10
Study abroad: Beijing, China