University of Pittsburgh | JohnstownHeinz Programming Area:
Carrie Law attended Anglo-American University while living in Prague, Czech Republic. She studied photography and initiated a photo project in which she documented anti-Czech government protests held in the city. She had the opportunity to interview locals who wanted to see change in their current system. She also captured images of protest performance groups who did interpretive dances to their own music and poetry. Through her photographs and interviews, Carrie was able to develop an end-of-term exhibit that was displayed in the Anglo-American University’s art gallery for students, locals, and tourists to view. During her free time, Carrie traveled to other countries where she learned about the cultures and tried interesting foods including raw herring sandwiches. She took photographs for her class in each country she visited and is currently compiling a portfolio. Being immersed in Czech culture has made Carrie realize that she would like to continue traveling and photo documenting social situations in other societies.
The goal of our CEE was to bring together the experiences that study abroad students had in one place. We wanted other students to have a glimpse of those experiences so that they would feel encouraged to step outside of their comfort zone and consider study abroad during their college career. We also wanted to give study abroad studtents the chance to share their favorite images from their travels and the chance to win prizes. We decided that creating a photography contest would allow students to share and learn about multiple cultures. We held the contest inside the student union in a private room near the cafeteria and encouraged students to look at the pictures, watch our study abroad slide show and enjoy free snacks. We had almost 300 students and faculty members participate on the day of the even, and even more with the online voting option. Students and faculty were very engaged during the event and some students even took home information about how they could get involved with a similar trip. For our small campus, we had a great turnout. The program was able to send the message that study abroad is a life changing oppertunity, and one that is readily avalible to the students at on our campus. It also gave students access to peers who have been abroad and to faculty members who could help them find a program that is a perfect fit for their needs. I am proud of our program because it helped students start a dialogue about traveling to other countries as well as showing them how they can get involved. It made students feel more comfortable about the idea of trying something new after seeing images of other students' adventures.