From IWU Magazine, Winter 2015-16 edition
A Global Gallery
The University’s annual study abroad photo contest celebrates students who recently
lived and studied outside of the United States.
Stacey Shimizu, the director of IWU’s International Office, said the contest provides
returned study abroad students with the opportunity to reflect on, share and celebrate
their experiences. “Students return from what has been a transformative time and they
want to talk about it, but don’t quite know how to encapsulate it in short bites,”
Shimizu said. Entering the contest forces students to sort through their experiences
to select images and moments that were either highlights or representative of their
larger experience, she said.
Shimizu points to research indicating that study abroad has clear academic benefits,
from language skills to experience in different approaches to learning. The real power
of study abroad, however, lies in the personal development that students undergo.
Contest winner Molly Willeford ’16 agreed that her time in Cape Town, South Africa,
was transformative. She remarked that she discovered a great deal of independence
within herself during her time studying abroad. “I felt more comfortable going out
and doing things on my own, which is something I never thought I’d feel comfortable
doing,” she said. “I’ve become a much stronger person that I ever thought I was, and
it took leaving the [U.S.] to figure that out.”
Traditionally about 50 percent of IWU students participate in an international education
experience. Illinois Wesleyan offers international opportunities from more than 300
global programs in over 70 different countries.
Madz Negro ’16
SIT Panama | Untitled | “People’s Choice” award.
Molly Willeford ’16
SIT South Africa |
Lulu and Her Bubbles | “The Road Less Traveled” award.
Molly wrote: “Lulonke was my 6-year-old host sisi (Xhosa for sister) in Tshabo. In South Africa, it is customary to bring gifts to
your hosts. I did not know if I would have kids or not in my host family, but I was
lucky enough to have two little
I brought bubbles for Lulu, and we spent nearly the entire day blowing bubbles and
chasing them through the yard.”
Megan Win ’16
DIS Copenhagen |
Hyggeligt Sunday Lunch | “Something to Celebrate” award.
“Once a month, my host parents invite their children, grandchildren, cousins, nieces
and nephews over to have lunch with the family. I love this tradition because it shows
how much the Danes value family and how much they pay attention to making sure every
detail looks beautiful.”
Elizabeth Sanders ’16
IES Germany |
Berlin, You Are So Wonderful | “Street Art” award.
Elizabeth wrote: “And they say Germans don’t have a sense of humor! It’s true, Berliners
love their city and their beer. The Berliner Pilsner subway ads definitely gave off
a good sense of Berlin’s culture, and it also added playfulness to commuters’ rides
Kristina Dehlin ’16
Notre Dame, Rainy Day | “The Sights” award.
"The only day when we had time to go to the top of Notre Dame was when it was pouring
rain, so there was an eerie grey fog covering everything. The Eiffel Tower, which
is of course the most iconic image of Paris, interestingly just appeared as a light
shadow above the bustling city.”
Nicole Chlebek ’16
The Blue-Eyed Maasai | “Judges’ Choice” winner.
“My homestay mom proudly wears her jewelry with long ears and a shaved head for beautification.
A proud people with a beautiful culture.”