7th Annual International Programs Photo Contest

Rice University

Student Category Photos

Alumni Category Photos

The Runner's Up Photos


Photo Title : MACHU PICCHU
Location : Machu Picchu, Peru
Student Name : David Swerdlow
Program : IES/Buenos Aires
Description : Machu Picchu is the most recognized pre-Colombian ruin in the Americas. Little is known about its purpose as it went uninhabited and unknown to the outside world for centuries. It has since become the must-see tourist attraction in South America. The ride to Machu Picchu involves a train ride from Cuzco through magnificent valleys and mountains that lasts for hours, followed by a windy bus ride up the mountain and a short walk. After all this travel I was evoking images in my head of Che Gueveraís weariness as he took the more traditional route to the top and his descriptions of the first view of the immense vista after turning the last corner at the end of the journey. Though the arduousness of my journey pales in comparison to that of his, this first view of the ruins was as impressive and awe-inspiring as it had been made out in the Motorcycle Diaries.


Location : Maíerkang, Sichuan Province, China
Student Name : Olivia Bartlett
Program : USAC/Southwest Univ of Nationalities
Description : Stuck in the Maíerkang, Aba Prefecture hospital for a few days due to ìtoo much yak butter teaî, I met Adgi walking around the town. I started stringing peppers along with her as she made fun of my ëamdo huaí, funny smell, and hairy arms. She introduced me to her family, we exchanged addresses, I was given an apple, and we parted ways. Just another amazing connection and understanding that living abroad makes possible.


Location : Milford Sound, New Zealand
Student Name : Jack Chi
Program : Arcadia Univ, Auckland
Description : Milford Sound is a 22 km narrow fiord in the Tasman Sea, bundled in with sharp cliffs, peaks and fresh waterfalls; it is located on the Southwestern edge of New Zealand and is often visited by immense amount of rain causing a mystic feel of haziness and a complete sense of outlandishness. I traversed the winding roads down the western coast by the most inexpensive mean of transportation ñ hitchhiking. Along the way, a Maori couple told me it was Tu Te Raki Whanoa, a fearsome godly figure who created the fiord. Another german shepherd told me not to even bother going on the cruise because chances are it will be misty and rainy. The weather was gorgeous when I kayaked along the Mitre Peak, the sensation I felt being dwarfed by the Mitre peak (1692 meters) was breath taking. Never in my life I have seen such a gorgeous natural beauty, so untamed and yet so exposed.


Location : Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Student Name : Jonathan Jackson
Program : Arcadia Center for Education Abroad/ Univ of Otago
Description : While exploring Sydneyís Darling Harbor, I spent no few hours in their Chinese garden of friendship. The garden, though small, was a veritable oasis within the bustling city, and upon stepping inside, I felt a previously unfelt weight drop off my shoulders as I watched the birds splash about in the water, and the agamas (a type of lizard similar to the iguanas) sun themselves on the rocks. One several occasions during my visit, I found myself sitting for a few minutes, eyes closed, marveling at how distant the concrete jungle had become, mere yards away from itís verdant counterpart. After coming out of one such reverie, I opened my eyes to find this scaly fellow in a similar state of meditation. The two of us held still, mutually aware of the other, yet both enjoying our contemporaneous solitude in this sanctuary of Sydney.


Photo Title : DAILY CATCH
Location : Guajiru, Ceara, Brazil
Student Name : Alberto Herrera
Program : SIT/Brazil
Description : Who knows what this huge fishís name is in English. But in Portuguese, it is a camuripin, and everyday at 4am in Guajiru, the fisherman set out on two-person sailboats to find them. At around noon, when the tide lets them back onto the beach, there is a pack of young boys, waiting to help load the fish onto pick ups going to market. Itís a real team effort and often the camuripin comes out on top. Not this time though. Our weekend away in tiny villages like this one on the Northeast Brazilian coast were illustrative of how different my life is to people who live there, but at the end of the day, we all need to eat.