The University of Iowa

Looking at life through a different lens

November 5th, 2015
Study Abroad photo contest Grand Prize winner

"Rainy Easter Sunday," a the Study Abroad Grand Prize winning photo by Elizabeth Healy, was taken at Vatican City. Healy is an international studies major from Elkader, Iowa. 

This article originally appeared in IowaNow

By Shereena Honary

​Snorkeling among marine life off the Mamanuca Islands in Fiji; a rainy Sunday at Vatican City as thousands gather for mass in St. Peter's Square under the shelter of umbrellas; closeups of many hands creating intricate art in northern India; a blood moon hovering over Mayflower Residence Hall; throngs of students on the Pentacrest during Homecoming.

These moments in life were experienced and captured in photos by University of Iowa students—both U.S. students studying abroad and international students here on campus. They are among the winning images selected for the 2015 International Programs' annual photo contest as part of International Education Week—a way to inspire more awareness of the many ways UI students can experience international education.

The UI will celebrate International Education Week from Nov. 10–20, 2015, although the week is nationally recognized from Nov. 16–20. This joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education celebrates the many ways international education and exchange opportunities prepare citizens for community building in both domestic and international settings.

Rebecca Arnold

Rebecca Arnold

Several events and activities are planned around campus, including a public ceremony to honor 2015 International Impact Award recipient Rebecca Arnold, a UI Master's of Public Health graduate and senior program officer at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs.

Arnold, who describes herself as a “social- and behavioral-change communications specialist,” has contributed to the delivery of knowledge and skills around family planning including maternal, newborn, and child health and nutrition. She directs the Bangladesh Knowledge Management Initiative (BKMI), a USAID-funded project aimed at strengthening the capacity of the Bangladesh Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. As part of this effort, Arnold is developing digital resources for community-based, non-clinical field health workers to use in counseling at the household level.

Associate Provost and Dean of International Programs Downing Thomas and Sue Curry, dean of the UI College of Public Health, will present the award to Arnold at 5 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 10, at FilmScene in downtown Iowa City. The presentation will be made immediately preceding the WorldCanvass program “Communicating for Social and Behavioral Change,” which is free and open to the public.

As part of International Education Week, UI study abroad and international students on campus share their reflections and overseas experiences through International Programs’ annual photo contest. It was also the first-ever Instagram photo contest, for which participants shared their study abroad experience with #uiabroad. This year’s winning photos captured Greek cliff-side homes and a drizzly Easter Sunday, while also revealing striking perspectives of the UI campus through the eyes of international students. The Instagram contest received more than 200 submissions.

Check out the photo gallery above to see this year’s student winners. To view all photo submissions, visit the UI Study Abroad Instagram Contest, the Study Abroad photo contest album, and the International Student photo contest album.

Learn more about International Education Week and view a full schedule of events at the UI.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to attend any of these events, or for more information, contact Joan Kjaer in advance at 319-335-2026 or