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See the winners of UofGH's 2018 Study Abroad Photo Contest

Alison Cheng was enjoying the tranquility of Kyoto’s famed Sagano Bamboo Forest during her Study Abroad trip to Japan when she came upon a group of women dressed in traditional kimonos.

The third-year student in the University of Guelph-Humber’s Family & Community Social Services program knew it was a moment she wanted to capture.

“It was breathtaking how beautiful their attire was in contrast to the greenery of the bamboo surrounding them,” Cheng recalled. “I found it was the perfect opportunity to snap a shot and show my family back home.”

Cheng’s photograph was ultimately selected the winner of the University of Guelph-Humber’s 2018 Study Abroad Photo Contest. With nearly 50 submissions from UofGH’s trips to countries including India, Denmark, New Zealand, Singapore, the Netherlands, Italy, Ecuador, France and Switzerland, students submitted a diverse array of stunning and memorable images.

A winning photo was selected from each trip – with the top photographer earning a $50 gift card – while Cheng won an iPad for coming in first place overall.

Study Abroad: A shift in perspective

Cheng had been to Japan once before with her family, but found that this most recent trip resonated in an entirely different way.

“My Study Abroad experience was amazing,” she said. “I believe that going abroad really changes a person; in fact, it really opens your eyes to the world beyond your own bedroom window.

“A highlight on this trip for me was being able to hear testimony from a 90-year-old atomic bomb survivor in Hiroshima. That night changed my view on life completely. She taught us always to be brave, to be strong, and to share peace with those around us,” Cheng added.

“This was not something I could have experienced by watching TV or read back at home. It was definitely my favourite part of the whole trip.”

Here are the winners of the 2018 Study Abroad Photo Challenge:


Grand Prize Winner, Japan trip, photo by Alison Cheng
Denmark trip, photo by Kristina Kelly
Ecuador and Galapagos Islands trip, photo by Radhika Sharma
France and The Netherlands trip, photo by Victoria Duarte
India trip, photo by Kevin Machado
Italy trip, photo by Tiffany McLean
New York and Los Angeles trip, photo by Nicolas Buck
The Netherlands and Denmark trip, photo by Victoria Snook
New Zealand trip, photo by Griffin Yan
Moose Factory trip, photo by Dominica Kerelchuk
Singapore trip, photo by Dylan Cunanan
Switzerland trip, photo by Niveedhika Ketheeswaranathan