When judging the over 1,000 submissions to our photo contest each year, we’re not only impressed by the quality of your travel photography. We’re also blown away by the stories you tell us about your time abroad. From that treacherous hike that changed your life, to the host family that made you feel at home in a foreign place, travel stories have a life well beyond your time overseas. That’s why this year, we awarded our favorite story a top prize in our photo contest. Our inaugural travel story winner is Brandt Coleman, a Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals…
Read more of “Retracing Family History in Germany”
Our Transformed by Travel photo contest is now open to all current and former exchange participants and alumni. And this year, we’re sending the grand prize winner on a four day trip to New York City (airfare ✈ included)! So what kind of photos will win such a high-stakes reward? We recently sat down with our panel of judges, all former photo contest finalists, to explain their perspectives on the judging criteria, describe the most important elements of travel photography, and give advice on what may give participants an edge in the competition.
Our annual Transformed By Travel photo contest is open again to former and current participants on Cultural Vistas programs. Like last year, this means that one entrant is going to win a trip to Washington D.C.! We recently caught up with Matthias Glass, the winner of our 2016 photo contest. A former J-1 intern and now Cultural Vistas alumnus, Matthias snapped our grand prize-winning photo in Santa Barbara, California last year. Matthias has been back in Germany since February, and he shared some of the experiences that transformed his time in the United States, including the inspiration behind his winning picture.
The people you meet and the relationships you form are often the most lasting and rewarding parts of traveling. And sometimes, those special bonds and friendships can come from the most unexpected of places. That’s exactly the takeaway that Ben, one of our Train USA J-1 alumni and a winner of our 2015 contest, learned during his U.S. exchange experience.
At the end of his internship in Texas, Valentin, a Train USA J-1 alumnus and current Ph.D. student at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies, decided to explore the canyons and the southwestern United States. He planned a 14-day road trip through southern Utah and northern Arizona, including five national parks. Most nights were spent camping, often in the back country. On one night, in particular, he set up camp in the back country of Arches National Park and was fortunate enough to witness our very bright galaxy from within. He used his headlamp to light up the inside of his tent…
Read more of “Exploring the Outdoors with Your Camera”