Creatively capturing students’ year abroad experiences
31 October 2016
Our students have a fantastic time on their year abroad; living and working in beautiful and fascinating destinations across the world.
To help capture their experiences and to show their creative sides, we hold essay and photo competitions during the summer for anyone within the School who has spent a year abroad as part of their third year studies. Students from all language departments were welcome to enter and a range of entries were received for both contests.
For the photography competition students simply needed to submit photographs of their year abroad.
Adam Vaughan and Joseph Llewelyn’s images of Santa Marta, Colombia and Hallstatt, Salzkammergut, Austria won respectively for the Spanish and German categories while Rachael Harper excelled in both the French and Italian categories with her images of Nantes and Florence.
Claire Billingham (Italian), Lucy Hatton (Spanish) and Jack Pankhurst (German) were all awarded prizes of £50 for their entries to the Year Abroad essay competition which dealt with the subject, "What my year abroad taught me about cultural difference." This title allowed entries to be wide-ranging with culinary cultures and experiences of Brexit in Austria being just some of the topics covered.
Jack Pankhurst, said of his essay, "Stirred by the backdrop of the UK’s referendum result, I wrote an essay that considered European cultural differences. I argued that many students in this year’s cohort, distinctly, learned far more about the characteristics of their home nation. I was astonished to hear the wonderful news that I had won the competition. As I devoted a lot of time to being deliberately imaginative, it was flattering to feel that my efforts had been so generously recognised."
Elke Oerter, German lecturer and organiser of the essay competition said, “This year’s essay competition encouraged students to reflect on their first-hand experience of the culture of their host country. The participants embraced the opportunity to write on aspects of the target culture in a thoughtful, well-observed and creative way. Students chose a diverse range of topics, focussing on everyday experiences in the country as well as the repercussions of major political events experienced while abroad. Their essays showed that they have gained deep insight into the host culture and reached a command of the language that allows them to express complex ideas in a subtle and imaginative way.”