Winners of the 2010 University Language Services Scholarship Photo Contest Announced

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For some students, a photo is worth a thousand words—and a college scholarship.

People often say that a picture captures not only the tangible, but also the fleeting—a mood, a feeling, an experience.

When asked to relay their study abroad experience in a single photo, students from around the world sent in their various submissions. And boy were we surprised!

Captured through their camera lenses were the impressions of the countries where they studied—majestic cityscapes, unusual cuisine, and friends with whom they shared their journeys. Both humorous and introspective, the photos reflect each student’s experience studying in a new country.

University Language awarded one $500 college scholarship to the grand prize winner, as well as three $100 scholarships to the runners up. The winning photos, along with each entrant’s short essay about their photo, can be found on by visiting University Language Services’ scholarship page ( Profiles of the scholarship winners are posted on University Language Services’ blog, Campus Commons (

  • Winner: Samantha Ross, a junior at Emerson College, studied abroad in the Netherlands and captured the serene tone of a train station mid-winter. She described the photo as representative of the journey, not the destination, of her travels, and called it “the start of [her] adventure” abroad.
  • 1st Runner Up: Juefei Xu, a graduate international student from China at Carnegie Mellon University, captured his experience of his first Chinese New Year in the US. A close up of the “self-made stuffing consisting of minced beef and chopped celery on a dumpling wrapper,” showed him that despite being far from home, he could still celebrate the New Year with traditional cuisine.
  • 2nd Runner Up: Maria A. Davis, a graduate student at Duke University captured the seemingly infinite stillness of the beautiful water at Inle Lake, Myanmar, while studying in Burma. She likened it to the character of Myanmar’s people: “extraordinarily gentle and kind.” The blurred horizon makes the sky and water indistinguishable and speaks to the “stillness” and “patience” that she claims it took for her to truly understand a culture and its history.
  • 3rd Runner Up: Catherine M. Carter, a freshman at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, photographed a bicycle that she found in a shop in Vlotho, Germany. Using this bicycle as a vehicle for her journey (both literally and metaphorically), she describes her experience traveling through the country. The bike got her where she needed to go, and eventually followed her home to the United States.

Honorable mentions were awarded to:

·    Elizabeth C. Berens, Michigan State University
·    Caitlin M. Branderhorst, Vanguard University of Southern California
·    Christine Evans, University of Illinois
·    Bryan H. McManus, Savannah College of Art and Design
·    Chung Nguyen, Brown University
·    Sheena G. Sullivan, UCLA
·    Keath A. Vickery, Oklahoma State University
·    Sergius Z. Wat, Harvard University

Reflecting on her experience abroad, Ross said “I’ve always heard about Paris, London… but until you see them in person, you have no idea what these cities are like. There are some pretty fabulous cities out there.”

Additionally, the winning photos, honorable mentions, and 101 of ULS’s other favorites will be displayed on the ULS Facebook ( and Twitter ( pages!

University Language will announce a new college scholarship contest in the coming weeks.

About University Language Services:

Since 1983, ULS has specialized in the translation of academic transcripts, records and personal documents. The ULS website ( provides assistance to students in the United States and abroad – from deciding on where to attend college, to writing applications, scheduling classes or searching for a job, ULS helps make the most of the college experience.

ULS translates, transcribes and interprets 157 languages and dialects from its international headquarters in New York City and affiliated offices around the world.

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Polina Myagkov
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