Yale College
Center for International and Professional Experience
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2008 Photo Contest Results

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First Place
Han Xu
Class Year: 2009
College: Davenport
Program: PKU-Yale Joint Undergraduate Program
Location: Da Yao, Yunnan Province, China
Caption: International exchange is about connecting individuals with radically different cultural backgrounds in the hope that we can better understand the great diversity of human experience.  These schoolchildren in rural Yunnan province greeted us with excitement when we came to teach them English, but our most important contribution was probably a reminder that there is a much bigger world outside of their county, just like how we learned that there is a much bigger world outside of Yale.



Second Place
Kristian Henderson
Class Year: 2009
College: Trumbull
Program: HIV/AIDS in Swaziland
Location: Mbabne, Swaziland
Caption: Sunlight beamed through the windows and doors of this small theater in Swaziland. Regardless of age, all of the women were lined up on the wall of the theater and all of the men were sitting in multicolored folding chairs in the middle of theater waiting for the performance to begin. I walked in, and the gender segregation was clear. I asked my self, where would I sit? It was easy for me to past judgment and to maintain my ideologies of gender, but the more difficult task and perhaps the more important, was attempting to understand the cultural norms of a society that is different from mine. I decided to sit on the floor.



Third Place
Kayla Matheus
Class Year: 2011
College: Ezra Stiles
Program: Josef Albers Traveling Fellowship
Location: Along the Corderilla Blanca in Peru
Caption: Once again, we were being passed. Us Americans, with our hiking boots, North Face jackets, and Nalgene bottles were no match for the vivacity of the rural Peruvians and their altitude-adjusted lungs. With large bundles and pack animals, they would fly by us down the narrow footpaths on the sides of the mountains of the Corderilla Blanca while we tip-toed our way slowly. One wrong step, and there would be no guardrail to catch you from a deadly fall, but these Peruvians knew the trail well. We, on the other hand, were used to flat cities and small foothills. Just as their trekking prowess was such a spectacle to us, we must have been such a scene of trekking naïveté.



Honorable mention
Adedana Ashebir
Class Year: 2009
College: Ezra Stiles
Program: Peking University - Yale University Joint Undergraduate Program
Location: Xitang, Zhejiang Province, China
Caption: Xitang is a remarkable town in southern China that dates to the Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC-476 BC) and the Warring States Period (476 BC-221 BC). It is a town of unparalled beauty, mainly due to its architecture and the waterways that run through it. The people of Xitang still make daily use of the rivers, using the water to wash clothes and navigate through town. This is a snapshot of an older gentleman returning to his home on the water's edge. By traveling to Xitang, I was able to observe how another culture interacted with their environment. Xitang's people are still very much connected to the natural world; sadly, something that has been lost to a great extent in other societies.


Honorable mention
Eileen Huang
Class Year: 2010
College: Timothy Dwight
Program: Light Fellowship
Location: Beijing, China
Caption: The laughter from these boys contrasts sharply with the gloomy conditions around them. China's migrant schools highlight the juxtaposition of Beijing's thriving cities and the still struggling countryside. But despite the disadvantages these children face, they are grateful for the education they receive and are enthusiastic to learn. Hope and dedication like theirs is the driving force that will help China prosper beyond its cities into the countryside, and eventually to all of China.




Honorable mention
Maureen Gaj
Class Year: 2010
College: Jonathan Edwards
Program: Bulldogs in Singapore
Location: Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Caption: All around the Angkor Wat compound young children ran with postcards, and scarves trying to get you to "buy one for a dollar". They would push and pull each other sometimes fighting to get the tourists trying to be the one who made the sale. But as we walked along a quiet patch, there were these two girls, helping each other climb the huge ruins we were scrambling across. Pushing and pulling each other up, laughing and smiling, they came over to look at us as we walked by. With the small exchanges we could make in facial expressions, it became clear that these girls had a life far different that ours, but no matter the language barrier, the cultural differences, there are somethings that are worldwide: love, compassion and the desire to help one another.



Honorable mention
Lea Sia Yu
Class Year: 2010
College: Ezra Stiles
Program: Currently enrolled in Yale-Peking University Joint Undergraduate Program
Location: Baisha Town, Yangshuo County, Guilin Province, China
Caption: It was our first week in China. At Wulidian Elementary School, we hoped to connect with the children somehow, but the language barrier complicated things. We could only give gifts and make faces. Then, we stood there, feeling ignorant and uninteresting to the students, who we could not understand. Danny, however, was determined to experience something with the children in the 15 minutes we had. He started to chase after the kids. Suddenly, over 20 kids were running after him, around the trees, to the left, to the right-until they swarmed, hugging him to the ground and laughing hysterically. The scene instantly felt familiar, comfortable. Danny gave himself to the moment, rather than sulking in the cultural awkwardness that we would all soon learn to shed.