My study abroad trip was about five weeks long, and we went to Prague, Arles, Paris, and London. Part of our group was also able to plan a short trip to Marseilles as well. I went into the program barely knowing anyone but came out from the trip with a bunch of new friends. Everyone got to know each other over the trip, and it was a great group to share this amazing experience with.
I enjoyed each city we went to and all of things we got to do. We went to many exhibits and museums and got to talk to many photographers. It was interesting getting to see their techniques and how they got to where they are now. They also gave us some tips for shooting different types of photos. I enjoyed getting to meet different people and see different styles of photography during our trip.
There was so much to do in each city, and this trip has made me want to go back and travel more of Europe one day. I'm extremely happy and thankful that I was able to go on the Photo Communication study abroad trip this summer. Everyone says to go on at least one study abroad trip while in college and that you won't regret it, and I'm glad that I went because they were right. Being able to go on this study abroad trip truly was a once in a lifetime experience. It was a great way to spend a part of my summer. I made new friends and gained new skills while abroad.
The Photo Communication study abroad trip was a great fit for me and helped me improve my photography skills as well as learn more about other countries. I'm majoring in journalism with a concentration in visual communications and minoring in public relations and media photography. When I saw this program, I thought it would be the perfect study abroad trip for me.
Over the course of the trip, I was able to work on different types of photography and improve my skills. We did projects focused on architecture, personal documentary, street photography, portraits, and a final project. I liked getting to work on different types of photos in different cities. Over the course of the trip, I also saw my work changing and improving as well.
It was a great feeling getting back into doing more photography. I've always loved taking photos, and for a while, I really focused on photography. However, my semester this past spring focused almost completely on my public relations minor. This study abroad brought me back to doing what I love and focusing more on photography. This spring semester I have another photography course and am excited to continue focusing on taking photos more often. This trip has also encouraged me to take more photos more often, and this coming year, I want to get back into the habit of bringing my camera with me more often and shooting with friends as well.
In Prague, our first project focused on architecture. The architecture project made me pay attention and focus more on the actual architecture in Prague and on the little details of the buildings. We arrived a little late in Prague due to some flight delays and experienced some hot weather when we first arrived. However, once we got settled in, we did a lot of walking and exploring the city. Prague also had some amazing views that we found while getting to know the area. We started to get to know each other better after spending all our time exploring and shooting photos around Prague. We also had a little picnic on the 4th of July. Even though we weren't in the United States, we still celebrated in our own way.
In Arles, we worked on a personal documentary project. I wasn't sure what to do my project on at first, but eventually I came up with an idea. The personal documentary project allowed me to tell a personal story even though I was in a city that wasn't my own. Arles felt like a smaller city than the others, but we got to know the area pretty quickly. We also spent several nights hanging out near the river, like we did in a few of the cities.
At this point, we took a mini trip to Marseilles. I enjoyed getting to have a nice beach day in Marseilles, and our group got closer and bonded a bit during this time. We tried some great food here, including beef carpaccio and sushi. I tried salmon for the first time here, and found a new food that I enjoyed and kept trying in different dishes at other restaurants too.
In Paris, we had a street photography project to work on. I was a little nervous about the street photography project and taking photos of random people but eventually was able to capture some photos that I really liked. I just didn't want to get yelled at or get weird looks from people wondering why I was taking their photo. We got to explore much of Paris and of course did some shopping. Paris was amazing, and I would love to go back. There's so much to do there, and I still have many places I would like to visit. Some of our evenings were spent sipping wine with a view of the Eiffel Tower right by us. It was definitely a must-do "Parisian experience".
The last stop was London, and our project there focused on portraits. The portrait project was kind of stressful for me because even though I like taking portraits of friends, I was nervous talking to random people to take their photos. Eventually I was able to work up some courage to get some good shots. This project made me step out of my comfort zone a lot more than the previous projects. I was nervous having to go up and talk to random strangers to take their photos. It's something that I definitely still need to work on, but I'm getting there.
By the end of the trip, I was definitely ready to go home. I loved Europe and would love to go back, but after several weeks I was missing the comforts of home and my family and friends. On my way home, I also had flight delays and got stuck in Philadelphia airport, just like I did on the way there. I might be avoiding that airport for a little while now. I learned from that one. I'm home now reminiscing on my time in Europe. I hope to be able to go back one day!