Returning students learn to adjust post-abroad

In covering the topic of student’s re-adjustment to home and campus post-abroad, I wanted my photos to effectively show some of the aspects of campus that had changed while students were abroad. I also wanted to capture some of the ways that students learn to preserve their memories from abroad with things like their souvenirs, mementos and room décor. I also tried to illustrate the joy students feel when reuniting with their friends as well as the stress students endure from trying to juggle so many changes at once. I also gaves examples of ways students can help de-stress themselves and ease back into the normal rythem. Finally, I also wanted to point students in the right direction of where they can look to find support upon returning and get involved with sharing their experiences from abroad.

While working on my issue story, I found that it adjusted very well to a written online context. My interviews were full of great sound bites to use as quotes and I feel as though my written story accurately portrays the feelings, obstacles, and excitements that returning abroad students feel upon the return home and to campus. The real test with this story topic came in developing it in photos. I faced a few limitations with this task.

First off was the technological issue: I’ve never had to use my iPhone 4 to shoot photos before. I have always at least had a decent point-and-shoot digital camera that I can use. Unfortunately some mysterious occurrence of late has my digital camera reading a “lens error” to me so I could not use it. The difficulty in shooting with an iPhone is that the photo quality is much lower than a normal camera with much less of a wide angle to shoot with, as well as the fact that when I was shooting photos of my interviewees and friends, I felt unprofessional whipping out my iPhone to take them. I believe that if I went back and shot all of photos the exact same but with a digital camera, the over-all product would undoubtedly come out better.

But one must not let un-changeable circumstances discourage them, so I went ahead and shot over 35 photos overall before narrowing the choices down what I have on my SlideShare. As far as the inspiration for choosing the photos that I did, I will say that I was forced to get a little creative. Since my issue story subject wasn’t something like an event where I can go shoot at or a widely known issue like body image or sustainability, I found myself wondering what the best way to illustrate my story in photos would be. How exactly could I illustrate an abstract process like re-adjustment to campus after abroad? What sort of images would evoke the same feel that I put forth in my written story? Hopefully my photos do an accurate of job as possible with the task.

One Response to Returning students learn to adjust post-abroad

  • Kersten Jaeger
    Kersten Jaeger says:

    I thought you did a good job of capturing both the things that changed while students were away, as well as how they remember their trip. I saw both of those themes very clearly captured. Despite you using your iphone camera, I thought the pictures turned out really well. They were all nicely framed and I think the staged pictures actually really worked for your point. I especially like the reading + yoga picture. Your captions were informative without being overwhelmingly long. Nice job.

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