Global Photo Contests

How does the MIT community engage in learning, research, service and work around the globe? In Spring 2017, we asked MIT students to submit photos to us that captured their international MIT experience. The winners are below.

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Contest Winners 2017

Category: Cultures, Customs, and Traditions

Nupur carrying a basket of plants in a field with hills, trees and a small white building with a shingled roof in the background
1st Place: Nupur – D-Lab – Service/Research – IAP 2017
This photo was taken in a small village in Kapkot, Uttarakhand, India. The ladies in these villages carry heavy loads of mustard plants on their backs, up and down the hills in the base of the Himalayas. In between our water filtration user study interviews, I was able to try out their baskets, only to realize the immense loads they have on their necks and backs for hours every day!

Farah in an Indian market holding a plate of Indian food
2nd Place: Farah – MISTI India – Internship – Summer 2016
This photo was taken as part of a MISTI-India Internship in Summer 2016. I love this photo because from it you can't tell that I am only there for a summer internship and do not live there/am not ethnically Indian. I am eating a dosa, a traditional Indian dish which is basically a thin pancake stuffed with mixed lentils, potatoes and sometimes diced veggies, which I bought for a mere 35 rupees (~$0.50) from a street vendor. In the top left of the photo you can see the sort of ramshackle "huts" where patrons can sit and eat the food, as well as a "welcome" sign that tries to add an element of coziness to the place. Other elements that lend to the 'authenticity' of the photo are: my top is a traditional Indian kameez (or fot-u-ah) made and purchased at a large, local market (New Market, Kolkata); my hair is braided, as is customary for girls in India; and lastly, I have a nose piercing/am wearing a nose ring which was gifted to me in nearby Bangladesh.

Category: My Major Abroad

Pierre in a black body suit, covered in instrumentation and wearing a breathing mask, is suspended in air in the belly of a special plane while team members look on
1st Place: Pierre – MISTI France – Research – Spring 2016
The photo was taken on board of a parabolic flight in France, flying over the Atlantic ocean. Parabolic flights are used to recreate zero gravity conditions on Earth. Thanks to MISTI France, I was able to work on my space biomechanics research at MIT with the Man Vehicle Lab. An amazing, but very short (only 20s of zero-gravity) experience!

Maddie, in a US flag bandanna, helps launch a hand-made bottle rocket while Ugandan students watch
2nd Place: Lauren – D-Lab – Service/Research – IAP 2017
For their D-Lab: Development project Course 16 senior Maddie and Course 1 junior Rachel ran a two-week long youth innovation workshop, which covered topics related to STEM, the design process, and entrepreneurship. Pictured here is Maddie helping students from Soroti, Uganda launch their hand-made bottle rockets.

Category: Check Out This View!

a pillared desert temple carved into a huge rock formation
1st Place: Elisa, MISTI Arab World, Internship, Summer 2016
This photo was taken at Petra in Jordan during MISTI Arab World in August 2016. My friends and I trekked to the most famous point at the site, a temple called The Treasury (shown).

close-up of a black bird sitting on a rock atop a mountain; the sun is bright in the sky and water and mountains can be seen below and in the distance
2nd Place: Jin, Global Teaching Labs – Internship/Service – IAP 2017
Over IAP 2017, we were in Israel as part of the MISTI GTL Program. During our free time, we got to explore Israel quite a bit. This photo was taken at the top of Masada in Israel during sunrise. We hiked up the rock plateau in pitch darkness and reached the top just as the sun was rising. This bird was singing the most beautiful song. The combination of the chirping and the breathtaking view at sunrise made the entire hike well worth it!

Category: Getting By with a Little Help from My Friends

three friends, one with a prosthetic leg from the knee down, sit cross-legged on some steps; a smiling man in a lab coat stands behind them
1st Place: Matthew Cavuto and Matthew Chun – MISTI India – Research/Other – Spring 2017
This photo was taken at Mobility India in Bangalore on a research trip funded by MISTI India in Spring 2017. Matthew Chun and Matthew Cavuto (co-founders of Project Need-a-Knee) designed an affordable prosthetic component that enables above-knee amputees to sit cross-legged, dress themselves, and more. One of the users who tested the device was a student named Sudharshan, who is studying electrical engineering at the Mysore Institute of Technology. Here you can see the user crossing his legs for the first time since his amputation 7 years ago thanks to our device. The man in the white coat is a prosthetist at Mobility India, a partnering NGO that specializes in providing prosthesis for free to low-income amputees in India. Here they all are, sitting cross-legged together... MIT meets MIT!

two men smile in a boat while a woman stands behind them, punting them under the overhanging branches of a green tree
2nd Place: Yara – CME – Study Abroad – Fall 2016-Spring 2017
This photo was taken at the University of Cambridge where I'm currently studying abroad. My friends and I love to go punting in the river whenever the sun is out. This is probably my favorite Cambridge tradition.