International Studies & Programs

Unique cityscapes help Annie improve photography skills

The experience was extremely fun and challenging as I was navigating foreign cities to produce the best work I could.

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Published: Monday, 02 Mar 2020 Author: Annie Barker

Annie standing at sunset in EuropeOver the course of July I was fortunate to have the opportunity to be a part of the Photo Communication in Europe study abroad program. I, along with 11 other classmates, traveled to Prague, Arles, Paris, and London. In each city we had a photo project to focus on such as architecture, personal documentary, street photography, and portraiture. 

Since returning I have gained confidence in how I carry myself as well as my skills as a photographer. In general it is easier to go out and get things done. This is because during the program there was no time to waste and it was up to me to make the most of my experience. In terms of photography I learned more about what to look for and keep in mind when I am composing an image. 

One of the most meaningful parts of the program occurred early on in Prague. Several friends and I headed on a tram to a place called Vyšehrad. We first made our way through some lower tunnels, came up on a street and after some walking were surprised to see a magnificent view. I don’t think I had ever viewed such a jaw dropping city-scape or similar scenery since visiting Australia. I don’t want to compare the two as they are both special and unique experiences, but this was definitely my favorite day of exploration in Prague and during the program. It was thrilling to go somewhere we hadn’t been before and discover that part of Prague. 

While we were looking at the view we discussed how lucky we are. I came on this study abroad with no expectations and I was constantly surprised by how wonderful everything had been. I am thankful to have had an opportunity to travel and learn from professional photographers in their country. As Americans we don’t always appreciate the rights we have and we take them for granted. For places like the Czech Republic they have had to fight and struggle far more than we have for independence.
The experience was extremely fun and challenging as I was navigating foreign cities to produce the best work I could. I am very thankful to have had this opportunity and to have grown in my photography skills as well as a person. There are so many aspects of this program that were incredible from meeting new people to exploring places and being independent. I am so glad I had the chance to go on this study abroad. It would not have been possible without the scholarships I received and support from my mentors.

Name: Annie Barker
Status: Junior
Majors: Journalism and Sustainable Parks, Recreation and Tourism
Hometown: Okemos, Michigan
Program: Photo Communication in the Czech Republic, France, and the United Kingdom