Content Skip to content.
San Diego State University

Be International: Your first stop for SDSU international opportunities

Winning photo of bridge and castle in Austria


A beautifully composed image of sleek marvel of modern engineering juxtaposing an ancient ruin in the Austrian Alps earned kinesiology major Kevin Nordby first place in San Diego State University’s 2018 International Photo Contest.

Nordby was one of six students honored in the 12th annual contest — hosted by the Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement, Office of New Student and Parent Programs and Be International — when winners were announced this week.

A panel of faculty and staff selected first-, second- and third-place winners, as well as two honorable mentions from a field of 133 photos submitted by student participants of study abroad programs or current international students. The SDSU community selected the People’s Choice Award, casting thousands of votes during a head-to-head tournament held on SDSU Be International’s Instagram.

The theme of this year’s contest was “Experience Time: An image from your international experience and a corresponding narrative that explore the fleeting nature of the moment or the passage of time, through people, ideas, landscapes or physical objects.”

"Each year's photo contest helps us to appreciate SDSU's growing diversity of study abroad locations and types of international experience, and this year we also had great participation from international students sharing their experiences!" said Chris Kjonaas, director of international engagement for the SDSU Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement. "This is one of the best ways for students to be able to reflect on their learning abroad and get other students excited about internationalizing their time at SDSU."

The top 32 submissions will be displayed as part of a gallery showing during Family Weekend, Sept. 21-22. 

The 2018 International Photo Contest winners are:



First Place:
“History Meets Innovation”
by kinesiology major Kevin Nordby

First Place Winner

Program: SDSU Exchange: University of Mannheim
Location: Reutte, Austria
Narrative: “As the medieval castle stronghold of the Austrian Alps crumbles in the background, the Highline 179 suspension bridge traverses the steep valley. The ancient castle, built over 800 years ago, has been pounded by frigid winters and enemy cannons over the years yet the bridge is still youthful. Only time will tell if its fate will be the same.”

Second Place:
“Transcending Time”

by international business major Eitan Patek

Second Place Winner

SDSU Exchange: Higher School of Economics (HSE)
Location: Sergiev Possad, Russia
Narrative: “Sergiev Possad, a sleepy little town a few hours north of Moscow, was one of my favorite day trips that I have made during my stay in Russia. It really is a step through a time machine, but modernity is slowly taking hold, as even monks fall pray to technology just like the rest of us.”


Third Place:
“Love and Loss”
by biology major Danielle Ryan

 Third Place Winner

CES: History, Culture and Writing in Ireland
Burren, County Clare, Ireland
“Poulnabrone dolmen is a 6,000-year-old tomb, identified by its stark stone stature, planted among the grasses surrounding it. This tomb is more than the final resting place for over 33 people; it a string tying the past to the present. Caring for the dead is a bandage for the emotional pain caused by a loved one's passing. Time may heal all wounds, but the scars remain as a reminder to enjoy every moment.”


People’s Choice Award

"C'est la Vie"
by mechanical engineering major Dhari Alfawzan

 People's Choice Winner

Program: International student from Kuwait
Location: Anchorage, Alaska, USA
Narrative: “Hidden beneath all that snow that is carved by the winds of winter, is a bleeding glacier that is losing against the race of time. Seeing the scars of this majestic block of ice made me realize, that each one of us lives in this reality that we can't escape from. So all we can do is enjoy the time we have.”


Honorable Mention:
“Lights for the Future"
by mechanical engineering and Japanese major Hy Cao

Honorabe Mention Photo 1

SDSU Exchange: Rikkyo University
Hiroshima, Japan
“Candles strewn about with children’s drawings on the floor were a contrast to the silent solemn morning where I had silently stood among a crowd of thousands to pray and reflect on the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. The smiles of children and their families as they lit their candles in the sweltering evening reminded me that despite a difficult past, with time, Hiroshima has healed and the youth push forward toward a peaceful future.”



Honorable Mention:
“Frozen in Time”
by art-graphic design major Amanda Davis

Honorable mention photo 2: Snowfall in Scotland

SDSU Exchange: Edinburgh Napier University
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Narrative: “This image was taken on the day I experienced my first snowfall in Scotland. As I watched Edinburgh turn into a winter wonderland, I could not help but realize how quickly my time abroad was passing by. I was reminded that I should not take any of it for granted, and to always be present in the moment. The peace and quiet allowed me to fully appreciate a scene that was nothing less than magical.”

 blank_icon_85x85.jpg facebook logo link instagram logo link