​The Niner International Study Abroad Photo Exhibit opened on Monday, April 28, with its opening ceremony being held Tuesday, April 29 in the Student Union Art Gallery. The exhibit will be open through Friday, May 9. This is the event’s fifth year at UNC Charlotte and is hosted by the Office of Education Abroad.

​Each year, students who have studied abroad within the past year submit photographs they have taken. A panel of five judges vote for the top three photos from four different categories to be displayed at the event. The judges also choose ten honorable mention photos for each category be displayed in the exhibit. The four categories are “Defining Moment,” “Portrait,” “Self Portrait” and “Landscape.”

​The event is held annually to give UNC Charlotte students insight as to what education abroad can teach them.

​“Study abroad exposes you to a world you can’t necessarily get at UNC Charlotte,” said Elizabeth Lorenz, assistant director for the Office of Education Abroad.

​“Study abroad opens new academic worlds and business worlds to students as well as allowing them to build friendships,” said Lorenz

​The event allows students to use photography as a creative means to tell the story of their travels.

“We get to see what captures students’ imaginations…we get to see the world through their eyes.” said Brad Sekulich, director of the Office of Education Abroad.

Julian Griffee and Joshua Kaufman are UNC Charlotte students who studied abroad in London in spring 2013. The two friends decided that while on their spring break from Kingston University in London, they would go backpacking across Europe. They traveled to twelve different countries in just eighteen days.

“Almost every day we were in a new city or new country.” commented Griffee, a senior whose photo came in second place in the best portrait category.

Their trip was for the most part unplanned, and spontaneously led them all over Europe.

“We would book a hostel, go get on their wifi, and then find out where we were going to go the next day,” said Kaufman, also a UNC Charlotte senior.

When asked what the best part of studying abroad was, Griffee commented, “Just being there…you learn so much.”

This year nearly 600 UNC Charlotte students are part of the study abroad program, the most ever The program has ever had. To learn more about the exhibit or about studying abroad, visit the Office of Education Abroad’s website at http://edabroad.uncc.edu/.