10 Student Videos that Will Inspire You to Study Abroad

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IES Abroad

Film has the power to capture raw emotion and the true feeling of an experience far better than most media are able.

From breathtaking drone footage to emotional voiceovers that move you, these 10 study abroad videos showcase the students' ability to hone-in on their filmmaking skills to create videos that are both engaging and inspiring. They leave the audience with the desire to see the world, form long-lasting friendships, make every day a good day, and take charge of their future. In short, they will leave you eager to study abroad.

1. AUCKLAND | A Flick That Will Get You Excited for the Study Abroad Friends You Haven't Even Met Yet

Does your desire to study abroad stem from wanting to push yourself outside of your comfort zone? Meet unfamiliar people and places? Or, perhaps, to explore somewhere that is geographically stunning? Say hello to studying abroad in New Zealand in Happiness Only Real When Shared by Erik Patak (University of Rochester | IES Abroad Auckland, Fall 2017), a student film that landed a Finalist position in the 2018 Study Abroad Film Festival, and that reminds us that no matter the reason we choose to study abroad in a location, it’s the people we meet that make the place special.

2. CAPE TOWN | A Story to Make You Contemplate the Grand Adventure of Life

If you’ve ever looked into studying abroad in South Africa, you’re already aware of its majesty…but just wait until you get there! Though its beauty is difficult to truly capture, we think that Motion in the South by Oliver Lowe (Gettysburg College | IES Abroad Cape Town, Spring 2016) is an awe-inspiring student film that shows us that South Africa’a beauty is something that you’ll never forget. It was also a highly praised honorable mention film in our student Film Festival. Watch it and see why.

3. BARCELONA | A Film That Will Remind You to Always Make the Most of It

It’s impossible to make every day a good day when, every day, you wake up wishing you could study abroad. Get out there, and do it! Before you know it, you could be skiing in the Austrian Alps, or adventuring around Barcelona with your new local friends. No matter how you spend your study abroad experience, the film Make Every Day a Good Day, Film Festival Finalist by James Jenkins (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | IES Abroad Barcelona, Spring 2018) teaches us that it’s important to make the most of it.

4. SHANGHAI | A Dreamy Depiction of Study Abroad in Shanghai

Have you ever wished you could come face-to-face with some of the world’s best-preserved history and architecture? The film Shanghai, A Visual Diary by Kaung Kyaw (University of Pittsburgh | IES Abroad Shanghai, Spring 2018) shows us that a semester abroad in Shanghai, China’s largest and most developed city, could make your wish come true. This film also received Semi-Finalist recognition in our 2018 Film Festival, and for good reason.

5. BARCELONA | A Film That Will Remind You to Let Loose & Live a Little

The best takeaways from every study abroad experience are the lifelong friends that you make, and the memories that you make with them. Is there a better way to achieve this than backpacking Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, France, and Germany together? No Pasa Nada: A Tyler Collins Perspective (Tyler Collins | Miami University (Ohio) | IES Abroad Barcelona, Spring 2017) is a student film and Film Festival Semi-Finalist that proves your friends from abroad are here for the long haul.

6. CHRISTCHURCH | A 90-Second Short During Which You Won't Want to Blink 

Everyone has dreamed of the island life at one point or another, but have you ever thought about living the island life? If so, you might be in luck. A study abroad semester in Christchurch is all you need in order to experience the local Maōri culture, how colonization has changed New Zealand, exquisite hikes (or tramps) in every direction, adventurous sports and activities, and island life all wrapped into one. Don’t believe us? Don’t worry, this 90-second short and Film Festival Semi-Finalist, A Day (Semester) in Christchurch, by Tessa Vande Creek (University of Rochester | IES Abroad Christchurch, Fall 2017) will prove it for us.

7. GRANADA | A Documentary that Proves Family Can Be Found Wherever You Are 

Staying with a host family while studying abroad comes along with a whirlwind of intensive cultural immersion. It could also change your whole outlook on the way that you want to live your life. Soy Fanny by Andrea (Andie) Ayala (Princeton University | IES Abroad Granada, Spring 2018) pulled heart strings as a Semi-Finalist in the 2018 Study Abroad Film Festival, and inspired us to life like Fanny would: by keeping busy, having fun, and being affectionate. 

8. MILAN | A Hyperlapse to Get You Hyped Up About Studying Abroad in Milan

Have you ever met someone that didn’t want to study abroad in Italy? Take Milan, for instance, where you could spend a semester or summer studying businessmusic, or fashion among some of the world’s most stunning neoclassical architecture. If you’re looking for a better idea of what’s in store for you in Milan, Walk in Milan by Aaron Yasko (Indiana University | IES Abroad Milan, Spring 2018) is a stunning student film from our Film Festival that will help you make your decision in under a minute!

9. SYDNEY | A Look at Why Australia Is a Place Worth Thanking

If you study abroad in Sydney, exploring the Opera House would only be day one. The rest of your time could be spent visiting all of the beaches to find your favorite, diving into the vibrant music and arts scene, encountering the unique wildlife, discovering Aboriginal culture, and studying your field from a different cultural perspective! As if this wasn’t enough to fill your time, the student film Thank You Australia by Marlowe Padilla (Ithaca College | IES Abroad Sydney, Spring 2015) and a Semi-Finalist in the 2016 Film Festival, will give you a few more!

10. VIENNA | A Music Video That Will Have You Groovin' Straight to the Airport

By now, it’s probably evident that Europe is very travel friendly. If you need a little more convincing, however, Even in Europe, the 2016 Film Festival Grand Prize Winning film, by Jordan Cain (Indiana University | IES Abroad Vienna, Spring 2016) is the right student film for you. You’ll witness just how much of Europe you could cover in one semester, as well as how much fun you’ll, inevitably, have while doing it.

Want more inspiring videos and student stories? Follow our Student Correspondents as they blog about their adventures and watch student films from our Study Abroad Film Festival!

It’s true what they say: Sometimes you have to see it to believe it. Why just see it on your screen? Experience this inspiration in real life as you study abroad or intern with us.

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