Vote for Your Favorite Study Abroad Film

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Ashley Houston
September 1, 2015

The 2nd annual IES Abroad Study Abroad Film Festival welcomed 45 submissions, which were narrowed down to 19 semi-finalists, and now, three finalists.

The 2015 finalist films are:

  • Abroad Sweet Abroad by Adrienne Picciotto, IES Abroad Rome, Mount Holyoke College
  • Bringing Light to Egoli by Larisa Manescu, IES Abroad & UT-Austin Customized Program: Community & Social Development, The University of Texas at Austin
  • It’s Okay by Kyle Rodriguez, IES Abroad Buenos Aires, Occidental College


The jury, which includes film experts, faculty, as well as an Oscar-nominated IES Abroad alumnus, Willard Huyck, evaluated all submissions based on capturing the spirit of study abroad, production quality, entertainment value, and originality.

Voting on the finalist’s films went live on IES Abroad’s Facebook page today, and will close Tuesday, September 15, 2015 at 12 p.m. CDT. The first place Study Abroad Film Festival winner will receive $1,000 and an invitation to screen their film at the IES Abroad Annual Conference in Chicago, IL this October. The second place film winner will receive $500.

Read the students' descriptions of their films:

Adrienne Picciotto
Abroad Sweet Abroad  
Rome, Spring 2015                          
Mount Holyoke College

"This short film is a reflection of my experience studying abroad as told by hundreds of photographs and an entire semester's worth of introspection condensed into 3 minutes of spoken word."


Larisa Manescu
Bringing Light to Egoli
Social and Community Development Customized Program
Cape Town, Spring 2015
The University of Texas at Austin

"As a part of the 2015 Social and Community Development program, twenty-six UT-Austin students traveled to Cape Town, South Africa to learn about how local social entrepreneurship is addressing inequalities still present from apartheid's legacy. This is the visual story of one of four teams, six students who brought a small seedling of an idea for a sustainable light source to the Egoli informal settlement and were able to introduce the Liter of Light prototype with the help of community members who welcomed us with open arms and hearts (and invaluable handyman skills)."


Kyle Rodriguez 
It's Okay
Buenos Aires, Spring 2015
Occidental College

"Studying abroad is a strange and specific time that comes with a lot of expectations. We talk about the life changing time we had and how different we feel when we reach its end. But I also think that there are crucial aspects of studying abroad that people don’t talk about. Things that are too personal or too somber for casual conversation. It's Okay is a reflection on the way that this experience humbles us by making each of us hyperaware of our faults and insecurities. It is a time where we can recognize that it is not about conquering our weaknesses; it is about discovering them. And in the end, we might find the strength to understand these weaknesses, and move forward."

Make sure to get your VOTE in before Tuesday, September 15th at 12 p.m. CDT for your favorite film!

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Ashley Houston

IES Abroad News

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