SIT Study Abroad announces annual video contest winners where Morocco and Australia dominate

February 27th, 2020   |   Morocco, SIT Study Abroad, SIT Video Contest

Sands of Morocco: A screen shot from our first place video winner.

What's better than a semester or summer abroad? Capturing all your overseas adventures on film – and then sharing them with the world.

For the past few years, SIT Study Abroad has asked students to submit the best of what they shoot from their travels to one or more of the seven continents where it hosts its groundbreaking programs. This past year yielded some of our finest videos yet, with the winners' circle dominated by Australia and Morocco – and even some footage that might more accurately be called short film.

Below, we present the best of 2019, selected from dozens of entries. We had one simple requirement: All submissions had to be 60 seconds or less.

First Place: Stephen Higgins of Saint Michael's College, who discovered the multifaceted diversity of Morocco during his travels on SIT's Morocco: Field Studies in Journalism and New Media program. In this colorful and genuinely moving film, he shows us the essence of a nation. Watch the full video here.

Another shot from first place winner of SIT's video contest.

While the winners of SIT's 2019 video contest frequently showcase the highlights of their study abroad experiences, they more importantly convey the authenticity of their environment, and a deeper understanding of the cultures in which they have immersed themselves.

And sometimes, that happens underwater.

Such was the case with our second-place winner, Jillian Lessing of Middlebury College, who managed to find time to shoot above – and below – the ocean while also conducting her Independent Study Project at Australia's Lizard Island Research Station. Her submission, created during SIT's Australia: Rainforest, Reef, and Cultural Ecology program offers an extraordinary glimpse of what it's like to study coral planulae on the Great Barrier Reef. Watch Jillian's video here.

Under the sea, on Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

For third place, SIT is excited to announce two videos tied in a dead heat. Both are whimsical and artistic in their own way.

Our first third place winner, Naomi Miyamoto of Occidental College, created a very personal portrait of her homestay mother in Rabat, Morocco, as part of SIT's Morocco: Field Studies in Journalism and New Media program. Listen to her deeply touching story of her host mother, her homestay family's values and traditions, and how she learned to cook traditional Moroccan dishes. To see Naomi's video portrait, click here.

A video portrait of a homestay mother in the ocean district of Rabat.

Finally, our other third place winner of the SIT Video Contest is Catalina Saldana of DePauw University, who shares her exciting experiences from the Australia: Sustainability and Environmental Action program.

Follow Catalina on her journey across Australia, from Mullumbimby to Sydney to Tasmania in this video.

Topical: A climate change protest in action.

SIT received a wide variety of entries from around the world this year, covering students' time abroad throughout 2019.

Entries were submitted from November 22 to January 1, with the first place winner receiving a $250 gift card; the second place winner a $150 gift card; and our third place winners splitting the $100 prize with a $50 gift card each.

For more on SIT's video contests, check us out on Twitter @SITStudyAbroad under #SITVideoContest.