The Amazing Places Race is based on an activity we do with our students onsite. Via our La Vida Local co-curriculum, we intentionally engage students with the local culture on a deeper level, and provide a venue for them to reflect on their experiences, make meaning of them, and achieve greater cultural understanding on personal, local, and global levels that connect back to their academic learning.
The race gives our colleagues a chance to dive in and engage with a new place, just like our students do onsite. On Wednesday evening, May 30th, 2019, 15 teams competed in a scavenger hunt to get to know the history, sites, and flavors of Washington D.C. with a partner as they completed challenges and earned points in a race to the finish line.
A few race highlights:
Stop 3: Ben’s Chili Bowl! A famous D.C. staple, this lunch spot opened in 1958 and has been a favorite among visitors and locals ever since! Ben’s Chili Bowl has had a long relationship with the African-American community, from feeding protesters during the March on Washington in 1963 to establishing the Ben’s Chili Bowl Foundation in 2010, which supports the local neighborhoods and communities with grants and programming. It is best known for its chili and half smoke sausage, but also for the large mural that graces the side of the original building. Racers were tasked with identifying as many people on the mural as possible.
Hopping on public transportation
The race was a combo of walking/running and public transportation. While heading to the next stop on the metro, teams were tasked with getting the inside scoop from a local with questions like: What is the best part about living in D.C.? What’s the best museum to take visitors to? What is one thing we have to check out while in D.C. that we won’t find in a guidebook?
Stop 5: Smithsonian Castle
Designed by architect James Renwick, the castle was meant to be the focal point of the National Mall, but taking a quick look around, racers could find an even more iconic view. This stop was a photo challenge: pose for a creative photo with the Washington Monument in the background and snap away!
Team Probably Gonna Walk gettin’ their photo on.
A big congrats to the winners!
1st place: The Grand Beerlievers
Congrats on taking home two $1,000 STA Travel flight vouchers!
- Angelina Palumbo, Northern Arizona University
- Mikaela Terry, Northern Arizona University
Here they are in action, asking these women (in Spanish!) about their favorite parts of the city and museums. Nice work, ladies!
2nd place: Study Abroad Broads
- Allison Kretschmar, University of South Carolina
- Bailey Lee, University of Arizona
3rd place: WisTucky
- Nicole Fuls, University of Florida
- Michele Shepherd, University of Florida
Spirit award: Culture Cruisers
Congrats on taking home two $300 CIS Abroad scholarships
- Katy Lane, Texas A&M University
- Xiaoshuang Weiruisers, Texas A&M University
And a big thanks to ALL the other race participants that made this event so amazing:
- Rose Malone, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
- Rachel McCloud, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
- Stephanie Tilley, Prairie View A&M
- Mashairi Halifu, Prairie View A&M
- Jamie Booth, University of Tennessee Chattanooga
- Brittany Fentress, California State University, Stanislaus
Probably Gonna Walk
- Sophie Keehan, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
- Jamie Fleming, Purdue University Fort Wayne
- Brittany Marinelli, Lenoir-Rhyne University
- Laura Dobson, Lenoir-Rhyne University
New York State of Mind
- Linda Lubranski, St. Joseph’s College
- Kelly Roberts, Fordham University
- Rachael English, Duquesne University
- Danielle Genemore, Duquesne University
- Lisa Fiala, Flagler College
- Dylan Rasnic, Flagler College
- Sophie Picavet, Sup’Biotech
- Émilie Bourgois, Esme Sudria
- Meg Sonstroem, Georgia Institute of Technology
- Cassy McInnis, Georgia Institute of Technology
- Katelyn Brown-Gomez, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- Ashley Szulak, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
We’re taking it back to the beginning for NAFSA 2020 – back to St. Louis, where our first Amazing Places Race was held. Want to be the first to hear about CIS Abroad’s NAFSA events in St. Louis? Email Emily Negard, Director of Partner Communications, at email@example.com to get on the list.