Global Citizen Scholarship


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2020 winners

Watch the winning videos from 2020 to get inspiration and to see what makes for a winning video.

The theme for 2020 was "Staying connected through change: a reflection of our most important connections, both with others and ourselves."

Merve Basdogan

Description of the video:

[Russian dance background music plays throughout video]

Conor Bonfil

Description of the video:

Hi, my name is Conor. I'm a graduate LLM student at IU. This is my story about connection. So 50 years ago two American tourists were cycling through the Irish countryside. Randomly, they stopped outside my grandmother's house and asked for some water. Instead she invited them inside for a cup of tea. From that day on and for years after they would all stay connected by writing postcards. More visits followed and eventually that connection was passed on. When I was an undergrad, I knew I wanted to be a lawyer, but I didn't know anybody involved in law. My grandmother, who had kept in contact with the son of one of those American visitors, she told me, I think he's involved in law, ask him for some advice. So I connected with them. And to my surprise, he was a judge, who connected me to his friend, an attorney, and they invited me to visit to see what life was like as a lawyer in the U.S. They were both IU alumni and suggested I could apply to study there. So I did. I got accepted, got ready to go. And then the pandemic happened. There was panic and uncertainty and the U.S. shut its borders and put visas on hold. I got stuck in an apartment in Madrid on the wrong side of the Atlantic on lock down. The world was told to distance. But I was determined to make it work and so was IU. For the first time ever we started online. And straight away I found myself sharing classes with like-minded people from everywhere. The U.S., Mexico, Thailand. The list goes on. All of us in this same global situation, connected across borders and time zones, across language and culture. In my first four months, I've been connected with so many interesting people, like a professor from Puerto Rico is giving us insight into U.S. immigration law. While student groups like the BLSA and the LLSA are helping me to understand the importance of the BLM movement and also give me another reason to continue learning Spanish to better connect with some 40 million Spanish speakers in the U.S. We have chances to work with groups like Lawyers Without Borders, we even had a talk from Hollywood talent agent. Very soon I'll have the chance to sit for the Bar exam and become a qualified U.S. lawyer. The first lawyer in my family. And now I am unique in that I haven't actually stepped foot on campus yet because of the pandemic. And in the new year I'll physically arrive to Bloomington. This experience has shown me that IU is more than just a place. It's a global community. And if I've learned anything from a grandmother, it's welcoming new opportunities to connect with people no matter what their background, that's what's important. And in this new normal of social distance, I feel I'm more connected than ever. And my story started with a connection over a cup of tea. So I wonder which connection started yours.

Antares Wong

Description of the video:

2020 was a special year and it changed our lives forever. I am Antares and this is my 2020 story. We've all been through a lot this year. Coronavirus took away my IU experience, my friends and blocked me away from returning home to see my loved ones. While everybody is complaining about how the barriers impair our interpersonal connections, I disagree. I believe we can still stay connected if we value our connections. With precautions taken, we can still strive to stay socially connected in this unprecedented time. 2020 March, the pandemic happened and took millions of lives. Most countries had travel ban restrictions and I was affected, too. Summers are a once in a year opportunity for me to get back to my home country, to reunite with my parents. My family and my internship awaited in China but there is no way I can return. FaceTime became the only option to stay connected with parents, but my summer internship was ruined. At that time. I said to myself, I cannot let my summer go in vain. Therefore, I went on the biggest challenge in my life. I drove across the entire U.S. by myself. I reconnected with my friends that I made at IU along every state that I passed by. In Colorado, I went mountain peaking with my American friend, John, and made new friends with Emory and Sid. In Kansas, I met with my Asian-American friend Jerry and saw what was one of the best sunsets that I've ever seen in my life. In New Mexico, I hiked a unique rock formation to Rain Park with my Chinese friends, Josh and Sean. In Utah, my Korean friend Brian and I went roaming on a salt flat with our cars. I learned so much about myself on this journey and what I'm actually capable of. I was truly blessed by this unique experience that only a few people have. And it enabled me to connect with my friends in the deeper manner through this special time. After the new semester started I also stayed connected with the IU community through an opportunity in making a street interview on campus with YPE at IU, which is an organization that participated in benefiting the Chinese international students. We spent an entire afternoon on the street asking IU students about their thoughts on WeChat and TikTok getting banned. The interview video not only produced information helping international students to understand more about using U.S. but also connected to the local American students in understanding more about the international culture influences. Staying connected, we will all fight through 2020 together. We only lose when we quit. And I'm not a quitter. I'm the author of my own fate. I am Antares and this my 2020. [Background music]

Each video, in its entirety, must be a single work of original material taken by the contest entrant. By entering the contest, the entrant represents, acknowledges, and warrants that the submitted video is an original work created solely by the entrant, that the video does not infringe on the copyrights, trademarks, moral rights, rights of privacy/publicity, or intellectual property rights of any person or entity, and that no other party has any right, title, claim, or interest in the video. The video must not, at the discretion of the Office of International Services (OIS), contain obscene, provocative, defamatory, sexually explicit, or otherwise objectionable or inappropriate content.

Videos that include sculptures, statues, paintings, and other works of art will be accepted as long as they do not constitute copyright infringement or fraud. When videoing the work of others, it must be as an object in its environment and not a full-frame close-up of another person’s art; the entrant must submit the title and artist of the piece of art included in a video.

If the video contains any material or elements that are not owned by the entrant and/or that are subject to the rights of third parties, and/or if any persons appear in the video, the entrant is responsible for obtaining, prior to submission of the video, any and all releases and consents necessary to permit the exhibition and use of the video in the manner set forth in these rules without additional compensation.

If any person appearing in any video is under the age of 18 and is not the child of the person submitting the photograph, the entrant submitting the photograph is responsible for obtaining proper permission and contact information from the parent or guardian of the child.

By entering the contest, all entrants grant an irrevocable perpetual, nonexclusive license to OIS, to reproduce, distribute, display, and create derivative works of the entries (along with a name credit), in any media now or hereafter known, including, but not limited to: display at a potential exhibition of winners, and publication online on the OIS website highlighting entries or winners of the scholarship. Entrants consent to OIS doing or omitting to do any act that would otherwise infringe the entrant’s “moral rights” in their entries. Display or publication of any entry on OIS’s website does not indicate the entrant will be selected as a winner. OIS will not be required to pay any additional consideration or seek any additional approval in connection with such use. Additionally, by entering, each entrant grants to OIS the unrestricted right to use all statements made in connection with the contest, and pictures or likenesses of contest entrants, or choose not to do so, at their sole discretion. OIS will not be required to pay any additional consideration or seek any additional approval in connection with such use.

By entering this contest, all entrants agree to release, discharge, and hold harmless OIS and its affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising agencies, agents and their employees, officers, directors, and representatives from any claims, losses, and damages arising out of their participation in this contest or any contest-related activities and the acceptance and use, misuse, or possession of any prize awarded hereunder. OIS assumes no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, or delay in operation or transmission; communications line failure; theft or destruction of or unauthorized access to contest entries or entry forms; or alteration of entries or entry forms. OIS is not responsible for any problems with or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer online systems, servers or providers, computer equipment, software, failure of any email entry to be received on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website, human errors of any kind, or any combination thereof, including any injury or damage to entrant’s or any other person’s computers related to or resulting from participation, uploading, or downloading of any materials related to in this contest.

Entrants may request a copy of these rules from OIS.