Surf’s Up in Tahiti

Guest Post by: Finance and Operations & Supply Chain Management Senior Jennifer Chen. This early Fall, she studied abroad at the iSchool and OMA&D: Tahiti. 

Prior to the trip, all I knew about surfing came from the movie Surf’s Up. I never imagined that I would one day attend a surfing event. One of the days abroad in Tahiti, we went to watch the Tahiti Pro Teahupo’o surfing championship in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean. This is an annual competition where surfers from all around the world come to Tahiti to compete against one another. It was the final day and only two surfers were left! We boarded small boats and cruised to where the surfers were competing amid huge waves. There was so much energy from the dozens of boats out on the water; photographers were trying to capture the action, fans were cheering on their top choice, and surfers were eyeing the competition. On our boat was an Australian father-and-son pair who came to photograph the surfing event. The father shared how he discovered a love for photography in his mid forties and now travels the world taking pictures for leisure. We exchanged stories about our hometowns, talking about where we grew up and what we planned to do in Tahiti. It is always fun to meet others abroad and connect over a mutual love for travel. 

I would never have thought to attend a surfing competition if it weren’t for studying abroad. I’m thankful for the opportunity to experience a new culture!