International Studies & Programs

Photo Contest

Here's a chance to share your favorite study abroad experiences through the 20th annual Study Abroad Photo Contest!

Winning entries will be selected on the best quality photographs that convey a strong sense of place or express a cross-cultural experience in one of the following categories:

  1. ENGAGEMENT: Photos that show students engaging in the local culture or participating in program-related activities.
  2. ENVIRONMENT: Photos of local nature (plants, landscapes, waterscapes, wildlife) or architecture (buildings, cityscapes, landmarks).
  3. SPARTANS ABROAD: Photos of students wearing MSU attire or displaying Spartan pride.

Judges will be looking for interesting, compelling, exciting and awe-inspiring photos that evoke emotion about your experience abroad. Applicants may write an optional description about their photo. Particularly why the photo fits the category and how the subject or event inspired the photo.


Entrants must be students who have participated in, and earned credit in, an MSU-sponsored study abroad program. This includes current students as well as recent graduates; MSU students as well as students from other universities who went on an MSU program.

A maximum of two photos may be submitted per entrant and must be original, un-altered, and un-manipulated work (no professional photos or digitally enhanced photos). Images may be color, black & white, or sepia.

Photos must have been taken by the entrant during the entrant's study abroad program. Photos taken by another participant on the entrant's program is acceptable as long as it was with the entrants camera (i.e. a friend took your photo with your camera). Photos must be also taken outside of the United States and may include locations traveled to during free time (must have occurred within the official program dates).

Photos that include alcohol or the consumption of alcohol, drug use, or other illegal activities will not be accepted. Defamatory, slanderous, obscene, threatening, hateful, or otherwise offensive photos are also prohibited.

Photos must be JPG files (highest resolution possible) and be titled to correspond with your entry.

A completed entry form MUST accompany every entry. You may return your application form as an attachment with your photo entry (PDF or JPF file). You may also cut and paste the entry form into the body of the e-mail and include an electronic signature or turn in a hardcopy form at the Study Abroad Advising Center, 108 International Center.


Staff from the Office of Study Abroad will judge the entries, looking for the most interesting, compelling, exciting and awe-inspiring photos that evoke emotion about your experience abroad. The winning photo in each category will be awarded a $50 gift card from the Spartan Bookstore. Only one award per entrant will be given. Honorable mention awards will also be chosen for each category.

Winners will be officially announced in November during International Education Week 2017.

Judges decisions are final.


We are not currently accepting entries for the Photo Contest. Please check back to our site in the Fall Semester for deadlines and submissions.

2016 Winners