International Studies & Programs

2017 Essay Contest

The annual Essay Contest aims to capture the essence of education abroad by encouraging you to reflect and write creatively about the unique living and learning experiences that education abroad provides.

By submitting your story, you help your fellow students and people in the community know, feel and appreciate what it is like to study abroad - the challenging things and the funny stories, moments that made you cringe and ones that changed your life for good.

Essays should be submitted by Friday, November 3 at 5:00pm.  Please include your name, title of your essay, and the name of the program you participated on at the top of your essay.

Questions regarding the essay contest can be directed to Kyle Anderson: 




Current MSU undergraduate or graduate students who have participated on an education abroad program are eligible.

Any and all submissions to the Essay Contest may be used at the discretion of the MSU Office for Education Abroad for promotional purposes. By submitting your entry, you agree that your essay can be used in this way. Winners will also be asked to supply photos from their education abroad experience.



1st Place - $1,000 
2nd Place - $500 
3rd Place - $250

The winning entries will be honored at a special reception on December 1, 2017, from 4-6pm in Spartan Rooms B + C (located in the International Center Food Court).


Essays must be no more than four pages, typed and double-spaced. Please include your name on every page.


The theme for this year aligns with the theme for the Learning Abroad Conference.

Overcoming Challenges: Learning Abroad in a Time of Global Change.

While we welcome stories about any aspect of your education abroad experience, please note that we are not looking for a travel log, diary, or journal of your experiences. Help us understand unique cultural or social aspects, events, practices of the country in which you studied abroad. Your essay should be a thoughtful, carefully composed creative piece of writing in essay form.

Explore ways your views of college life, your major, or your career may have changed.

Have fun! This is your chance to really reflect and share the deeper learning experiences of your time abroad.

Essay Contest Entry Form

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