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Show off Your Study Abroad Experience and Win Prizes

UMD student standing on bridge - foreign houses in the background
January 15, 2019

Submissions are now being accepted for the 2019 photo and video contest!

Finalists will be selected in each category and their photos will be displayed in the UMD coffee shop. Winners from each category (selfie, culture, places and video) will receive Visa gift cards as prizes.

2019 Study Abroad Photo & Video Contest
Rules & Submission


Students who have participated in a UMD study abroad program through the International Programs and Services office during one of the following terms are eligible for the contest:

  • Spring semester 2018

  • May or Summer session 2018

  • Fall semester 2018

  • Calendar Year 2018 (Spring & Fall semester 2018)


The top six photos in each photo category will be displayed in the UMD Coffee Shop in April 2019. The first place photo in each of the following categories will win a $100 prize.

  • Culture

  • Places

  • Selfie

  • Video

Photo Contest Details

You may submit up to three (3) photos; one per category. The categories are CULTURE, PLACES, and SELFIE:

CULTURE - Photos in this category are to portray your country's local culture. It can range from traditions, local people, local scene, fairs, holidays, celebrations, festivals or other activities that showcase your study abroad country’s culture! Judging  – is based on artistic/aesthetic composition, originality, whether or not the image portrays the culture well or in an interesting/unique way, whether or not it sparks curiosity or interest, and if the description helps to tell the story or bring an interesting perspective to the image captured.

PLACES - Photos in this category are to showcase anything from nature's beauty to scenic panoramas, local city-scapes, monuments, architecture, or your favorite point of interest. Judging  – is based on the aesthetic/artistic composition of the image; whether or not it is shot from an interesting or unique location that is clearly outside the U.S.; whether or not the image sparks curiosity or interest and whether the description adds to how the photo is interpreted.

SELFIE - Pretty selfie-explanatory, but we're looking for a selfie of you in a unique location abroad! Judging  – will be based on how well the image is composed and whether or not it showcases you in a unique location that was clearly taken abroad.

  • We cannot accept square format (Instagram) photos.

  • Since UMD is a dry campus, we cannot accept photos with alcohol or drugs. Photos of that nature will be disqualified.

Photo Content Information:

Read thoroughly to avoid being disqualified. You may enter up to three (3) original high-resolution photographs; one per category.

  • Photo files must be high quality/high-resolution (a minimum of 2MB in size). If the file-size is too small, they will be disqualified. Before taking photos, you can usually change the size of photos in the camera settings. (Do not copy photos from Facebook or the web. We need the native, original high-resolution photo file for professional printing purposes. If you have questions, contact

  • Photos with alcohol/drugs/risky or dangerous situations (ex. rock climbing, bungee jumping, skydiving) will be disqualified—so don’t include shots of that nature.

  • Sorry, no square format or Instagram format photos. Refrain from using excessive filters.

  • No drastic photo editing (other than minor contrast adjustments, color balancing, and exposure compensation). Any photo that has been significantly altered by digital editing will be disqualified.

Photo File Submission Instructions - IMPORTANT!
Rename your photo file(s) for each category using the format below. (If you do not rename them correctly, you will be disqualified.)   

  • Culture-FirstName-LastName-Country-Year

  • Places-FirstName-LastName-Country-Year

  • Selfie-FirstName-LastName-Country-Year

To enter, complete the online application (link below) and upload each photo using the link in the application Google Form.

Video Contest Details

We’re looking for videos that best depict your experience abroad. Any aspect of your program abroad is acceptable. Consider including the local culture, community, student life, local scenery, street culture, food, your travels, and beyond. We’re looking for your experience, best summed up in one minute.

  • You may enter one video, up to 60 seconds long.

  • Videos can include your original video footage and any of your still images. You may include voiceover as well as music as long as it does not violate copyright laws. The university offers a free royalty-free stock audio content for download if you log in with your UMD user account,

  • Videos must be at least 720p resolution (1280×720 px)

  • Videos with alcohol/drugs/risky or dangerous situations (ex. rock climbing, bungee jumping, skydiving), or anything not covered by the mandatory travel insurance will be disqualified—so don’t include footage of that nature.

  • Be creative! Don’t be afraid to experiment with voiceover, stop motion, fast/slow-mo, etc. This is a great way to show YOUR experience from YOUR perspective!

Video Submission Instructions - Important!

  • Video submissions must be uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo.

  • Include your First and Last name, as well as the country and year in the description of your video (on YouTube or Vimeo)

  • Provide a link to the uploaded YouTube or Vimeo video in the Google Form.

*By entering the contest you understand that all entries become the property of International Programs & Services and Study Abroad office. The office reserve the rights to use any entered photographs in future promotional efforts.

Want some inspiration? View last year’s submissions and finalists here.


For your photos and videos to be considered, follow all instructions stated above and the completed entry application and files must be uploaded by Midnight on Thursday, March 1, 2019!