Photo Contest

The University of Michigan International Institute (II) photo contest is open to all students affiliated with the institute and its 17 centers and programs through a degree program, coursework, or fellowship/grant. Photos must be taken in conjunction with research, study, or an internship completed abroad. For more information: 

Photo Contest OverviewCategories, awards, and judging criteria

Three categories of photos may be submitted: Student Work, Theme, and Go Blue!

  • Student Work - Applies to any facet of a student’s research, work, or study abroad
  • Theme - "Cultural Connections"
    • Photos submitted should illustrate the many ways in which people connect across the globe.  Connections are made in sharing customs, traditions and lifestyles. When relating to others around the world, we have the opportunity to connect and form bonds through exposure to different religions, races, ethnicities and occupations. These connections broaden us as students and human beings. Please submit photos from your travels that highlight these connections.
  • Go Blue! – Send us a photo of you or someone else wearing University of Michigan apparel while abroad.

Student Work: First Prize - $300; Second Prize - $200; Third Prize - $100
Theme: First Prize - $300; Second Prize - $200; Third Prize - $100
Go Blue!: $200 and the winning photo will be featured on the II website.

Judging Criteria
Photos will be judged on subject matter, composition, technical quality, creativity, and originality by a select panel of U-M staff and faculty members.

Rules of EntryEntries should be the student's original work

Rules of Entry

1. The subject matter of each photo should accomplish one of the following:

  • Represent the rich culture and heritage of the country where the photo is taken
  • Relate to some facet of the student’s education abroad experience or fieldwork

2. Entries must be from research and travel completed between August 2012 - August 2013.

3. A total of three photos may be submitted. 

4. Photos must be original work. Digitally altered photos will not be accepted. Students will be required to supply the following information when submitting photos via the II's photo contest submission form:

  • First and last name
  • II/center affiliation
  • Brief research description
  • University name(s), degree(s), and graduation date(s)
  • II and other funding (if applicable) received to conduct this research
  • Submission category (student work or theme)
  • Photo title (one line only)
  • Date photo was taken
  • Location where photo was taken (city, state/province, and country)
  • Brief description of the subject matter

Submission GuidelinesJPG, TIFF, or Raw Camera format, high resolution

Submission Guidelines

1. Photo format: JPG, TIFF, or Raw Camera format. Photos should be large format, high resolution (300 dpi recommended).

2. Each digital photo should be sent as an individual file with the corresponding online form completed. The form will ask for the information described under point four of the Rules of Entry.

3. Photo descriptions should address the relevance of the photo to the contest theme (“Diversity”) or to the student’s international experience. Include a photo description that provides context for the subject matter. Photo descriptions must be no more than 60 words.

4. Provide a description of your research/work overseas (location, project, and goal). Descriptions should be no more than 100 words.

5. Descriptions should contain first and last names of individuals pictured whenever possible.

6. The Photo Contest Use Notice must be acknowledged by the student as part of the submission process.

7. Entries must be received no later than OCTOBER 21, 2013 at 5pm and submitted via the International Institute's online photo contest submission form.

NOTE: Entries that do not follow the criteria specified above will be disqualified.

Photo Description SampleThis sign at the tip of the Cape of Good Hope ...

Photo Description Sample from Past Contest

Student Name: Sue Smith

II/Center Affiliation: African Studies Center, International Institute

Research Description: Sue Smith performed an observational study of the visitor experience at the District Six Museum (Cape Town, South Africa), a local science center and community museum. Her focus on how family units, specifically, interact with the museum’s exhibits was intended to help the museum refine the presentation of these exhibits to their primary audience.

University(ies), degree(s), and graduation date(s): Boston College - BS Molecular Biology, 2007; U-M - PhD Natural Resources, expected 2010

Scholarships Received to Conduct Research: International Institute Individual Fellowship, Fulbright Scholar, Center for Chinese Studies Endowment Fund

Submission Category: Theme

Photo Title: Road Signs in Cape Point

Photo Date: July 2009 

Photo Location (city, state/province, and country): Cape Point, Western Cape, South Africa

Photo Description: This sign at the tip of the Cape of Good Hope shows distances to cities around the world. Palestine was added to the arrow pointing toward Jerusalem. A large pro-Palestinian movement exists in South Africa.

Photo Submission FormUpload photos here

The 2013 II Photo Contest is now closed for entries, winners will be announced shortly. Thank you for your interest in the contest, and dates for the 2014 II Photo Contest will be announced in the spring.