Photo & Video Contest

photo contest flyer 2019-20

During your time abroad you surely had amazing experiences and hopefully captured them on camera. We invite you to submit your photos and videos to this year’s Global Education Photo Contest. This is your chance to relive and share those experiences with the Virginia Tech community.


Entrants may submit up to 3 images or videos per category, and may win in no more than two categories. The examples provided in the category descriptions serve as guidelines. Be creative in your submissions. 

Hokies on mountain

Hokies Go Global (open only to students)

In this category, we want to join your adventure(s). Show us how Hokies experience abroad (this includes international students studying at Virginia Tech). Are you spending significant time on a plane or train? Are you trying new cuisine and international delicacies? Are you living out Ut Prosim through service or volunteer work? Take us on the journey with you.

Landscape view

Postcards of the World (open only to students)

Finding beauty in those around you is one of the best things about studying abroad. Submit those postcard-perfect photos. Images can depict people, food, celebrations, historical landmarks or picturesque landscapes. You might consider capturing architecture and art.

Children playing foosball.

Living Textbook (open only to students)

Give us a glimpse of what it is like being a student abroad. After all, they call it STUDY abroad for a reason. Show us your learning experiences in the classroom, around your host university, or in the field, (cultural or historic landmarks apply).

Student in gondola.

Once in a Lifetime (open only to students)

They say studying abroad is a life-changing experience. They are right! Think back on your experience about the moment(s) you were awestruck and realized that you were living your study abroad dreams. Did you capture the moment on camera? Share it with us.

Student and teacher studying a bird.

Faculty/Staff (open only to faculty/staff)

Apart from students, Virginia Tech faculty/ staff also log some serious airline mileage. Between conducting research, teaching, fostering collaborations with international colleagues and leading students abroad, the faculty/staff spend time in all corners of the world. In this category, we invite faculty/staff to share with us those international experiences that extend the Virginia Tech reach.

Student with camera on a boat.

Moving Moments (open only to students)

Create a short video or mini-documentary (no less than 60 seconds, no longer than 3 minutes) that captures your study abroad experience. Feel free to focus on a theme or particular subject matter (academic life, student life, local culture, county sights and sounds, transportation, personal growth and reflection, etc.). 

Contest rules and eligibility

The Photo Contest is open to Virginia Tech undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff, and alumni (students from other universities who have participated on a Virginia Tech sponsored international program in the last year are also welcome to submit entries). Entrants must be participating in or have recently participated (no more than 1 year from the date of the experience) in a study abroad, service learning, volunteer, research, internship abroad, or traveled on university business. Submission(s) must be the product of entrant’s study abroad/international experience; this may include Virginia Tech faculty-led, bilateral exchanges, ISEP, Non-VT programs, and autonomous study. Photos may include locations traveled to during free time, but must have occurred within the official program dates. Photos and videos must have been taken or produced by the individual submitting the entry. 

One winner in each category will be selected. The Virginia Tech Global Education Office will display the winning photos and videos in a variety of marketing initiatives, including at the office, website, social media, advertising, e-newsletter, program flyers, etc.

Student winners will receive a $100 prize, which will be applied to their student accounts. The faculty winner will receive a non-monetary item.

Please check the Global Education Office website ( for the most up to date information. Judges’ decisions are final. Finalists will be notified by e-mail.

  • Photos may not be digitally altered beyond basic color correction. Photos can be color, or black & white.
  • Photo file types accepted are .JPEG. Photos should be at least 1MB in size with 300 dpi or higher.
  • Entrants may submit up to 3 images or videos per category, and may win in no more than two categories.
  • All photos must be submitted through the contest submission form: or the button below.
  • Images must be labeled: Country_Category_LastNameFirstName.jpg. Entries that do not follow the proper naming conventions will not be considered.
  • A completed entry form MUST accompany submissions. Make sure to provide a detailed first-person description of the image. Example: “After a long morning of working on the bridge that will connect the community of Lougou to Camp Perrin, we took a walk to see just how far the back of the community went. A little girl living in the mountainous region of Southwest Haiti is showing me around her village. Even though she doesn’t know it, this girl was living out the spirit of Ut Prosim.”
  • Entries must be received no later than January 31, 2020. Entries received after the deadline or deemed inappropriate will not be considered.
  • The pool of entries will be narrowed down to selected finalists. A panel of judges from various campus departments and offices will judge the submissions on originality, how the photo illustrates the value of study abroad/international experience and how well the artwork relates to the category. The community is also invited to vote for their favorite photos on the Virginia Tech Global Education Office social media pages. Votes (number of likes) received on the page will also be factored into the results.

Show us the sights and sounds of your life abroad. Consider capturing these items:

  • Street life
  • Food (What's for dinner?)
  • Sports
  • Signs (interesting road signs, advertisements, etc.)
  • Your neighborhood
  • Music
  • Uniforms
  • Flags


Other tips:

  • Originality counts!
  • Show faces. The back of heads may be great for a profile photo, but it's hard for us to share in your international experience if we can't see you.
  • Grab our attention using color or black and white, angles, and motion. A close-up can be just as interesting as seeing the whole picture.
  • Avoid submitting photos where drinking/partying is the main focus.
  • Be sure to give your photo a title. A creative title may help an entry standout, but keep it short.
  • Provide a detailed description of what is happening in the photo.

In many ways, photography and videography go hand-in-hand with studying abroad. Images are great for reflecting on the impact of the experience and recognizing your growth. However, images can also convey strong messages, some insensitive or false. 

Please give careful thought to the images you are taking and submitting. Avoid images that convey stereotypes or make false generalizations, exploits or disrespects, or leads to inaccuracy or misrepresentations of the host country, people, or setting. Make sure you have permission to take a person's photo and the subject has an understanding about what their image(s) will be used for. 

Additional Resources to consider:

By entering the contest you certify that any photos submitted are yours and that you own the rights to distribute them. You certify that these photos do not belong to someone else and are not protected by any copyright. You awknowledge that individual(s) who appear in the photographs have provided permission to be included.

You grant permission to Virginia Tech (including the Global Education Office, Outreach and International Affairs, and other university units) to reproduce any submitted images for the purposes of publicity, marketing, and communications. The images may appear in university catalogs, brochures, news releases, websites, general study abroad promotion and preparation materials, and other communications or study abroad-related materials.