Study Abroad Photo Contest

Academic Year 2023–24
Two students review a picture on a digital camera.
“Hey, Look!” (Liz Joyce, ’17 / Vienna: Human Rights)

The Study Abroad Photo Contest provides you with an opportunity to combine an adventure abroad with serious picture taking, and it provides a forum for formal recognition of your artistry.


The photo contest will be open to University of Chicago undergraduates studying abroad during the 2023–24 academic year. For purposes of the contest, the academic year comprises five quarters, beginning with Spring Quarter 2023 and ending with Spring Quarter 2024. Participants from both Chicago-sponsored programs and non-Chicago programs are welcome, as are students whose study or work abroad is funded by one of the College’s travel grants. For purposes of this competition, “study abroad” may include international internships or employment. It does not, however, include vacation travel abroad other than interim travel as part of a study abroad program.

Subject Matter

The only subject matter restriction is that your photo or photos capture an experience or record an observation abroad, not necessarily limited to your program site. (A student studying in Paris, for example, could submit a photo taken in London during an interim sojourn.) Apart from this requirement there is no restriction in subject, theme, or style. We encourage photographs that capture locally characteristic phenomena, scenes, and people without falling back on the picture postcard monuments that we all know only too well (though a superb photo of the Brandenburg Gate or Big Ben could take the prize; quality of execution will be the judges’ chief criterion).

Submission Process and Deadline

If you meet the eligibility requirements you may submit up to four photographs (or eight photographs if you submit a second set for the YOUChicago Abroad category). Please use our online form to submit photos.

YOUChicago Abroad Category: For this special category of the Study Abroad Photo Contest, we are looking for photos of students, faculty, and/or staff interacting on our study abroad programs. Students may submit up to four photos in this category in addition to the four photos allowed for the main contest (for a maximum of eight photos total). Please submit a separate form for the YOUChicago Abroad photos.

Study Abroad Photo Contest Submission Form: Note that uploads can be up to 25 MB each and should be jpg, jpeg, png, tif, tiff, or heic files. Please submit high resolution photos.

Deadline for Submissions: Monday, May 13, 2024 (The deadline for 2023–24 submissions has been extended by one week.)


Study Abroad will award the following prizes:

  • First Prize: $350
  • Second Prize: $250
  • Third Prize: $150
  • Best Portfolio: $200
  • Several $50 prizes for the year’s best YOUChicago Abroad submissions

In addition, Study Abroad will select a variable number of honorable mentions. The winners will be announced by the end of Spring Quarter.

Collaboration with the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures (RLL)

Undergraduates taking part in any study abroad program over the course of the academic year are encouraged to submit their photos to be considered for the RLL Photo Prize. To be eligible, photos should be taken in a country where a Romance language (French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, etc.) is commonly spoken. The winning photos will capture the student’s linguistic/cultural immersion experience. In addition to a photo, submissions must include a short explanation (no more than three sentences) of its significance. The prizes will be distributed by a panel of judges as follows:

  • 1st place: $250
  • 2nd place: $150
  • 3rd place: $100

The winning submissions will be displayed in the RLL office.

Important Advisory

All submissions become the property of the University of Chicago College, which will enjoy full, non-exclusive rights of use and circulation (with attribution to the photographer). If you submit a photo it is understood that you have granted this right.

Further Information

Please email any questions about the photo contest to the Study Abroad Communications Manager at

Photo Gallery: Winners of the 2022–23 Contest