UCalgary International Photo Contest

You travelled the world.
Now show us what you experienced!

Every Winter semester, UCalgary International hosts an international photo contest. The contest is open to all current students, and we welcome submissions from any international location - whether photos taken on a Study Abroad program, during your personal travels, or even across Canada.

Typically the contest receives over 300 submissions each year, which are then displayed for public viewing on campus. Entries are appraised by both professional photographers and the campus community for composition, style, creativity, and expression of your international experience.

Important Information

Entries are typically open in early Winter semester. Check back in December for updates!



Contact us at study.abroad@ucalgary.ca

The UCalgary International Photo Contest is open to all current UCalgary students and recent graduates. Faculty, staff, and alumni (of more than 1 year) are not eligible to enter.

All photos with an international theme are welcome for the contest. This includes, but is not restricted to: photos taken in any country, including Canada; during programs run by UCI, Haskayne, Schulich, or another university unit; or during any other international study, work, or travel period.

Only the photographer has the right to submit their photos to the contest. Entry forms must be signed by the photographer, and any prizes won will be awarded to them.

Photos may be black-and-white or colour, and may be taken by any form of camera. Some digital adjustments of photos are allowed for optimizing images. These are: curves, brightness, contrast, shadow and highlight levels, saturation, sharpening and noise reduction, and selected burning or shading. Any other techniques or filters, including combinations of images and compositional changes, will not be accepted.

Please be careful to choose the category best fitting your photo when submitting. Photos will be judged for their originality, image, quality, international focus, caption/title, overall impression, and relevancy to the submission category. A maximum of 2 photos may be submitted to each of the contest categories.

Please note the Winter 2020 photo contest rules & forms are linked below for your reference. They may be subject to change for future iterations of this contest. 

PLEASE NOTE: The submission instructions for the Winter 2021 contest will be announced in December 2020. 

Posted here are the 2020 submission instructions

Photo submissions must be printed in colour or black-and-white, no smaller than 4” x 6” and no larger than 8” x 10”, and submitted with all required files to the UCalgary International Office, MT 501. 

All photo entries must be clearly labelled. An official label will be provided upon submission at MT 501, to be filled out and put on the back of each photo. Please do not write directly on the back of the photos.

These were the 3 categories for photo submissions in the Winter 2020 contest, new categories will be announced for the Winter 2021 contest launch in December of 2020.

  1. People - These are “national geographic” style photos, such as portraits or action shots. (Remember you have to have permission from your subject to share the photo!)
  2. Place - Landscapes, cityscapes or monuments; urban or rural; it doesn’t matter where your subject matter is, as long as place is the main focus of this photo.
  3. Study Abroad Campus Life:  When you study abroad, the world is your campus! Maybe you had a “classroom” on the beach or you got to take part in a completely different campus tradition at a host university. These are photos that focus on you and some of the unique experiences you had in your “campus” abroad.

Prizes will be awarded for 1st and 2nd place entries in all three categories.

From these categories, additional prizes will be awarded: "Best Overall", and two for "People's Choice" (one to be selected from ballot voting at the campus photo display and one selected from online voting through the Study Abroad Facebook page). 

Q: Do I need to have participated in a study abroad program to submit?
A: No! Any current University of Calgary student, regardless of program or experience, is welcome to submit a travel photo. 

Q: I'm a recent UCalgary graduate. Can I still enter this contest?
A: If you graduated in February or June of the previous academic year, or November of this academic year, you are welcome to submit photos. If you graduated more than 1 year ago, unfortunately you are not eligible to enter this contest.

Q: Do I have to submit a physical photo or can I email my submission in?
A: We only accept hard copies of your photo entries. This is because we will be showcasing them on a photo display on campus in February for public voting.

Q: How many entries can I submit?
A: You can submit 2 photos for each of the 3 categories, to a maximum of 6 photos total. Photos must be relevant to their respective categories.  

Thank you to our sponsors!

Past prizes for the International Video and Photo Contests were provided by these amazing UCalgary departments and local vendors & establishments!