Image looking down a bridge in Japan, there are rainbow umbrellas hanging from the bridge and cherry blossom trees above

UCalgary International Photo Contest

Banner photo credit: Jessica Wry, winner in the 2017 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 UCalgary students and recent graduates (under 1 year), and we welcome submissions from any international location - whether photos taken on a Study Abroad program, during your personal travels, or even within Canada!

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

We are excited to see your submissions for the 2023 International Photo Contest!

Important Information

The 2023 photo contest has now closed for entries.

Photos will be displayed for in-person public voting in the MacEwan Student Centre on Wednesday February 15 & Thursday February 16, 2023. The photo display will be available from about 10am to 3pm on both dates. 

Following the in-person photo display, a shortlist of photos will be shared on this webpage during Reading Week (February 21-24) for online public voting!



Contact us at

2023 Contest Winners

The UCalgary International Photo Contest is open to all current UCalgary students and recent graduates (under 1 year). 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 international 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.

Click here for a downloadable PDF of the contest rules and requirements.

Category #1: Out In Nature

  • Show us the great outdoors and your new surroundings abroad. How did you find yourself interacting with nature?
  • Photos could include: outdoor activities, sports, exploring the wilderness, landscapes, trees or wildlife, etc. 

Category #2: In The City

  • Consider the connections you made in urban settings. How do you place yourself within a new city or town?
  • Photos could include: urban activities, street markets, exploring new roads, buildings, landmarks, etc. 

Category #3: The Highlight of Your Trip

  • What is something that stood out about your international experience?
  • This is an open category to submit photos of anything that was a highlight. Perhaps it was the amazing food, new travel buddies, a unique adventure... there are no wrong answers!

When planning your submissions for the contest, we encourage you to consider how to incorporate your experience as a student travelling abroad. Such as: photos with yourself or other students/friends/travellers, or photos taken in a way that shows the experience through your eyes.

Please click here for a document summarizing these categories with example photos.

All photos must be submitted both in hard copy and in digital copy. It is allowed to enter up to 6 photos (maximum 2 per category).


Step 1: To enter the contest, click here to access the contest entry webform! (Link has been removed as the deadline to enter has passed)

In this webform, you will be asked to provide the following information:

  • your name & contact info
  • title of your photo
  • where it was taken
  • the category you are submitting your photo to
  • (optional) a description of your photo

You will also be asked to upload a JPG or PNG file of your photo. 


Step 2: A hard-copy photo is required for your entry to be complete. 

Photos can be printed in colour or black-and-white, no smaller than 4" x 6" and no larger than 8" x 10". Photos may be printed by yourself at home (must use photo paper) or through a company such as London Drugs, Staples, etc.

Please bring your printed photo to the UCalgary International office - Mackimmie Tower 5th floor (MT 501). Office hours: Mondays and Tuesdays 1pm-4pm, Wednesdays and Thursdays 10am-4pm. When you arrive at the office, you will be given a label to fill out and stick on the back of the photo (please do not write directly on the photo). 


Your entry form, digital photo file, and hard-copy printed photo must all be received by the deadline, 4:00 p.m. on Monday February 6, 2023.

Hard-copy photos will be plated for a photo display, which will be set up in the MacEwan Student Centre Indoor Courtyard (at the end of the food court) on Wednesday February 15 and Thursday February 16. Public voting can be done in person at the photo display. 

A shortlist of photos, selected by the UCI office, will be shared in digital format on the International Photo Contest webpage during Reading Week (February 21-26). Public voting from the shortlist can be done online through the webpage.

Winners will be announced after Reading Week.

There will be a Winner and Runner-Up in each photo category (selected through professional evaluation by our contest judges), as well as an In Person People's Choice (from public voting at the MacEwan Student Centre photo display) and Online People's Choice (from public voting on the webpage).

All winners and runners-up will get a feature from UCalgary International, and winners will also receive a prize pack from one of our contest sponsors!

Q: Do I need to have participated in a study abroad program to enter the contest?
A: No! Any current University of Calgary student, regardless of program or experience, is welcome to submit a travel photo. Likewise, it is allowed to submit photos that were taken at any time, whether your trip was recent or not. 

Q: Do I have to submit a physical photo?
A: Hard copies of your photos are required in order to enter the contest. A digital file is also collected as part of the contest entry webform, however the digital file alone is not sufficient, as we are showcasing entries in the photo contest display on campus for public voting.

Q: I'm not currently in Calgary. How can I submit the hard copy of my photo? 
A: We recommend asking a friend or relative to print the photo in Calgary and bring it to our office on your behalf. (We don't recommend mailing photos to our office, as campus mail delivery can be slow and it may not reach us by the deadline.) If you have any concerns about getting your photos to us in time, please email 

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. 

Q: I'm a recent UCalgary graduate. Can I still enter this contest?
A: If you graduated in the past year (February, June, or November 2022 convocation), you are welcome to submit photos. If you graduated more than 1 year ago, unfortunately you are not eligible to enter this contest. 

Q: I was a Global Learning Content Creator or a Global Learning Ambassador. Can I still enter this contest?
A: Absolutely! We encourage our Content Creators and Ambassadors to enter the photo contest. You are welcome to submit photos you previously provided to our office, or brand new photos if you prefer.

Q: I received the International Study Travel Grant or the UGo Virtual Global Learning Grant. Can I enter the photo contest to satisfy my promotional requirement?
A: Yes! In order to satisfy your full 2 hour requirement, you must submit 6 photos (2 for each category) with an accompanying written description/testimonial of at least 5 sentences in the contest entry webform. Partial submissions may be eligible for 1 hour, at the discretion of the grant coordinators.