Yaks with packs, lined up on a snowy mountain, with colourful prayer flags hanging overhead

UCalgary International Photo Contest

Banner cycles between 3 photos: "Isle of Skye" (Justin Orthner, 2020 Photo Contest), "Spirit of Nepal" (Rhett Bryant, 2019 Photo Contest), "A Small Fishing Village" (Jessica Wry, 2018 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 several hundred entries, which are displayed for public viewing at a large on-campus photo display followed by a smaller online shortlist. 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're excited to see your submissions for the 2024 International Photo Contest!

Key Dates

Mon January 8, 10am: The 2024 photo contest will open for submissions

Mon February 5, 3pm: Deadline to enter the contest; submissions will close at 3pm

Tues February 13 and Thurs February 15, 10am-3pm: Photos will be displayed for public voting in the MacEwan Student Centre, North Courtyard

Mon February 19 at 10am until Fri February 23 at 3pm: A shortlist of photos will be shared on this page for online voting

Fri March 1: The winners will be announced!



Contact us at ucievent@ucalgary.ca

Many thanks to everyone who participated in this year's International Photo Contest - whether you submitted photos, or joined us in person & online to browse the gallery and vote, we couldn't do it without you! Check out some more amazing photos on our shortlist (link below).

Photo Categories


Lights, cameras, action! This category is for your movement shots: exploring, hiking, swimming, climbing, or even just a normal day walking down the street. This picture should help us imagine what it's like being abroad in your shoes!


Time to reflect on the warm, fuzzy, fond memories! Share a wholesome picture from your time abroad. Perhaps it's your favourite meal, the view from your window, time spent with friends, a holiday scene... any picture that makes you smile!


This is an open category for anything that stood out about your international experience. Is it a spectacular landscape, a must-see monument, a bucket-list activity? What would you highlight as #Goals for future travellers going to the same destination?


Show us your best selfie! Whether a solo shot, or with your new best friend(s), we want to see your face while you travel the world!

Note: this category is online-only submission (no hard copy photo required). See the "How to enter" section below for details.

Contest Details

Click here for a downloadable PDF of the contest rules and requirements. Note that entrants are deemed to have read, accepted & agreed to all rules.

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. 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.

It is allowed to submit up to 8 photos (maximum 2 per category) for the photo contest.

Your entry form and photos must all be received by the deadline, 3:00 p.m. on Monday February 5, 2024.

Please 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.

  1. Fill out the webform

    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 short description of your photo
  2. Submit your photos

    In the webform, you will be asked to provide a JPG or PNG file of your photo.

    For photos submitted to the #SelfieLove category, only a digital photo file is required - once you submit the webform, you're all set!

    For photos submitted to #ActionShot, #Wholesome, or #TravelGoals categories, a hard-copy printed photo is also required.

    • 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), open Mondays to Thursdays, 10am-3pm. We will provide a label for you to fill out and stick on the back of your photo.

Q: Do I need to have participated in a study abroad program to enter the contest?
A: No! Any current University of Calgary student is welcome to submit photos. Photos may be taken on a study abroad program, personal travels, your home country, or even within Canada. The photos you submit can also be taken at any time, whether you're currently abroad, a recent trip, or farther in the past.

Q: Do I have to submit a physical photo?
A: For the 3 main categories (#ActionShot, #Wholesome, and #TravelGoals) hard copies of your photos are required. This is because we will be showcasing these entries in the photo contest display on campus for public voting. For the #SelfieLove category, a hard copy is not required, as these photos will only be showcased digitally.

Q: I'm not currently in Calgary. How can I submit the hard copy of my photo? 
A: We recommend asking a friend to print the photo in Calgary and bring it to our office on your behalf. (We don't recommend mailing photos to our office due to possible damage or delays with mail delivery.) If you have any concerns about getting your photos to us in time, please email ucievent@ucalgary.ca 

Q: Why do I need to submit a digital photo file in the contest entry webform?
A: For the 3 main categories (#ActionShot, #Wholesome, and #TravelGoals) there will be a shortlist of photos shared online, so we need a JPG or PNG file of your photo for consideration. The digital file also helps us match it to your physical photo submission when we print frames for the photo display in MacHall. For the #SelfieLove category, this is an online-only submission, which is intended to be more accessible for students who may be located outside of Calgary and want to share their selfie while they are travelling.

Q: How many entries can I submit?
A: You can submit 2 photos for each category, to a maximum of 8 photos total. Photos must be relevant to their respective categories.

Q: I'm a Global Learning Content Creator or a Global Learning Ambassador. Can I enter this contest?
A: Absolutely! We encourage both past & current 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 wish.

Q: I'm a recent UCalgary graduate. Can I enter this contest?
A: If you graduated in the past year (February, June, or November 2023 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 received the International Study Travel Grant or the Global Learning Award. Can I enter the photo contest to satisfy my promotional requirement?
A: In order to satisfy your full 2 hour requirement, you must submit at least 6 photos 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.

The 2024 International Photo Contest has now ended. We hope to see you next year!

Thank you to our sponsors!

Prizes for the 2024 International Photo Contest were generously donated by these local businesses:

Brandon T. Brown Wilderness Gallery

The Camera Store

Studio Luma

UCalgary Bookstore

Emily Beaudoin Art

John E. Marriott Wildlife and Nature Photography

Villages Calgary

Paul Zizka Photography

Sweet Relief Pastries

Village Ice Cream

2023 Contest Winners

In 2023, the photo categories were: Out in Nature, In the City, and Highlight of Your Trip. Winners in each category were selected by a judging panel. Winners were also selected through People's Choice (votes cast by the public in person at the MacEwan Student Centre photo display, and online from a shortlist of photos posted to the contest webpage). Congratulations to our winners, and thank you to everyone who entered the 2023 International Photo Contest!