Photo Contest

Study Abroad Throwback Photo Contest

Do you have amazing photographs of your experience studying abroad? Share them with us to help encourage other Case Western Reserve University students to study abroad and win prizes!

While the pandemic has put study abroad programs on hold, we know our students and alumni still have lots of great photos from their past study abroad experiences with Case Western Reserve and now is the perfect time to relive them!

A pictures of two female students studying abroad framed in a hexagon

These links will tell you all you need to know about participating in the Study Abroad Photo Contest!

Eligibility Requirements

To take part in this contest you must be a Case Western Reserve student or graduate who participated in a short-term, long-term, or summer study abroad program.

International internship, research, and Case Western Reserve service-learning experience participants are allowed to compete as long as the programs they participated in were Case Western Reserve registered and approved.

Note that this competition does not include vacation travel unless it was part of a study abroad experience, i.e. a weekend trip while on a study abroad is eligible; a spring break trip with friends is not.


  • Overall Winner: $75
  • The World is Your Classroom: $75
  • Cultural Experience: $50
  • Spartans Abroad: $50
  • Scenery: $50
  • Vintage (for alumni only): $50
  • Facebook’s Most Likes: $50

The winners of the Study Abroad Photo Contest are typically announced at the International Achievement Luncheon. However, due to the pandemic, the winners of the 2021 Throwback Photo Contest will be unveiled during a virtual ceremony in late April (specific date and time TBD). 

Category Descriptions

The Study Abroad Photo Contest helps us show Case Western Reserve students what studying abroad looks like to help get them interested in and excited about this opportunity. Please keep this in mind when choosing photos to submit! You can view previous years' winners here.

    Priority will be given to photos taken in your study abroad program location as opposed to other travel during your experience. 

    A picture of Nandita Kannapadi standing in the desert in Jordan with her friend during their study abroad

    Prizes will be awarded for the best photo in the following categories:

    • Overall Winner - All photos that are submitted to the contest will be considered for the overall winner category. This category is meant to showcase what studying abroad at Case Western Reserve really looks like. This photo will be displayed prominently in Tomlinson Hall’s Study Abroad Photo Gallery and in marketing materials. The judges will choose this photo based on quality and content. The prize for winning this category is $75. Here are some of the overall winners from previous years.
    Cindy Wu demonstrating a vaccine carrier idea to health workers in the Luwero District of Uganda
    • The World is Your Classroom - Every study abroad experience is different, inside the classroom and out. This category is a judge favorite every year as it focuses on the purpose of study abroad: learning. Submit a picture of you on your host campus or doing something educational while abroad (such as a study tour or field research) in order to win a $75 prize. Here are some examples and past winners.  


    • A picture of Gabrielle standing with a tailor in the Luwero District of Uganda, who altered Gabrielle’s brightly-colored dress in less than five minutes
      Cultural Experience - Experiencing the culture of your host country is a key aspect of studying abroad. Show us how you embraced the culture by enjoying traditional cuisine, taking a local dance class, visiting a famous location, etc. to win a $50 prize. Here are some examples.


    A picture of Michel Yuzik sitting with his back facing the camera, wearing a #YouAreWelcomeHereCWRU shirt during his study abroad
    • Spartans Abroad - This is a new category this year to help us show Case Western Reserve spirit around the world! These photos should feature Case Western Reserve students and/or faculty wearing Case Western Reserve gear in an international setting. The winner will receive a $50 prize. Here are some examples. 


    • Photo of Pillars in Karnak, Egypt
      Scenery - Send us your pictures of breathtaking landscapes, soaring buildings, impressive bridges, and the like. Photos can be from your international institution or someplace you visited during your travels - but must clearly be an international location.  The winner will receive a $50 prize. Here are some examples. 


    • Vintage Study Abroad - this is a NEW category for 2021 and is for alumni of Case Western Reserve! No matter when you studied abroad, we want to see photos from your experience! The winner of this category will receive a $50 prize.


    • Facebook’s Most Likes - All photos submitted to the contest will be posted to the CWRU Study Abroad Facebook page. The photo that receives the most likes wins $50.

    Photo Guidelines 

    Do Submit Photos:

    • You have taken yourself or that are only of you
    • Featuring multiple people from Case Western Reserve
    • With an obviously international setting (example - famous landmarks, pictures featuring country flags, ancient buildings, ruins, etc.)
    • That are high res - resolution of 300 dpi (1200x1500 resolution) or higher in the jpeg (or jpg) format

    Don’t Submit Photos:

    • That have previously been submitted to the photo contest (we already have them and likely have used them!)
    • Featuring alcohol or any potentially reckless activity (examples: skydiving, bungee jumping, hang gliding, engaging with dangerous animals)
    • That are blurry, dark or taken through glass or a window
    • Without people in them, unless they’re for the Scenery category
    • With text
    • That could be considered cultural appropriation or "voluntourism" 

    How to Submit

    Click the link below for the category you would like to enter

    Contest Rules

    • No photos that have been previously submitted to the photo contest will be considered.
    • Photos must be original work and have been taken by the person who submits them while studying abroad on a Case Western Reserve program. 
    • Correctly submitted photos will be considered for prizes and the winners will be displayed on campus.
    • Judges comprised of Case Western Reserve staff will choose photos that encourage others to study abroad.

    All submitted photos become the property of Case Western Reserve University and may be used in all Case Western Reserve promotional materials. Photos will not be returned. By submitting a photo, you, in turn, grant these privileges. Case Western Reserve may duplicate, distribute, alter and/or publish, including on social media, any of the submitted photos.

    Questions? Email for answers!