2018 media contest

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IPSL Media Contest

Hello, travelers!

As you are about to embark on your semester abroad, imagining what adventures are waiting for you, we hope your camera will be an important part of your time abroad!  IPSL is holding our annual Student Photo Contest, and would like to invite you to participate. The contest is open to any and all students who participate in an IPSL 2018undergraduate study abroad program (Spring 2018, Summer 2018 or Fall 2018) We are looking for still photos, blogs and videos that tell the story of your of your IPSL experience with study and service. We are always proud to use our student photos for marketing purposes and look for photos that specifically represent collaboration in service and/or academic setting. A contestant will get bonus points an artistic and creative manner.

Students are invited to submit up to five photos in any or all of the following five categories andone video ORone blog total.


  • IMMERSION (this could be your Service Placement or your school life)

  • GRATITUDE (this could reflect your home stay or people that have touched you)

  • PARTNERSHIP (this could be your experiences within the community)

  • REFLECTION and BEAUTY (this could be an observation of your travels and the human and natural  landscape and environment)

  • WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT (A photo that captures what you think is the essence of the IPSl experience This must be accompanied by a descriptive paragraph and a statement about why you chose this to illustrate “What It’s All About”)


***You are encouraged to include yourself or other IPSL’ers in the photos!


We will award one Grand Prize and one Honorable Mention in each category.  ALL 10 winning photos will be featured on the IPSL website and other social media! Grand Prizewinners will receive $75 in cash for each category in which they win! *As a special incentive, the Grand Prize winner in the Service Placement Category will win $100!


If you would like IPSL to donate your prize money to the service agency in which you served abroad, please let us know. We would be happy to make this gift on your behalf.


You may begin submitting your photos as soon as you begin your study abroad experience.  All photos MUST be submitted by January 15, 2019 to be eligible for the photo contest.

** By submitting your images to the IPSL photo contest, you are granting permission to IPSL to use, edit and publish any image in relation to the aforementioned contest. All submitted images become the property of IPSL and you will not receive compensation unless you are a Grand Prize contest winner.  



Submission deadline: January 15, 2019
Judging: February 28, 2019
Awards announcement: March 15, 2019



  • Limit of 5 photos per the Immersion, Gratitude, Partnership and Reflection category per student (for a total of 20 photos) AND limit of one photo and written paragraph for the What It’s All about Category)

  • In addition to still photos an entrant can also submit one video or one blog

  • Photos must be at least 300 dpi resolution: if too low, students will not be considered for judging unless they are able to send a higher resolution photo in a timely manner.

  • Media must be appropriate. Use good judgment; your photography is representing not only you, but also your study abroad institution and IPSL.

  • Contestants MUST write a descriptive caption, title media, and include the category into which they are submitting the photo, video or blog.

  • File name format: Location_Last name_photo number

We encourage you to create media of all aspects of your life while abroad, but remember to respect your subjects’ boundaries and comfort levels.


Sample submission:

 Name: Guayaquil_Johnson_01

Title: Peaceful Waters

Category: Landscape and Environment

Caption: This photo is of me in front of the beach near my campus at sunrise. Getting up early to see the sun rise before class was one of the best parts of my day.



Email all entries to Erin Babcock: ebabcock@ipsl.orgIn the body of the email, include titles of your photos and descriptive captions. Attach photo submissions to the email, using the file format: Location_Last name_photo number. You may send multiple emails if necessary.  


If your media is too large or you are having trouble resizing the image appropriately to meet contest guidelines, contact Erin at for an alternative submission method. 



Categorize your photos as you feel they best fit. IPSL reserves the right to place your submission in a different category if we see necessary.

IMMERSION (this could be your service placement or your school life) Media that represent your service placement experience or campus experiences, showing people working with other people, collaboration and partnership and/or documenting work performed in interaction with others.

**Please note:  Some service agencies may have restrictions on the types of photos and videos that can be taken.  Respect these guidelines, and use them as an opportunity to expand your creativity. (For example, an agency may not allow photos, videos of people’s faces, but you may take a picture of hands, feet, or another composition that represents individual identity).


GRATITUDE (this could reflect your homestay or people that have touched you) This could be media that represent the people and places where you live, study, and spend time. Friends, homestay families, professors, and other students may appear in the photos or videos and it is encouraged to capture other Remember to be creative in your representation! Submissions should speak of what your homestay and campus and community mean to you.


PARTNERSHIP (this could be your experiences within the community)

What is it like to live in your community and city?  You could submit photos, video or a blog of street life, culture, community landmarks, and anything else that may help capture the essence of your study abroad community. You are encouraged to capture other people.


REFLECTION and BEAUTY (this could be an observation of your travels and the human and natural landscape and environment)

This would be media documenting the community outside of your  “home base.” This may include other students, travel companions, or yourself. 

WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT(ONE photo that sums it all up for you with a descriptive paragraph including the reason why you feel it captures the experience for you)Tell us how you feel about your experience not from your mind but from what speaks to you from your heart



Photos should:

  • Tell a story

  • Show artistic originality

  • Capture the IPSL experience


Judging panel will include at least one of each:


  • Alumni representative

  • IPSL staff

  • Professional artist/photographer


We will accept photo submissions on a rolling basis throughout the semester, so start sending right away!  Remember to keep track of how many you send; there is a limit of 5 still photo submissionsper category. Along with the still photos you can submit either one blog or one video. 

Safe travels, and happy photographing!

The IPSL team