Annual Photo Contest

Penn to the World

The 2019 Photo Contest has ended, check back in Spring 2020 for the next annual competition. View the entries on the Penn Abroad Facebook page.

This contest is a chance to reminisce and reflect on your experience studying and interning around the globe. It is also the opportunity to share your unique experience with the Penn Community. Help us encourage others to take the leap and go abroad! We are accepting submissions from students that participated in our Semester Abroad programs, Penn Global Seminars, or the Global Research & Internship Program (formerly GIP).

There will be 5 top prizes selected from the contest finalists. All finalists will also receive a special prize.

  • 1 Grand Prize - Print of winning photo and additional travel-related prizes
  • 1 People’s Choice Prize (voting process detailed below) - Print of winning photo and additional travel-related prizes
  • 3 Top of Category Prizes - Print of winning photo and additional travel-related prizes


  • Not All Classrooms Have Four Walls – You’re not a tourist, but a student immersed in a new culture! Save the conventional images of the Eiffel Tower and Big Ben for your photo album. During your time abroad, the world is your classroom. Did you learn about tea ceremonies in Japan or marine life in Costa Rica? Share your photos of the best learning experiences that took you outside the classroom.

  • Where Will Penn Take You? – Share a photo of you and/or your fellow Quakers in your local context. This is a way to show off your Penn spirit and have fun, maybe even wearing Penn gear or displaying how Penn students explore their host communities 

  • Day in the Life – Any image that captures a normal day in your host country or as part of your unique experience abroad—vendors at the market, fellow students, locals walking the streets, or people enjoying a festival  Who did you interact with and what made up a day during your time abroad?

Contest Judges

The finalists, grand prize winner and top category winners will be selected by Penn Abroad staff and special guest judge, Douglas Herman.Douglas Herman

Educator and media artist Douglas Herman has been guiding youth and refugees in developing media creation skills for the better part of two decades. To this end, he founded Rough Cut Media and ReFOCUS Media Labs, which fight for equity in access to media creation tools both locally and globally. In 2016, he set off to follow the path many refugees have traversed over land and sea to reach safety in Europe and claim asylum. His photo series on Instagram #INTHEIRFOOTSTEPS (@dfherman) served as the foundation for a year-long case study inside Philadelphia classrooms.

Based in Greece, Douglas continues his work with ReFOCUS Media Labs to ensure that refugees and those living in crisis have a platform to share their stories, perspectives, and experiences. 

People’s Choice Award

Voting for the People’s Choice Award will take place on the Penn Abroad Facebook Page beginning Thursday, April 4th at 1:00 PM and ending Tuesday, April 9th at 1:00 PM. Contestants will receive an email notification when entries are up. The most points by the end of voting wins the award. Points are calculated as follows:

  • Each like, comment, or share on Facebook counts as 1 point

  • Multiple comments by the same person will still count as only 1 point

  • If the same person likes AND comments, that would be 2 points

  • If the same person likes, comments, and shares, that is 3 points

Submission Guidelines

The competition is open to current Penn students who have been abroad through a Penn Abroad program. The competition is not restricted to a specific term abroad, but photos submitted to previous competitions will not be accepted. The photo must have been taken by the person submitting the entry or the entrant must be in the photograph. If you are in the photograph and did not take the photo yourself, please make sure you have received the rights to the photo before submission.

Applicants may submit a maximum of 3 submissions, but only 1 per contest category

  • Entries must be submitted by the official entry form below

  • Photo(s) must be in digital form (.jpg .png)

  • Entries can be submitted in either color or black and white, but should not have been significantly altered beyond basic editing

  • Late or incomplete submissions will not be accepted

  • Penn Abroad reserves the right to not accept any submission deemed inappropriate

Competition Timeline

  • Submissions will be accepted until Wednesday, April 3rd at 11:59 PM
  • Voting for the “People’s Choice” award will take place on Facebook beginning Thursday, April 4th at 1:00 PM and ending Tuesday, April 9th at 1:00 PM
  • Finalists will be announced by Wednesday, April 10th at noon. Grand Prize, People’s Choice, and Top Category winners will be announced on Thursday, April 11th at the contest’s reception and exhibition

Questions? Contact Jamie Nisbet at or 215-898-1052