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Santa Clara University

SCU Global Photo Contests

Welcome to the annual Global Engagement Photo Contest at Santa Clara University! Our goal is to capture compelling images from all undergraduate and graduate students about their experiences abroad, including International Students at Santa Clara. In addition, we aim to deepen understanding of ethical engagement with the world through promoting our Ethical Photos Guide and highlighting photos that exemplify this.

We are excited to announce that this year’s 2021-22 Global Engagement Photo Contest is taking place during our Returnee Welcome Week for study abroad students, and the submission period is officially open!

Photo Contest Details
Photo Contest Submission Form


All students who studied abroad in 2021-22 and all international students are eligible to submit photos.

Judging Criteria

  • How effective is a story told through the photograph
  • Originality
  • How memorable is the photograph
  • Technical/artistic difficulty

Submission Guidelines

Prior to submission, please review Global Engagement’s Photo Contest critieria, guidelines, and the tenets of ethical photography.

  • All photos must be submitted by Monday, March 28 using the Photo Submission Form
  • Students must complete and submit the Photo Release Form with their photos.
  • We ask that submissions only include photos that were not previously entered in Global Engagement’s Photo Contests (contests from 2017- 2020).
  • Each contestant may submit a maximum of 5 photos.    
  • All photos must be at least 3,000 pixels wide (if a horizontal image) or 3,000 pixels tall (if a vertical image).  
  • No selfies
  • Helpful tip: Avoid clichés - no jumping-in-front-of-monument -photos!

Voting Party

The Global Engagement Photo Contest voting party will take place during Returnee Welcome Week for study abroad students in the Varsi Hall Lounge on Monday, April 11th from 3 pm - 5:30 pm. All students, staff, and faculty are invited to cast their votes in-person during this time. 

Contest Winners

Winners will be announced on Wednesday, April 13th and displayed on the Global Engagement website. Additionally, photographs will be featured on Global Engagement’s social media accounts, so be sure to give us a follow: 

Ethical Photography & The Photo Contest
Global Engagement's Guide to Ethical Photography

The Global Engagement Photo Contest Committee asks all participants to consider these tenets of ethical photography when submitting photographs: 


The story you tell through your photo and about your photo should not include you as the hero. We are seeking photos and captions that do not solely focus on your feelings of being “touched”, “overjoyed”, or “in love” nor assumptions about what others were feeling towards you. We are seeking photos and captions that work to ensure that all voices are heard, respected, and valued. 


In keeping with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we are seeking photographs that respect the rights, dignity, and worth of all people. Aim for complex portrayals of subjects and abstain from submitting photos that potentially stereotype, sensationalize, or discriminate. 


Please remember the importance of having obtained consent, especially for capturing the likeness of vulnerable populations such as children, those with disabilities, marginalized persons, etc. If you did not receive consent from the subjects or the parents or caretakers of your subjects to capture and share a photograph of them, unfortunately, it is not eligible for the photo contest. 


We are seeking photographs that fairly contextualize and represent the real situation, location, and subject identity depicted. Think about what your photo will communicate to others in light of the fact that images offer only limited context and perspective.