For 25 years, Gustavus students who have traveled abroad have had the opportunity to share photographs from their experience as they enter the annual International Photo Contest.
According to last year’s Cultural Landscape winner, Allison Kroll, “It’s a great contest but a lot of people don’t know about it.”
The International Photo Contest is run by the Center for International and Cultural Education (CICE). Sara Lee is responsible for advertising and assisting in running the contest.
“It’s for students who have been abroad before to share pictures of their experience and to explain what it meant to them,” Lee said.
The contest is open to all Gustavus students who have studied abroad or gone abroad for other reasons within the last two years or are currently studying abroad. Online submissions for the 25th Annual International Photo Contest are being accepted through Sept. 30 and it’s free to enter.
The photos are voted on by students. There are two categories: cultural landscape and human interest. Voting begins Oct. 3 and runs through midnight on Oct. 9. The first, second, and third place winners are determined by popular vote on the Facebook page and will be announced on Oct. 10.
The winners will receive their monetary prizes or calendar the following week. The winning photos will be displayed in the campus center during international week, which is Nov. 17-21. The photos will also be made into a calendar that can be purchased starting mid-November
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the contest. Assistant Director of the CICE Linda Shaw reflected on it’s origins.
“[It was initially created as a] way to bring the world to campus. It was also a hope to bring to light to the Gustavus Community, in a visual way, that these kids really are going abroad,” Shaw said.
According to Shaw, the contest has evolved and grown from few submissions to receiving 100 to 130 photographs each year.
Shaw has seen the contest through multiple location changes, paper ballots, and meticulous hand tallying. She added that the online format expanded the access and ease of submitting material.
“I’m excited that it’s available, and available in a way where someone can submit a photo at one in the morning,” Shaw said.
Shaw encouraged students to submit their images from abroad.
“The more people that we have do it, the more exciting and culturally important photos we see,” Shaw said.
Kroll won the photo contest last year, and reflected upon the experience of capturing the experience on film.
“Not everything that’s in your head is how it is in life…you’ll never know that until you go there, but at least by sharing a photo, you’re able to give them the opportunity to see what it is like,” Kroll said.