Annual Photo Contest


Each fall, the Center for Undergraduate Global Engagement hosts a photo contest for students that have participated in a global experience during the preceding academic year or summer.

The categories for the contest are below:

  • Lions Abroad: Photograph of you and/or other students participating in a global experience*
  • Landscapes – Natural or Urban: Photograph that showcases the sights and sounds of a location
  • Cultures, Customs & Traditions: Photograph that captures a cross-cultural interaction, celebration, ritual or other activity
  • "Out of My Comfort Zone": Photograph that highlights being outside of your comfort zone - whether that be a location, experience, etc.
  • Free for All: Have a photo that you love that just doesn’t fit in one of the categories above? If so, submit here.

Photos submitted for each category above are welcome (and encouraged) to have students included in any shots, not just the Lions Abroad category.

A Grand Prize Winner and category winners will be announced several weeks following the contest deadline. The Grand Prize Winner will receive $100 to be spent at the Columbia Bookstore!

MAXIMUM - five photos per student. ONE per category. Larger submissions will be disqualified.

Short descriptions are optional for each photo submission.

*All students (Columbia & Non-Columbia) that meet the eligibility requirements can participate in the Lions Abroad category.


Students must be a student in Columbia College, General Studies or Columbia Engineering and have completed a global experience during the preceding academic year or summer. Global experiences could include, but are not limited to: research, service, fellowship, internship and/or study abroad experiences. Non-Columbia students or graduate students who attended a Columbia-run program during the preceding academic year or summer are also eligible. MAXIMUM - five photos per student. ONE per category. Larger submissions will be disqualified.

By submitting a photo, you retain the rights to your works while granting Columbia University the right to reproduce and display the works (in whole or in part) without further notification.

Judging Criteria

See below for criteria that may be considered when the finalists are being judged:

  • Highlights the photo contest category in a direct or abstract way
  • Showcases a quality photo, which takes into consideration the technical aspects of the photo, which may or may not include: lighting, clarity, composition etc.,
  • Demonstrates respect for the host culture
  • Evokes some form of emotion when the photo is viewed

Once finalists in each category are determined, the photos will be publicly available for voting. Be prepared to share your photo(s) with others as part of the voting experience!

How to Submit Photo(s)

All photos should be submitted as jpgs and should be files large enough to be printed at 11x17, which means the photo should ideally have pixel dimensions of 2640x4080.

All photos should be titled:

Country_City_Program_Term_Student Last Name, First Name_Home School ’Class Year_Title/Description (Submission Category).jpg

For example: Spain_Barcelona_CIEE Advanced Liberal Arts Barcelona_Spring 2019_Swifto, Taylor_CC ‘20_Sagrada Familia with Taylor Swifto in shot (Lions Abroad).jpg

Submit your photos HERE!

Once you filled out the form above for each photo, email your photo(s) to:

Past Submissions

Enjoy viewing the 2019- 2020 Annual Photo Contest, 2018-2019 Annual Photo Contest and 2016 - 2017 Annual Photo Contest finalist photo submissions.


The deadline to submit your photo(s) via the Photo Submission Form is: October 15, 2019.