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International Education Week Contests

Has studying abroad or being an international student at Miami been a life changing experience? Have you captured some incredible moments on your phone or camera? Would you like to share your experiences with the Miami community? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it is time to participate in the International Education Week Writing, Digital Storytelling, or Photo Contest.


Looking for Contest Information?

Check back for information on future contests!

Digital Storytelling Contest

Academic Term Eligibility

The Digital Storytelling Context has been paused in 2023. Check back next year!


The International Education Week Digital Storytelling Contest is open to all Miami University students. Students often report that international and intercultural experiences can be transformative. This digital storytelling contest is one way to demonstrate that transformation. For this contest, you are to submit a video that combines the art of telling a story with visual images and an audio soundtrack that answers the following question: How have your cultural interactions on campus, abroad, or in the United States re-defined your world views? How have they changed you or the way you see the world?

LibGuide: Video Creation Resources

LibGuide: Digital Storytelling from a Study Abroad Perspective

Students can submit their video for this contest by sharing a YouTube link in the form submission below. Video duration should be a maximum of 5 minutes.

Musical Selection

Students must use royalty free music in their video, and if they need Miami University Global Initiatives to purchase music for them, they can email Karla Guinigundo at Karla will respond with two subscription websites that students can explore. Select a music choice, and Global Initiatives will download the file for you.

Submission Limit

Students may submit one digital storytelling entry each of no more than 5 minutes.

Code of Conduct

Digital Stories should be appropriate for public viewing and reflect Miami’s values and code of conduct. The following are prohibited and may be cause for disqualification:

  • Images/video clips that depict alcohol
  • Images/video clips in unsafe locations and/or poses
  • Illegally downloaded music or copyrighted music/content
  • Explicit or inappropriate language
  • Images/video clips that include bathing suits or other inappropriate clothing

Evaluation Criteria

Before you start your digital story, determine your main message and goal. Then, develop your story, keeping in mind your audience and what you’d like to convey to them.

  • Point of View–Is the main point of the story clear? Is the perspective of the author clear?
  • Creativity–Does the video have "out of the box" thinking and provide a unique perspective and voice?
  • Affective Impact–Does the video emotionally resonate with the viewer in a relatable, impactful way?
  • Author’s Viewpoint–Does the author use their viewpoint to personalize the story to help the audience understand the context?
  • The Power of the Soundtrack–Do the music and/or other sounds enhance the story? Was the music legally obtained according to instruction?
  • Economy–Does the content tell the story without overloading the viewer?
  • Pacing–Does the author use pacing that matches the content of what is being shared?  E.g. It speeds up and slows down to emphasize what is being said or shown.
  • Video Elements and Production Quality–Footage, images, and script are clear resolution and simple for the viewer to follow and understand.

Criteria inspired by the Seven Elements of Digital Storytelling developed by The Center for Digital Storytelling (CDS) in Berkeley, California.


One $500 scholarship will be awarded for the winning digital story (winner must be a currently enrolled Miami student)

Photo Contest

Academic Term Eligibility

The Photo Contest has been paused in 2023. Check back next year!


Photos taken during the academic terms listed above will be accepted for this contest. Photos must be high quality, preferably with a resolution of 300 DPI. Up to four total photo contest submissions are welcome (one submission per category).


  • Candid photos sometimes work better than a posed shot
  • Find a unique background
  • Outdoor images usually have better lighting than indoor ones
  • Take a variety of unique photos and submit your best work

Evaluation Criteria

  • Representation of the intercultural or international experience
  • If applicable, sensitivity toward the host culture
  • Appropriateness to the category
  • Technical merit (clarity, focus, lighting, etc.)
  • Photos should be appropriate for public viewing and reflect Miami’s values and code of conduct. The following are prohibited and may be cause for disqualification:
    • Images that depict alcohol
    • Images in unsafe locations and/or poses
    • Images that include bathing suits or inappropriate clothing


  • Review your photo to make sure it fits the selected category.
  • Remember that your photo should reflect your perspective on your study abroad experience or your perspective as an international student in the United States.
  • If your photo is of what might be considered a tourist attraction, make sure it provides a different perspective than what you might see on a postcard.


Cross-Cultural Moments

This can include cultural events, interactions with host culture, or defining moments. This may also include photos of common day-to-day places like grocery stores, libraries, hospitals, churches and/or people going about their daily lives in those places that are in contrast to similar places in your own country/culture. In your description, be sure to provide a brief explanation of context to help the viewer understand what makes it a cross-cultural moment.

Global Classroom

Capture a photo that illustrates a learning experience you had while abroad. It could be an educational setting either inside or outside of the classroom. In your description, consider how your perspective has changed as a result of this experience.

Love & Honor

This photo would show Miami student(s) showing school pride in a cultural context.

People and Portraits

Capture an artistic shot of a person or group of people you have engaged with during your program. Make sure you have the person’s consent. In your description, reflect on this encounter and your relationship with the person(s) in the photo.


Photos submitted to this contest will become public and could be shared broadly via social media. Before submitting any photo, please consider the following questions:

  • Is your photo culturally sensitive and respectful of the host country or United States?
  • Have you considered possible negative ways it might be interpreted by others?
  • Did any people in the photo consent to the photo being submitted?


There will be three winners overall.

  1. First Prize: $250 Miami Scholarship (winner must be a currently-enrolled Miami student)
  2. Second Prize: $25 gift card to Brick & Ivy campus store
  3. Third: Global Initiatives swag

By submitting your photos and descriptions to the contest, you give Miami University permission to use your submissions for publicity and promotional purposes, including brochures, websites, and presentations.

Writing Contest

Academic Term Eligibility

The Writing Contest has been paused in 2023. Check back next year!

Categories and Guidelines

This writing contest is open to all currently enrolled Miami University students. Students can share a unique perspective for one of the categories. Students can not submit more than one writing entry.

Transformative Cultural Experiences at Miami, Abroad, or Away

This writing contest is open to all currently enrolled Miami University students.

  • Students can share a unique perspective about cultural experiences at Miami University, in the United States, or abroad in 750 words or less.

Literary London Prize

We seek creative work and nonfiction/essay submissions (5,000 words max) focused on travel to London and/or the UK. Students should be Miami ENG majors and/or Literary London summer study abroad program alumni (2018-onwards). Prizes will be awarded in either category.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Content–Provides a strong perspective with reflection and analysis of global or intercultural experience
  • Creativity–Writer makes good use of imagery; provides vivid descriptions; conveys impact of the experience in unique ways
  • Form–Essay falls within the word limit; writing style and voice is consistent; essay is well organized with correct use of grammar and punctuation


Transformative Cultural Experiences at Miami, Abroad, or Away Awards

  • First Prize: $250 Miami Scholarship (winner must be a currently-enrolled Miami student)
  • Second Prize: $25 gift card to Brick & Ivy campus store 
  • Third: Global Initiatives swag

Literary London Prize

  • 1st Place: $300
  • 2nd Place: $150
  • Honorable mention(s): $50
Macmillan Hall
Contact Information

Global Initiatives

214 MacMillan Hall
531 E Spring St.
Oxford, OH 45056
513-529-8600 513-529-8608 fax