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Photo Contest

The International Institute (II) Photo Contest is open to all students affiliated with the II and/or its centers and programs, either through funding or study.

Photos must be taken in conjunction with research, study, or an internship abroad related to or funded by the II and/or its centers and programs, and must have been completed between August 2023 and August 2024. A select panel of U-M staff and faculty members will judge the photos on subject matter, composition, technical quality, creativity, and originality.

Deadline for submission:  OCTOBER 21, 2024 (12 AM EST)

Go Blue!

(Show U-M pride abroad)

While our Michigan pride runs deep at home, it resonates just as profoundly across borders. Share snapshots of your “Go Blue!” experiences from all around the world. We would love to see how our spirit travels with you, whether you are conducting research in remote locations, interning at ancient sites, or studying in busy international cities.

2019 Winning Photo:

Showing Off the Maize and Blue (Panama) Even the birds in Panama, like this Gartered Trogon, know which colors are best. Go Blue!

by John David Curlis (PhD Ecology & Evolutionary Biology ’23); Affiliation: LACS Tinker Field Research Grant recipient

View all the 2019 submissions »

The World Is Your Classroom

(Show a facet of the student’s research, work, or study abroad)

We celebrate the idea that education extends far beyond the four walls of a classroom. Submit your best photos that capture the essence of learning from the different parts of the world—we want to see how you interpret the theme through your unique perspective. Examples may be a snapshot of your fieldwork at an archeological dig, nature that teaches us about the environment, a cultural heritage that gives you a new understanding and perspectives of the traditions, a picture of an adult picking up a new skill, or a breathtaking sight that teaches us about the world.

2018 Winning Photo:

Measuring the chest patch temperature of an adult male gelada monkey with an infrared thermometer. (Ethiopia)

by  Patricia DeLacey (PhD Biological Psychology '23); Affiliation: African Studies Center Research or Internship Support recipient

VIew all the 2018 submissions »

Once you submit your online form, you will NOT be able to submit another entry
or make further submissions

Three winners will be selected from each category:
First Place - $500 | Second Place - $200 | Third Place - $100

Open to all U-M students affiliated with the II and/or its centers and programs, either through funding or study.

Photos must be taken in conjunction with research, study, or an internship abroad related to or funded by the II and/or its centers and programs and completed between August 2023 and August 2024. If you have any questions, please email

Rules of Entry

  • Entrants must have participated in research, an internship, or study abroad related to or funded by the International Institute and/or one or more of its centers or programs between August 2023-August 2024
  • One entry per category may be submitted per entrant
  • Photos must be your original work and taken during your research, internship, or study abroad completed between August 2023-August 2024
  • AI-generated and digitally manipulated or “photoshopped” photos are not accepted. Black and white photos ARE eligible
  • Photos must be submitted using the online form (coming soon!)
  • Each photo must be accompanied by a title and a brief description (not exceeding 50 words) explaining how the image relates to the theme
  • Entries must be received no later than the designated deadline (TBD).

Photo Submission Guidelines:

  • Photos must be your original work
  • Size: MUST BE 8x10 (Portrait or Landscape); all submitted photos will be resized or cropped to 8x10, which may result in the loss of some details of your image
  • Format: JPEG/JPG or PNG; must be a minimum of 1000px
  • Color and black and black-and-white photos are eligible
  • Each entry must be sent as an individual file via the online submission form
  • By entering the II Photo Contest, the student acknowledges the Photo Contest Use Notice

We ask students to keep in mind the ethical aspects of capturing images of people and places. Please be aware that not everyone wants to be photographed, and not all places can or should be photographed.

Here are questions you can ask yourself as you think through the range of situations you’ll encounter:

  • Could there be tension between my intentions in taking this photo and how others will perceive the image, especially those in the United States?
  • Is it appropriate to ask the person’s/people’s permission in this context?

If you plan to submit photos, know that certain types of content are restricted. We do not use pictures showing or depicting minors, life-threatening behavior, illegal activity, alcohol consumption, nudity, locations where we know your presence is prohibited, and customs that can be perceived as animal cruelty.