We need your input! Help us select the best photos and video submitted by your peers who studied abroad during the 2022-23 academic year. Votes will be taken until 11:59 PM on Sunday, October 8, 2023.

The Photo & Video Contest is an opportunity for UCLA students to share their experiences abroad in a creative, fun and artistic way and to portray the many opportunities available in this diverse and multi-cultural experience. This annual contest showcases the travel photography and films of Bruins who have recently returned from studying abroad/away.

Photos and videos will be judged based upon the following criteria:

  1. Creativity and Originality
  2. Quality and Execution
  3. Adherence to the Theme and Official Rules
  4. Overall Impression



Contestants may submit one photo for each of the following categories:

Architecture and Landscape 

Images that share the beauty of the place, a breathtaking landscape or cityscape, artful and interesting shots of buildings, monuments, landscape, architecture, nature, etc. Feel free to show yourself, friends, professors in your photo, or just focus on the scenery – it’s up to you!

Local Customs & Traditions 

Photos that capture cultural engagement with clear references unique to the location. This may include participation in cultural events, activities or holidays;  highlighting regional customs, cultural differences, unique traditions, etc. Focus your attention on distinct cultural perspectives.

Bruins Abroad/Away

Creative photos of you or your peers wearing or displaying UCLA gear abroad/away. This includes apparel or any other branded item showing an identifiable UCLA logo. The photo should be taken in a unique location or setting that includes landmarks.  (i.e. Student(s) wearing a UCLA T-Shirt in front of the Louvre).

Photos can be taken on a camera or your smartphone. You may lightly edit your photos using photo editing software or filters but remember that less is more! Try to make your photos as natural as possible.

Images must have high quality resolution (ideally 300ppi – typically 2MB—2048×1536 pixels) and should be submitted in JPEG (.jpgs) or PNG (.png) format. Low-quality images may be disqualified.


Only one video entry will be accepted per contestant.

A Day in the Life

Instagram Reel or TikTok video highlighting your study abroad experience (engaging in the local culture, participating in program-related activities, showing a meaningful experience that influenced your life or changed your perspective).

Remember to keep it educational and focused on your study abroad program (no partying, clubs, alcohol, smoking, or drugs) – imagine a future student watching your video as they decide whether to participate in UCLA Study Abroad. What would you want to show them? How can you depict the diversity of your location? How would you motivate future participants to study abroad?

Have fun and feel free to use trending audio, music, text to speech, voiceover, etc. To submit, download your video (publish as private) from your personal TikTok or Instagram account and submit through the submission form below. Videos should be 20-90 seconds and should be submitted as .mov or .mp4.

General Information


All UCLA students who participated in a study abroad program during the 2022-2023 academic year (Fall 22, Winter 23, Spring 23 and Summer 23) are eligible to enter the contest. Participants must be eighteen (18) years of age or older.

Application Process & Rules

  • You may submit one photo per category (three total) and one video. You can choose to submit only photo(s), only video or both.
  • Photos/video submitted for the contest must be taken while on your study abroad program.
  • Confirm that you have obtained all necessary photo/video waivers (if applicable) and can provide them upon request.
  • Please include a title, location, and a short caption/description for each image.
  • Contestants are limited to only one prize.
  • Photos/videos that do not meet requirement can be disqualified.

Submissions may be shared on IEO’s social media accounts and website.

Official Contest Rules (Terms & Conditions)

Submission Deadline

The deadline to enter the 2023 Photo & Video Contest is September 15, 2023 at 5:00p.m. PT. Winners will be notified on October 12, 2023 via email and announced during the Returning from Abroad Social event.


  • Photo: There will be one first prize for each photo category and each first prize contestant will receive a $100 Amazon gift card.
  • Video: There will be one first prize for video and the winner will receive a $150 Amazon gift card.

Up to three (3) Honorable Mentions will be showcased on the IEO website and/or social media.

Photo/Video Waiver

Submissions that include the image of individuals who are not UCLA students/faculty and are clearly visible (“other subjects”) will require a waiver (permission to use their image). You are responsible for obtaining such photo/video waivers. Photo/video waiver form can be found here.

Do’s & Don’ts

Do’s/Don’ts of Creating Content for the Study Abroad Photo & Video Contest

  • Do show your personality and unique perspective as a UCLA student!
  • Do have fun with your content and make it exciting.
  • Do portray UCLA IEO and studying abroad in a positive light.
  • Do use good judgment on what is appropriate for a university account. The focus should always be on studying abroad (no photos/videos of partying, clubs, alcohol, smoking, or drugs).
  • Don’t use content or music that contains explicit or offensive language.
  • Do let us know your social handles so we can tag you in your posts.
  • Do think about what makes study abroad educational outside of the classroom.
  • If individuals who are not UCLA students/faculty appear clearly visible in your photos or video (“other subjects”), please have them sign the photo/video waiver. Do avoid including celebrities, or making other subjects the focus of your photos/video.
  • All photos/video should be original and taken by you or taken with your phone/camera.

Previous Contest Winners