The Only Student Travel Writing Contest to Cover Studying, Working, Interning, Volunteering and Living Abroad
TransitionsAbroad.com hosts an annual student writing contest for all currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students, students who have graduated within the past year, and students currently on leave from school are eligible.
The following prizes will be awarded for the winning student writing submissions:
1st Place: $500
2nd Place: $150
3rd Place: $100
All winning pieces will be published on www.TransitionsAbroad.com and in the monthly Webzine (TAzine).
Transitions Abroad has long featured regular articles on the subject of Student Participant Reports, Student to Student Advice, Student Volunteer Service Learning, and Internships Abroad where students share information and experience with other students contemplating educational travel abroad, whether formal study abroad, internships, volunteering, or short-term work abroad.
Many of the winners of this contest have gone on to write more articles for www.TransitionsAbroad.com.
What We Are Looking For in the Student Writing Contest
Think about what you were looking for when you were planning to study, travel, volunteer, work, or live abroad as a student. Please use the guidelines below as a basis of your travel writing, as the more relevant questions you answer in detail, the more you will likely help others:
Where did you go to school prior to your work/study/travel/living/volunteering abroad?
What motivated you to go abroad?
What subjects or activities were your primary interests abroad?
How did you select your program or activity abroad? Did you use search engines, word of mouth, databases, or other communication modes? Emphasize essential practicalinformation such as how you selected a program or arranged your own independent study, job, or internship.
Where did you go abroad, why, and when?
On which program(s) did you end up participating? Was it an organized program, direct attendance at an academic institution abroad, or independent study?
Once you were abroad, what did you wish you had known before you left?
Were there any unexpected events, challenges, or realizations while you were abroad?
What was the best part about your experience abroad?
Do you consider your venture abroad as achieving or exceeding your goals?
Would you go abroad again? Would you recommend that others do the same?
Did you consider yourself a good ambassador while you were abroad? Did you feel you gave as much as you received from the people and culture hosting you?
What role did social media and online communications play in your experience abroad? In these days, when we are spending so much time online, how did you balance such activity with cultural immersion and direct connection with locals and/or your host family?
Since you have returned (if you have), how have you been able to fit what you did and learned abroad into your life—academic, career, and otherwise?
Do you think that your experience changed your life spiritually, academically, and will alter your future life or even career choice?
Did you go abroad with the expectation that the intercultural skills you would develop would help you in your future career—skills employers now seek?
Did you intend to write about your experience during and/or after your experience abroad, and via which media?
Think of yourself as an adviser or counselor and your reader as a student like yourself before you decided to study/live/work abroad. Offer your best practical advice.
Be specific: Vague and flowery evocations of the place(s) you visited and what a wonderful time you had there are not always helpful to someone preparing for his or her own trip. Good writing avoids clichés.
Think of yourself as a journalist seeking to tell a story with as much objectivity as possible in order to reach a wide and educated audience.
If you write about your experience as a student with a specific program, remember that the appropriateness of the program depends upon the individual.
If you write about one program or independent activity, please provide a list of similar programs or alternative opportunities you researched for your reader from which they might choose.
While remaining practical, please do not hesitate to offer your most inspiring experiences and advice. Describe your own personal passions relating to traveling, living, and learning in the country(ies) in which you visited.
If you feel that anecdotes or epiphanies offer a view into the core of your experience abroad, please provide them or any dialog with locals that may have changed your perspectives while abroad.
Include a sidebar with relevant information or related programs that you considered to help others in their research.
Note: Optionally provide photographs, Youtube video(s), links to blog posts or multimedia of any kind that will help evoke what you experienced abroad and inspire others to follow in your footsteps.
Note: High quality photos, video(s), and links to other forms of multimedia will make your submission stand out, though we emphasize a command of the written word as the primary form of narrative, since language leaves so much to our readers' imaginations.
1,000-2,000 words. One or more photos strongly preferred.
Student Writing Contest Deadline for 2014
The Contest begins January 1, 2014, and all entries must be received by September 15, 2014. Transitions Abroad Publishing, Inc. will require first-time Worldwide Electronic rights for all submissions which are accepted as contest winners and for publication. In addition, Transitions Abroad Publishing, Inc. will reserve the right to reprint the story in a future publication, with additional compensation. The writer may republish the unedited submission as desired six months after initial publication on TransitionsAbroad.com.
Winners will be notified by email before 12:00 a.m. EST, September 30, 2014 for publication at such time as all winners have signed Agreements, received, and cashed payment.
Student Writing Contest Terms
There is no entry fee required for submissions.
Submissions that have been published during the current academic year by home academic institutions are eligible.
Transitions Abroad Publishing, Inc. is not responsible for late, lost, misdirected, incomplete, or illegible email or for any computer-related, online, or technical malfunctions that may occur in the submission process.
Submissions are considered void if illegible, incomplete, damaged, irregular, altered, counterfeit, produced in error, or obtained through fraud or theft.
Submissions will be considered made by an authorized account holder of the email address submitted at time of entry.
The 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners—along with any other runners-up accepted for publication—will be paid by Transitions Abroad Publishing, Inc. either by check or PayPal as preferred by the author.
All federal, state, and local taxes are the sole responsibility of the Contest winners.
Decisions of the judges are final.
Typed in Microsoft Word and sent by email to studentwritingcontest@TransitionsAbroad.com. Your name and your email address should be on the document and the "2014 Transitions Abroad Student Writing Contest" as the subject of the email. Please let us know at email@example.com if your submission did not get through for any reason.
Please provide your name and contact information (address, email address, telephone number), your college or university, and your year in school or year that you graduated or expect to graduate. If you traveled on your own, list the countries and dates and what you did (worked, backpacked, etc.) If you traveled with a program, list the program name and institution, and the dates. Include your current and permanent address, your current and permanent phone number, and email address if applicable. Include a short biographical note (hometown, major, etc.). This information can be in the body of the email which includes your submission.
Send electronically as an attached MS Word file which includes the submission title, your name, your email address, and the story to studentwritingcontest@TransitionsAbroad.com. If you cannot attach the submission as an MS Word file, then please paste the article into an email message. If you have any questions about the contest, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Please do not send a hard copy submission by mail, as it will not be judged.
You can also download the 2014 Student Writing Contest Guidelines as a .pdf file.
Notification of your participation in the contest via Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or other social networking sites would be much appreciated (see our links/buttons at the top and bottom of this page), and all winners are welcome to "brag" via social media.