Imagining The World Photography Competition

Images of photos from past competitions and text

Imagining the World

Education Abroad and International Photography Competition

In the College of Arts and Sciences, our passion for understanding the global community influences all we do. We encourage our students, faculty, and staff to engage actively with diverse cultures around the world through faculty-led programs abroad, language studies, partnerships around the globe, service learning, International Studies, student and faculty exchanges, internships, and Xavier Global House. Arts and Sciences is a leader in the university's efforts to develop an international focus.

Paused for three years due to the pandemic, Imagining the World returns. The awards ceremony will be held in Spring 2024.

Now accepting photo submissions

Deadline: 11:59 p.m., January 14, 2024

We are thrilled to open submissions for the return of Imagining the World.

Application Instructions and Submission Form


  • Your submission form and high-resolution images will be submitted online.
  • Include your headshot and a two to three sentence reflection (about 100 words) about your experience.
  • JPEG files OK, original camera files are preferred.
  • Each file should be a minimum of 2400 pixels in the longest dimension.
  • Entry is limited to a maximum of 5 per person.

If you are a recent alum who is submitting photos from your time as a student between January 2022 and now, please note that you will need to use your Seattle University email address. If you do not have your password, you will have an option to update it.

Award Categories and Eligibility

Education Abroad

  • SU students: photos taken between January 2022 and December 2023 while participating in any SU Education Abroad program*
  • SU faculty and staff: photos taken between January 2022 and December 2023 while leading or participating in any SU Education Abroad program* or while conducting research or other Seattle University work abroad.

International Students

  • SU students: photos taken in the US between January 2022 and December 2023

*Includes all SU-Sponsored, SU-Exchange, Faculty-Led, Non-SU, and non-credit immersion programs. Must be an SU student or employee when photos were taken.

Photo by Malia Nakamura as 1st Place winnerThrough this contest, students, faculty, and staff capture more than a moment in their experience – they share a very personal window into the world they explore. The award recipients’ photos are included in the Imagining the World photography book and exhibit.

Submitted photos address the theme: "Imagining the World." Entries should go beyond the "postcard" and express the entrant’s vision and understanding of life in the host country.

A panel of professional photographers judge the photos on their technical merit and how well they address the contest theme.

The chosen images are celebrated with an awards ceremony when the exhibit opens.

Winners and honorable mention contestants are also recognized at the Annual Awards Ceremony and Artists Reception.

Previous Exhibitions

Images link to exhibition photo books
Book cover with photo of two people and a swan
book cover with photo of woman in confetti
book cover with image of man with a horse
book cover with image of mountain in snow at night
book cover with images of children and bike
book cover with image of two children sitting in window
book cover with image of person in silhouette against stained glass
book cover with image of farmer harvesting seaweed
book cover with image of young man in classroom
book cover with person standing above large crowd

Photo credits top to bottom. Banner, large image: Bowen Chen, “Milky Way, Camp Muir,” 2016, First Place, International Student; smaller images: Bowen Chan, “Lonesome Boat,” 2015, First Place, International Student; Hillary Sturgeon, “Fiesta de la Trashumancia,” 2018, First Place Study Abroad; Jake Alexander, “Kids in Er Rachidia”, 2015, First Place, Study Abroad; Amy Bryant, “A Cab Ride in Venice,” 2106, First Place, Study Abroad; Malia Nakamura, “The Heart of Frankfurt,” 2019, First Place, Study Abroad; Luka Karaula, “The Thinker,” 2014, First Place, International Student. Lower image: Malia Nakamura, “The Heart of Frankfurt,” 2019, First Place, Study Abroad