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Transition Abroad's 2013 Student Travel Writing Contest ($500 top prize)

Deadline: 15 April 2013

Here's a competition for students who are studying abroad or non-Africans who are here in Africa to study. Transition Abroad's Student Writing Contest - the only student travel writing contest to cover studying, working, interning, volunteering and living abroad - will award the 2013 winner $500 to share their student experience. Details below.


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
  • Runner-up: $50
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.


Think about what you were looking for when you were planning to study, travel, work, or live abroad as a student and please use the guidelines below as a basis of your travel writing:

  • What motivated you to go abroad?
  • What subjects or activities were your primary interests abroad?
  • How did you select your program or activity abroad? Search engine, word of mouth, database, or other?
  • Emphasize essential practical information such as how you selected a program or arranged your own independent study, job, or internship.
  • Where did you go abroad and why?
  • Once you were abroad, what did you wish you had known before you left?
  • Were there any unexpected events or realizations while you were 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 took from the people and culture who hosted you?
  • What role did social media and online communications play in your experience abroad? In these days where so much time is spent online, how did you balance such activity with cultural immersion and direct connection with locals and/or 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 feel the experience changed your life spiritually, academically, and will alter your future life or even career choice?
  • 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 cliches.
  • 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 opportunities you researched for your reader to choose from.
  • While remaining practical, please do not hesitate to offer inspiring experiences and your own personal passions relating to traveling, living, and learning in the country(ies) in which you visited.
  • If you feel that anecdotes offer a view into the core of your experience, please provide them or any dialog with locals who may have changed your perspectives while abroad.
  • Note: Include a sidebar with relevant information or related programs which you considered.
  • Optionally provide photographs, Youtube video(s), links to blog posts or multimedia of any kind which 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.
WORD COUNT: 1,000-2,000 words. One or more photos strongly preferred.


The Contest begins June 1, 2012, and all entries must be received by April 15, 2013. 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 phone, mail, or e-mail on or around May 2, 2013 for publication in May, 2013 or at such time as all winners have signed Agreements, received, and cashed payment.


  • 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 e-mail 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 e-mail 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.
FORMAT: Typed in Microsoft Word and sent by e-mail to studentwritingcontest@TransitionsAbroad.com. Your name and your email address should be on the document and the "2013 Transitions Abroad Student Writing Contest" as the subject of the email. Please let us know at webeditor@transitionsabroad.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 e-mail 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.

TRANSMISSION: Send electronically as an attached MS Word file which includes the submission title, your name, your email address, and the story. If you cannot attach the submission as an MS Word file, then please paste the article into an email message.

* Please do not send a hard copy submission by mail, as it will not be judged.


For queries: webeditor@transitionsabroad.com

For submissions: studentwritingcontest@transitionsAbroad.com

Website: http://www.transitionsabroad.com

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Transition Abroad's 2013 Student Travel Writing Contest ($500 top prize) + writing contests