Photo and video contest

2018-2019 Photo and Video Contest Winners

Photo contest winners: 

First place

Hiking Huashan, located east of Xi'an, China

The first thing that comes to mind when people think of China isn't its beautiful scenery, yet the adventures I had on mountains were undoubtedly the highlight of my exchange. This photo is significant because despite Huashan (华山) being one of the most dangerous hikes in the world, when I think back, it was just warm from love.

Emily Chan - Shanghai JiaoTong University (KoGuan School of Law) Shanghai

Second place

The city of Jerusalem is filled with history, culture, politics and religion. It is a beautiful place that is the heart of the three world Abrahamic religions and is often a headline in news and political discourse. But it is also home to over 800,000 people.  As I looked over all these beautiful homes, I was reminded of my family and my home. How fortunate are we when we are able to think of a place, we call home?

Carlos Abarca - Tel Aviv University

Voter's choice

Hold your breath - South Korea

Before the royal palace's front gates, cars and people pursue their daily life. As the heart of the city, this site fulfils more than one definition of a crossroad: The first being literal, the second being cultural. This intersection recounts the old Seoul standing inert, seemingly in protest to the impetuous version of its modern self.

Coralie Leduc - Korea University

Video contest winners:

The International Office's Photo and Video Contest

The contest is not yet open for 2021-2022. Information on submission deadline and procedures will follow in 2021.

The Photo and Video Contest aims to promote our exchange destinations, and reward your creative talents. We are looking for original photos that showcase your host country and your experience with the University of Ottawa exchange program.


The Photo and Video Contest is open to all University of Ottawa students who completed an exchange offered by the International Office during the previous academic year.

Use of submissions

In applying to the contest, participants agree that their photos and/or videos may be used by the International Office for purposes of promotion, advertising, and written and electronic documentation.

Ownership of submissions

All photos and videos submitted to the International Office Photo and Video Contest become the property of the International Office of the University of Ottawa. Winners of the video portion of the contest must submit the original file and a consent form signed by the people appearing in the video before claiming their prize.


The University of Ottawa is not responsible for submissions that are incorrect, damaged, destroyed, lost, late, incomplete, illegible, altered, with a wrong address or misdirected. The University is not responsible for any damage or loss resulting the photo and video competition or relating to it. The submitted photographs and videos that do not meet all contest rules posted are not eligible. All submissions become the property of the International Office of the University of Ottawa. By submitting photos and videos to this contest, participants agree that they understand all the contest rules.


For questions about the photography and video competition, email

Photo submission


InformationAll submissions must be submitted via our online form ( date to be determined in 2021)
Please note that email submissions will not be accepted.
  • You may submit up to three photographs along with this form.
  •  Each photo must be accompanied by a title and a brief statement of about 50 words about your exchange and the significance of the picture.
  • We are looking for original photos that show off your student exchange and your qualities as an ambassador of the University of Ottawa. 

Selection criteria:

  • Quality of the photo;
  •  Originality and quality of the statement accompanying your photo;
  • The photo must have been taken in the country in which you have completed your exchange.
  • Note: submissions that clearly display the University of Ottawa logo will be granted extra points. 


  • First prize: $ 400
  • Second prize: $ 200
  • Voter's choice: $ 200
InformationIf the student is selected for two prizes, they will receive that which is of a higher value.

Photo submission

Video submission

All submissions must be uploaded to YouTube or other video sharing site. 

Submission deadline
InformationThe deadline for submitting a video via our online form is ( date to be determined in 2021)Email submissions will not be accepted.
  • The video should be maximum one minute and a half
  • Your video should focus on the following to show what struck you most during your exchange:
    • Cultural differences: Has your stay outside Ontario marked you as a result of cultural particularity of your host country? Are you impressed or destabilized by an event lived abroad or custom of the host country?
    • Present your campus: Let us visit the campus of your host institution! We want to see the classes, landscape and student life on campus!
    • Present what struck you the most during your exchange.

Selection criteria:

  • Presence of the themes mentioned above;
  • Originality;
  • Relevance.
Extra points
InformationPlease note that we will give extra points for submissions that clearly display a logo of the University of Ottawa.


  • First prize: $ 550
  • Second prize: $ 350

Video submission

Previous contest winners


First place

biggest ice cave in the world Austria

"Without knowing what was to come, I accepted to accompany a friend on a day trip to the biggest ice cave in the world. The cave was really interesting, but as you can see by this picture at the entrance of the Eisriesenwelt grotto, what was most exceptional was the road to get there. A beautiful surprise."

- Katrina Gosselin

Second place

Woman looking at nature Germany

"Living in a country with such rich history can play many tedious tricks on your mind, knowing that where you walk, history was forever altered. While studying abroad, it can become easy to get caught up in the fast paced life style, but views like this can make you calm down for a moment and really appreciate the here and now. It is an exceptional experience to see how far this country has come and extraordinary to see how much it has changed me."

- Morgan Shamblaw

Voter's choice

Chillon Castle Switzerland

"Between the swans, the castles, and the mountains, Switzerland is undoubtedly a magical country. It was Chillon Castle itself that inspired the creators of the Little Mermaid. Given the cold temperature of Lake Léman, we can understand why Ariel held on to her legs so much!"

- Julia Krull


First place

The Troll's Tongue - Norway

"A big part of Norwegian culture is their stories and beliefs about Trolls: giant mythological creatures made of stone. This floating ledge, 600m high, is called the troll’s tongue, “Trolltunga”, due to its resemblance of a tongue being stuck out. What better way to experience this part of Norwegian culture and the specular view of one of their many fjords, than with a wonderful group of international friends!"

- Jeremy Nehme

Second place

The alley of memories China

"Omoide yokocho" translates as "the alley of memories".There are about twenty small bar/restaurant in an alley typical of the pre-war years.  Great feeling of nostalgia attached to it. Also, it is the first outing between friends I met from my host university".

- Olivier Desbiens

Voter's choice

The Pearl of France

"Sunshine, sea and lemons: words that sum up the seaside town of Menton on the Côte d’Azur. Swimming in the Mediterranean sea, going to the local market for the Socca, practicing my french with the charming residents and running to the border of Italy were some of my daily rituals. Learning about the Middle East in a unique and beautiful campus, dating back to the 19th century was an amazing experience. But creating long lasting memories with friends from across the globe was truly the highlight of my four months.  I am forever grateful for this euphoric experience and I left a piece of my heart in “the Pearl of France”.

- Natasha Harris-Harb


First place

View on the ocean Aberystwyth

"During the few months that I spent at Aberystwyth, this charming Gallic town became my second home. With its numerous pubs and coffee shops, its radiating international culture, in addition to its absolutely wonderful location, this little town, vibrant and homey, is truly unique. The sound of the waves, the friendliness of the locals, the splendid sun sets, and the friendships that I developed will always continue to resonate within me."

- Geneviève Martin-Lafleur

Second place

Girl in Vienna

"I moved to Vienna, Austria this past year without knowing a lick of German, a single person, or any idea about life in the country. A proud Canadian, I found myself talking about home frequently while abroad; my European roommates are well aware of a Tim’s “Double, Double”, “The Hill”, and our love of skating. Twelve months later, I have retuned speaking incessantly about Austrian adventures, food, landscapes and people. There were many struggles and trying times on exchange, but I have grown so much and have fallen in love with another red and white flag."

- Emma Street

Voter's choice

At the Bastille Summit - France

"Grenoble, France - my beautiful host city - is nestled in between a cluster of mountains in the Alps region. In the center of the city, there is a small hike that takes you to the top of "La Bastille", an old fort that provides a fantastic 360 degree view of the city of Grenoble, as well as the surrounding Alps. The street to the left of the photo is Cours Jean Jaures, the straightest and longest street in all of Europe!"

- Chloe St-onge-Shank


First place

First place

"If you know Paris, you know grey skies are common. The parisians call it the "grisaille de Paris" That being said, beautiful sunsets like this one are not something you get to see every day. In October, I was lucky enough to have spent the most perfect afternoon picnicking at one of Paris's hidden gems, Parc André Citroën where the Ballon de Paris Generali flies only on the most beautiful of days. Following our picnic, my friends and I lined up for a ride in the hot air balloon and made it on for the second last flight of the day! We had the most breathtaking panoramic view of Paris during sunset. That day and that view will be engraved in my memory forever."

- Alicia Silvestri

Second place

Second place

As a political science student, one of the things I wanted to learn about in Turkey was the Kurdish minority, historically oppressed and still fighting for greater political representation. What better way to do so than to attend the festivities of Newroz, the Kurdish New Year? For years, celebrating Newroz was illegal and has only recently been permitted. So while it's a traditional celebration, its also one steeped in political significance. And the atmosphere is infectiously exciting.

- Cameron Revington (Diyarbakır, Turkey)

Voter's choice

Voter's choice

I chose to participate in my academic exchange in Rennes, France. Located in the French province of Brittany, the area is known for its unique French and Breton culture, but also its magnificent and rugged coastlines. This is a picture of one of the most Western points of continental France at sunset, Pointe du Raz.

- Joshua Russell (Pointe du Raz Sunset)


First place

First place

"In the High Arctic, daylight is 24h a day for part of the year. In Longyearbyen Norway, I heard the last night fall was on April 19th so I decided to hike to the nearest mountain to watch the Sun go down and believe me, it was worth it."

- Alex Forest

Second place

Second place

"I travel not because I want to see new places, but because I want to live them. I travel because I want to know more about myself, about a culture, and about the world. I travel because I want to prove to myself that there are no limits."

- Sara Hermida

Voter's choice

Voter's choice

"I participated in an Outdoor Education class at the University of Sydney, a course developed specifically for international students. This photo was taken during a grueling but satisfying 6 hour hike in the Blue Mountains."

- Sophie Hopkins

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