Global Spartan Photo Contest


Culture in Focus

International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) invites you to participate in our Global Spartan Photo Contest, called “Culture in Focus”. Our goal is to share a variety of cultural perspectives through photography and short narratives. As such, each photo must be accompanied by a 150-word-maximum narrative that explains the cultural significance of the photo to the photographer, answering the questions: What aspect of culture does this photo represent? Why is this photograph important to me?

New Deadline: February 23, 2020.

Submit a Photo 


  • SJSU students, SJSU students studying abroad and J-1 exchange students are encouraged to participate.
  • SJSU visiting scholars.
  • International Gateways students.

Contest Rules

  • Each entrant may submit two (2) photographs.
  • Photographs must be the original work of the person submitting it.
  • Each photograph must be accompanied by a short narrative (150-word maximum) that explains the cultural viewpoint or perspective of the photographer. The narrative should answer the questions: What aspect of culture does this photo represent? Why is this photograph important to me?
  • Photos must be high resolution and unedited (e.g., do not use of filters, Photoshop, etc.).
  • Content of the photos submitted must be appropriate and may not include alcohol, drugs and related paraphernalia, or sexual content.
  • Photo release is required at the time of submission.

Selection Process

  1. Top 10 Photos & Narratives: A committee comprised of College of Professional & Global Education (CPGE) staff and SJSU community members will select 10 photographs and narratives based on their creativity, originality, artistic expression, and ability to articulate a unique cultural perspective.
  2. Staff’s Pick - Impactful Narrative: The committee will also select one narrative they feel is the most impactful in terms of sharing a unique cultural perspective - a narrative that may make people stop and think about the world from a different cultural viewpoint. This narrative does not necessarily have to be in the Top 10 selection.
  3. Fan Favorite: The Top 10 selected photographs and narratives will be posted on the SJSU International Students’ Facebook Page and Instagram for open voting, for a period of one week. Each “like” will count as one vote. Top 10 and "Staff’s Pick" winners will be notified via email prior to the start of "Fan Favorite" Voting.

Awards & Displaying of Photos

  • "Fan Favorite" winners will be notified via email, and announcements will also be posted on our websites and social media platforms.
  • "Fan Favorite" and "Staff’s Pick" winners will be presented their prizes at our Global Spartan Fair on March 4, 2020.
  • Top 10 photos and narratives will also be on display at the Global Spartan Fair on March 4, 2020.