A photo of Essay Contest winners

International Student Essay Contest

CGPS has hosted seven annual international student essay contests, the most recent one in collaboration with the Division of Student Life and the Graduate College. This year's contest has closed. Winners will be announced this spring.

While 2020 was certainly a unique year for all of us, some things remain as true as ever. CGPS and many partner offices on campus have a rich tradition of welcoming international students from all parts of the world. The mission to foster international understanding and cross-cultural awareness on campus and in the community is as important as ever. The purpose of this contest is to give interested applicants an opportunity to tell their stories and share the experiences and perspectives of being an international student with the larger University community.

Everyone has a story. We're excited to read yours!


Awards will be given as follows


Category Grand Prize Second Prize
Undgergraduate Students $500 $250
Graduate Students $500 $250
ELI Students $500 $250

Funds for winning essays will be placed into student accounts.

Essay Topic


Studying at a U.S. university can be a challenging yet rewarding experience for many international students. Whether you spent the fall semester online or in-person, in the U.S. or abroad, please share your personal stories and experiences about how you dealt with new ways of learning, cultural norms and values, challenges and opportunities during your time as an international student at UD and in the US. Topic ideas include:

What prepared you for this experience, who/what helped you along the way?

How did you navigate local customs, traditions and communication protocols?

What did you wish others understood better about you and your culture?



You must be an enrolled international student in Fall 2020 or Winter 2021,

maintaining F or J visa status at the University of Delaware.

Application Deadline


The application deadline has passed.

Document Requirements


Maximum of 1000 words

Typed in 12-pt size

Times New Roman font

Double spaced

1-inch margins on all sides

Includes page numbers

Permission Notice


By submitting your entry, you agree that your essay might be published by OISS on the web or in a publication.


Entries will be judged on content as well as literary style.  Please make every attempt to submit an entry free from spelling and grammatical errors, and rich in experiential content.