The Gimse International & Off-Campus Studies Photo Contest

Each year, in February, the International and Off-Campus Studies office sponsors a photo contest open to all students who have studied off-campus on St. Olaf International or Domestic programs during Semester I or Semester I/Interim, Interim, Semester II or Yearlong programs.  Submission details and entry requirements can be found by following the submission link below (once it becomes active for the year).

The Namesake:
The Office of International and Off-Campus Studies is pleased to call our photo contest The Gimse International and Off-Campus Studies Photo Contest in honor of Professor Mac and Jackie Gimse.  Professor Mac Gimse taught at St. Olaf for 31 years in the Art Department. During that time, they took groups of students (both enrolled college students and Life Long Learning groups) on international study programs twenty times. They led Global Semester three times and the Term in Asia and the Term in the Middle East programs each twice.  In addition the Gimses have led nine Interim Programs to European destinations and four Life Long Learning Groups to places all over the globe.  Through these programs, Mac and Jackie have led over 500 students, assisting them in achieving an informed global perspective while becoming long-term extended family. An accomplished photographer, Mac took thousands of photos during his travels and used those photos to the benefit of the students who took his art history and architecture classes on campus.

Contest Opens: February2020 

Entries Due:  TBD – March 2020

Celebration and Display of Winners:  IOS Interim Open House

The 2019 entries can be viewed here.
The 2019 Contest Winners can be viewed here.
The 2018 entries can be viewed here.

The 2018 Contest Winners can be viewed here.
The 2016 Contest Winners can be viewed here.


ENTRIES:  You may submit up to five entries, each of which should be submitted through the above form.  Entries must fit within the following guidelines: 5.0 MB with a maximum width of 1920 px and height of 1080 px (DiSCO can assist you with changing these requirements – Apple has a good online resource for how to do this, as well).  Winners will be expected to send the original image in the original format for best quality for printing and display.

Entries must include a description of the photograph to provide context to the image and for judging purposes (i.e subject of image, anecdote about the image, relation of subject to the off-campus study program, etc.).

SUBJECT:  We will be looking for photos which are representative of your off-campus experience.  In general, photographs will be judged based on the following:  cross‑cultural content, artistic/technical quality, expression of one’s experience off-campus, etc. while being thoughtful and respectful of the host culture/community.

ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS: Photographs that display unethical content or images that are not sensitive to the host culture/community  will not be selected or displayed on the website.  We strongly recommend that students review the National Press Photographers Association’s Code of Ethics for recommended guidelines and additional information.

In general, students should consider the following about their submissions:

  • Does the image respectfully represent, without distortion, the true culture, context, content, or meaning of the subject, host community, and/or host culture?  Is the image sensitive to local culture, norms, customs, etc. – or does it seek to exoticize, distort, or make fun of the local culture, norms, customs, etc?  Would the individual within the photograph be proud of the image?
  • Did you seek permission from the appropriate individual when taking this photograph?  This is especially critical if the image is of a child, an individual with a disability, religious symbols/iconography or individuals who are in the middle of actively practicing their faith (e.g. praying, meditating, etc.), government buildings, symbols, and/or employees. Due to their sensitive nature, we will not accept photographs that include identifying images of children without the expressed written consent of a parent or legal guardian.
  • Could the image embarrass or expose the individual?  If yes, please do not submit it.

By submitting an image, it is firmly understood that you have understood and complied with the above ethical considerations.

PARTICIPANTS:  The contest is open to all students who have studied off-campus on St. Olaf International or Domestic programs during the 2017-2018 Academic Year, the 2018 Calendar Year, Spring (with or without Interim) 2018, Summer 2018, Fall 2018, and/or Interim 2019.  If interested, the rubric for judging can be found here.

RESPONSIBILITY/LIABILITY:  By submitting an entry, you give the International and Off-Campus Studies Office at St. Olaf College permission to display and share your entry during the April 2019 Interim Open House (April 9, 2019) and on our website.  Your final submission also gives St. Olaf the right to reproduce the entry, in part or in full, for use in college publications or in any other non‑commercial manner.

International and Off-Campus Studies will be responsible for producing enlargements, mounting them, and setting up the exhibition.  The finished matted enlargements will become the property of International & Off-Campus Studies.

PRIZE: $25.00 in Ole$ will be awarded to the top winner!