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Skidmore College
Off-Campus Study & Exchanges

Essay Contest

Off-Campus Study & Exchanges invites you to take part in the 2nd annual Off-Campus Study & Exchanges Essay Contest.  OCSE and the Skidmore community would like to hear your story from your time studying off campus!

Share your most unique, unexpected, confusing, funny, challenging, or memorable story from your time studying off campus.  You may get published on the OCSE website and could win great prizes!

By submitting your story, you help your fellow students and people in the Skidmore community know, feel and appreciate what it is like to study off campus.  Writing and submitting an essay is your opportunity to reflect on and share your off-campus study experience.

Submitting Your Entry

All essays must be submitted electronically in MS Word format.  Use standard font, 12 pt., Times New Roman.  Essays should be submitted by 4:30 pm on March 1, 2012 via an email attached to Eliza Camire at or by CD or flash drive.

In the email or cover page of the document, please include the following information. (This information is not included in the 5 page limit.)

  • Name
  • Class year
  • Major(s)
  • E-mail
  • Off-Campus Study Program Name
  • Off-Campus Study Program Location
  • Off-Campus Study Term

Eligibility & Requirements

Skidmore College students who have participated in an off-campus study are eligible to submit one (1) essay to the contest.

PLEASE NOTE: Any and all submissions to the OCSE Essay Contest may be used at the discretion of Skidmore's Off-Campus Study & Exchanges for promotional purposes.  By submitting your entry, you agree that your essay can be used in this way.  If your essay has been previously published or submitted to another publication, please notify OCSE.

Students may be asked to supply photos from their study abroad experiences to accompany their essay.

Essays can be no more than five pages, typed and double-spaced.  Include your name and class year on every page.


Essays will be judged by OCSE staff with the help of invited Skidmore faculty and staff.  Selected essays will be published on the OCSE website. 

  • $100 - Winner
  • $75 - 2 Honorable Mentions

Awards will be distributed to students' Skidmore ID declining balance account that can be used on campus and at off campus merchants.  See for on- and off-campus merchants.

How to write your essay

Your essay should be a creative piece of non-fiction writing in essay form.  The best essays will be about something you did or experience but will also incorporate information about the host culture.  Describe the details about the people you met, the places you visited, how things looked, and incorporate your own feelings about those details.  For more ideas to get you thinking please click here.