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International Student Essay Contest

Office for International Students and Scholars

What do you miss most from home? Was it hard for you to adjust to your new student life in the US? What did you not understand when you first arrived to UD? The Office for International Students and Scholars (OISS), in collaboration with the Division of Student Life, is pleased to announce the third annual international student essay contest, open to all international students at the University of Delaware starting this fall.

OISS has a rich tradition of welcoming international students from all parts of the world and is committed to fostering international understanding and cross-cultural awareness on campus and in the community. The purpose of this contest is to give interested applicants an opportunity to tell their stories and share their experiences of being an international student with the larger University community.

Everyone has a story. Tell us yours for a chance to win $750!

Essay Topic:

Living and studying away from home can be a challenging yet rewarding experience for many international students. Please share your personal stories and experiences about how you dealt with new cultural norms and values during your stay as an international student at UD and in the US. Topic ideas include:

• Were there any moments of confusion or miscommunication that you encountered?

• How did you go about understanding 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 maintaining F or J visa status at the University of Delaware.

Application Deadline:

Essays must be submitted via this online form by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, October 27, 2017. Only online submissions will be accepted.


First Prize: $750; Second Prize: $500; Third Prize: $250. Funds for winning essays will be placed into student accounts.

Document requirements:

Maximum of 1000 words; Typed in 12-pt size, Times 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.

Contact Information:

Questions? Please contact OISS at (302) 831-2115 or

Entries will be judged on content as well as literary style by a panel of UD faculty & staff.  Please make every attempt to submit an entry free from spelling and grammatical errors, and rich in experiential content. 

Winning essays:

See a list of past awardees of the OISS International Student Essay Contest and read their winning essays here: