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Since 1977 Transitions Abroad magazine has published some of the most forward-thinking essays and experiences on the subject, and we hope continue to do so in the coming issues. writers' guidelines.


Contest: Student has been extremely proud to host an annual student writing contest during the past 16 years for all currently enrolledhigh school, undergraduate, graduate students, student interns, and volunteers (including Peace Corps).
Students who have graduated within the past three years are also eligible, as well as students currently on leave from school since many internships and working/living experiences occur after enrollment. We have always been very open to multiple perspectives.
The following prizes will be awarded to the winning student writing submissions:
  • 1st Place: $500
  • 2nd Place: $150
  • 3rd Place: $100
  • Runner-up: $50
All winning pieces are published on our site.
Transitions Abroad magazine and have long featured regular articles on the subject of Student Participant Reports,Student to Student Advice, Student Volunteer Service Learning, and Internships Abroad, where students share information and experience with other students contemplating educational travel abroad, whether formal study abroad, internships, volunteering, educational travel, or short-term work abroad.
Many of the winners of this contest have gone on to write more articles for, create or enhance their portfolios and blogs, or find permanent writing and editing positions.

What We Are Looking For in the Student Writing Contest

Please think about what you were looking for when you were planning to study, intern, volunteer, travel, work, or live abroad as a student.
Please follow the general guidelines below as a basis for your article, since the more questions you address, the more likely your essay will help to inform and inspire other prospective students in their ventures abroad.
We are not looking for highly personal narratives in this contest, though selected illustrative anecdotes can be helpful and add color to your essay. (For pure narrative writing, we sponsor a yearly Narrative Travel Writing Contest.)
* Where did you go to school before your work/study/internship/travel/living/volunteering abroad?

  • What motivated you to go abroad?

  • What subjects or activities were your primary interests abroad?

  • How did you select your program or activity abroad? Did you use search engines, word of mouth, databases, unedited reviews, social media, forums, or other communication modes? Emphasize essential practical information such as how you researched and selected a program or arranged your independent study, volunteer service, travel, job, or internship.

  • If you selected and write about one program or independent activity in which you participated, please provide a list of similar programs or alternative opportunities you researched for the reader from which they might choose.

  • Where did you go abroad, why, and when?

  • In which program(s) did you end up participating? Was it an organized program, direct attendance at an academic institution abroad, or independent study?

  • Once you were abroad, what did you wish you had known before you left?

  • Were there any unexpected events, challenges, or realizations while you were abroad?

  • Did you encounter what you felt was racism, sexism, or any other form of aggression during your time abroad? How did you react and what did you learn or do you wish to share about the experience?

  • What was the best part of your experience abroad?

  • Describe with some specificity and even with anecdotes what you did in your studies, internship, work, volunteering, travel, living to provide a clear sense of your experience. What you did will most certainly be of interest to others.

  • Do you consider your venture abroad as achieving or exceeding your goals?

  • Would you go abroad again? Would you recommend that others do the same?

  • Did you consider yourself a good ambassador while you were abroad? Did you feel you gave as much as you received from the people and culture hosting you?

  • What role did social media and online communications play in your experience abroad? In these times, when we are spending more and more of our waking life online, how did you balance such activity with cultural immersion and direct connection with locals and your host family?

  • Since you have returned (if you have), how have you been able to fit what you did and learned abroad into your life—academic, career, and otherwise?

  • Do you think that your experience changed your life spiritually, academically, and will it alter your future life, including career choices?

  • Did you go abroad with the expectation that the intercultural skills you would develop might help you in your future career—skills employers now seek?

  • Did you intend to write about your experience during and after your experience abroad, and via which media?

  • Has your experience abroad, post graduation, led to the work abroad you desire as a result, or more likely to related international work from your home country? Many jobs or careers these days involve interaction with international entities, did your experience abroad help you with your current employment responsibilities?

  • Think of yourself as a study abroad advisor and your reader as a student like yourself before you decided to study/intern/live/work abroad. Offer your best practical advice.

  • Be specific: Vague and flowery evocations of the place(s) you visited and what a wonderful time you had there are not always helpful to someone preparing for his or her trip. Good writing avoids clichés.

  • Write like a journalist seeking to tell a story attempting as much objectivity as possible to reach a wide and educated audience seeking minimal bias.

  • If you write about your experience as a student in a specific program, remember that the appropriateness of the program depends on the individual.

  • While remaining practical, please do not hesitate to offer your most inspiring experiences and advice. Describe your personalpassions relating to traveling, living, and learning in the country(ies) in which you visited.

  • If you feel that anecdotes or epiphanies offer a view into the core of your experience abroad, please provide them as well as anydialog with locals that may have changed your perspective.

  • Include a box-out(s) with useful relevant information or related programs that you considered or discovered to help others in their research.

  • Note: Please provide high quality and high-resolution photographs to make your submission stand out and help convey the context of your experience in conjunction with your words.

  • Note: Optionally provide Youtube video(s), links to blog posts or multimedia of any kind that will help further evoke what you experienced abroad and will inspire others to follow in your footsteps.


2006 Responsible Travel Handbook

Responsible Travel Handbook (PDF)
Comprehensive handbook on Responsible Travel, complete with articles, resources and definitions.

Responsible travel hand book 2006 #weavingtheweb

A photo posted by ron mader (@planeta) on Nov 4, 2015 at 2:36pm PST



        Narrative Writing Contest



        Culinary Travel

        Congratulations to the 2015 Expatriate and Work Abroad Travel Writing Contest Winners!
        Many thanks for the many fine submissions sent to the judges. The eclectic submissions ranged from excellent essays and narratives on being an expatriate to very useful practical guides on living abroad in a variety of countries. Picking a winner proved very difficult this year with so many excellent submissions. — The Editor
        1st Place
        Living in Brazil
        Living in Brazil

        Living in Brazil, the Land of Samba: You Get What You Give by John Clites
        2nd Place (tie)

        Learning to Let Go and Dance in Bulgaria by Ariel Bloomer
        2nd Place (tie)
        Expatriate in Turkey
        Expatriate in Turkey

        From Texas to Turkey and Back Once More by Jonathon Engels
        2nd Place (tie)
        Living in Russia
        Living in Russia

        Dispelling Stereotypes about Russia by Hope Johnson
        3rd Place (tie)
        Expat versus Immigrant
        Expat versus Immigrant

        Travel for All: The Ex-pat vs. Immigrant Debate by Ashleigh Bugg
        3rd Place (tie)
        Expatriate in Turkey
        Expatriate in Turkey

        Czech Samaritans by Pearl Harris
        3rd Place (tie)
        Expat in Berlin
        Expat in Berlin

        Welcome to a New Life in Berlin by Genevieve Van Voorhis
        3rd Place (tie)

        Teaching English to Teenagers and Living in Santiago, Chile by Caitlyn O'Brien
        Lunch in France
        Lunch in France

        Taking Long Lunches in France by Kate Hunter

        How to Share Travel Articles Efficiently and Effectively Using Social Media
        Around the World by Sailboat
        Life Working Abroad as a Tour Guide
        Finding Your First Paid Job Overseas: Proven Strategies to Find International Employment by Zahara Heckscher
        The Allure of the Gap Year by Susan Griffith
        The Low Down on Work Permits Abroad by Volker Poelzl
        The Best Places to Teach English in Asia by Michael Hines
        Live and Work Overseas Freelancing on the Web by Nora Dunn


        better travel for a better world


        Volunteering in India







        What distinguishes is a desire to learn from our hosts and openness to change - Clay Hubbs @TransAbroad

        Ron's articles


        Top Tips for Independent Travel in Russia

        Working Abroad


        Congratulations to the Winners of the 2011 Student Travel Writing Contest! @GregoryHubbs
        Transitions Abroad helps those studying aborad to earn cash with a well-written Participant Report. Become a mentor and inspire others to study abroad as well!

        Clay Hubbs

        I find that if you stay long enough, learn the language, you get a sense of who locals are as people. - Clay Hubbs @TransAbroad @GregoryHubbs

        Recent Features

        Focus on Africa and the Middle East
        Along Mauritania's Ancient Caravan Routes by Lies Ouwerkerk
        Epiphanies in Tunisia: A Travel Diary in Words and Images by Irene Abdou
        Festival on the NigerAfrica's Most Exciting Celebration of Tribal Traditions and Cultures by Lies Ouwerkerk
        Kora Sounds from the Griot Compounds: The Gambia by Lies Ouwerkerk
        24 Hours in Dakar, Senegal by Irene Abdou
        A Vist to Soweto, South Africa by Lucy Corne

        Student Writing Contest

        What to Know About Studying Abroad in Madrid by

        2nd (tied)
        Learning on the Throne of Enlightenment: A Semester of Buddhist Studies in India by Manny Fassihi

        2rd (tied)
        Studying Abroad Among the Elite: A Year at the London School of Economics by Chao Huang

        3rd (tied)
        Volunteering Abroad Teaching English with Worldteach: Tales of Life in Northeast Thailand by Haley Boone

        3rd (tied)
        Volunteer in the Marshall Islands: Thinking About Teaching Abroad in a Developing Nation? by Sam Cortina

        3rd (tied)
        How to Plan Your Study Abroad Experience: Living as a Student in Buenos Aires, Argentina by Megan Jones

        3rd (tied)
        Study Abroad and Service-Learning in Malta with Luther College by Brian Liesinger

        3rd (tied)
        Living and Studying Abroad in Australia: Total Cultural Immersion is the Best Way to Experience the Land Down Under by Carolyn Mueller

        3rd (tied)
        Study and Travel Abroad in Bhutan: Experiential Learning with the Hiram College Study Abroad Program by Emma Strong

        3rd (tied)
        Studying and Living in Cairo and Traveling in the Desert Dunes of Egypt by Rachel Tobias

        3rd (tied)
        Studying Abroad and Living in Prague, Czech Republic: Land of the "Unbearable Lightness of Being" by Tanya Xu

        Study Abroad and Living in Ghana: Throw Your Expectations Out of the Window by Isabel Dickinson

        Learning to Teach English in Germany: A Semester of Studying, Living, and Traveling while Studying for a TEFL Degree by Noemi Hayslett

        February Issue of the Transitions Abroad Webzine (TAzine)

        Narrative Writing Contests Winnters (Travel in a Dangerous World: Myths and Realities)

        January Issue of the Transitions Abroad Webzine

        Working, Interning, Volunteering, and Short-Term Jobs Abroad

        Previous Issues

        Responsible Travel, Ecotourism, Voluntourism, and Slow Food!


        CALL FOR ARTICLES - Transitions Abroad is seeking articles for the May webzine (TAzine) on Cultural Immersion Travel of all kinds in accordance with our writers' guidelines. Deadline for submissions is April 15, 2009.

        Travel Abroad

        The Antidote to Mass Tourism
        Since 1977, Transitions Abroad—first as a travel magazine, now as a travel webzine—has been the leader in providing practical information for those who wish to travel abroad while seeking greater understanding of other cultures through direct participation in the daily life of the host community.
        For those interested in a variety of travel abroad modes and destinations, we offer practical and inspirational informational with the best Articles, Programs, Resources and Websites.

        Suggested Tweets

        Travel Writing Contests from Transitions Abroad! @gregoryhubbs

        Recent Editions of TAzine:

        external image cover_150b.jpg

        July 2008 Webzine
        Issue Focus: Mexico and Central America.
        Feature: The Hidden Treasures of Belize.
        Articles: Latin America Travel Planner, Budget Travel in Mexico and Central America, Learning Adventure in Honduras, Guatemala's First Cooking School, Responsible Travel in Mexico and Central America, Volunteering in Honduras, Working at an Eco-Lodge in Costa Rica, Travel from Mexico to Guatemala, Getting Around Mexico, and much more...
        external image cover_150.jpg
        August 2008 Webzine
        Issue Focus: Asia.
        Feature: Rediscovering Xi'an, China.
        Articles: Budget Travel in Asia. The Rise of Study Abroad in Asia. Mother India for Women Travelers. Honoring the Warrior Goddess in India. Buddhist Festivals in "Little Tibet." Overland Travel in India. Keeping Face in China. Living Abroad and Teaching English in China, Indonesia, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. Volunteering in Tibet and the Philippines. Culinary adventures in China, Korea, Indonesia, and Thailand and much more...

        external image cover_150.jpg
        September 2008 Webzine
        Issue Focus: South America.
        Feature: Traveling Down the Amazon: A Pictorial Journey from the Andes to the Atlantic Ocean.
        Articles: Budget Travel in South America. Air and Overland Travel in South America. Survival Guide to South American Mega-Cities. Women and Solo Travel in South America. The Buenos Aires Tango Festival. Slow Tourism in Ecuador. Living Abroad in Argentina, Peru, and Brazil. Volunteering in Peru and Brazil. Study Spanish in Bolivia and Peru and Portuguese in Brazil. Work in Argentina, Brazil, Peru and much more..

        Africa and the Middle East
        Africa and the Middle East

        October 2008 Webzine
        Issue Focus: Africa and the Middle East.
        Feature: The Heart of a Nomadic People: The Fulani of Burkina Faso and Niger.
        Articles: Africa: Is One of the Last Frontiers of Global Tourism as Volatile as Ever? Independent West Africa Planner. Hospitality in the Middle East. Teaching in the Muslim World. A Glimpse into Nigerian Culture on the International Stage. Seun Kuti Interview. Travel in Egypt, Morocco, Oman, and South Africa. Living Abroad in Turkey and Mozambique. Volunteer Work in Ethiopia, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Zambia. Study Abroad in Niger and Senegal, Taking Photos of Wildlife Abroad and much more...
        external image cover_large.jpg

        November 2008 Webzine

        Issue Focus: Off-Season, Budget, and Cultural Immersion Travel!
        Issue Highlights:

        Sample Articles from the Archives

        Budget Travel in Mexico and Central America's Resourceful Travel columnist Tim Leffel on bargains which can be found in the region and provides inside tips for the budget traveler with an adventurous spirit.

        Responsible Travel and Ecotourism in Mexico and Central America
        Latin America is the cradle of ecotourism. First touted as a development strategy to preserve the wilderness and development employment in Celestún, Mexico by Hector Ceballos-Lascurain in 1983, ecotourism was adopted by many countries including Costa Rica and Ecuador as a viable way to promote rural tourism and environmental awareness.

        Latin American Travel Planner 2008
        Latin America has never been as easy to visit. The region is enjoying renewed interest due to its cultural and environmental diversity. Want to maximize your expenditures? Slow down! The chief expense is transportation, so if you slow down, you can go further.

        Good Travel is Thoughtful Travel
        Rick Steves reflects on a lifetime of travel and concludes that experience abroad develops awareness of different ways of living across the globe as well as the perception by others of America and Americans.

        Latin America Travel Survey

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