Essay Contest 2024

Crossing Borders, Building Bridges: Life as an International Student in the U.S.

As individuals who bring diverse perspectives, experiences, and cultures to West Chester University (WCU), International Students are catalysts for understanding, cooperation, and progress. In recognition of your invaluable contributions and to foster cross-cultural dialogue, we invite all WCU International Students to participate in the 2024 Global Engagement Office (GEO) - Essay Contest.

This Essay Contest provides an opportunity for international students to reflect on your experiences, insights, and emotions, and share your stories to encourage, inspire and educate others. Participants are encouraged to explore the challenges and opportunities of cultural diversity and share your perspectives on cultivating empathy, promoting cultural competence, and bridging divides.

The theme for this year is "Crossing Borders, Building Bridges: Life as an International Student in the U.S".


Open to all West Chester University undergraduate and graduate international students (F & J visa).

Submission Guidelines

  • The essay must be your own work and written in English.
  • The word limit is 500-750 words, typed in Times New Roman, 12-point font, and single spaced.
  • Include your name and WCU email address in the header on each page.
  • The essay must have a title of your own creation that captures the essence of your essay.
  • Must be in MS-Word or PDF format.
  • Submissions must be sent via google forms latest by April 12th, 2024.


  • First Prize: $500 cash award
  • Second Prize: $250 cash award
  • Third Prize: $100 cash award

Entries will be evaluated based on the following critera

  • Content and Relevance
  • Depth of Analysis
  • Clarity and Coherence
  • Empathy and Perspective-Taking
  • Impact and Originality

Important Dates and Deadlines

  • Contest Launch: March 25th, 2024
  • Submission Deadline: April 12th, 2024
  • Winners Announcement: April 25th, 2024
  • Awards will be presented on April 30th at the End of Semester Celebration and Stole Ceremony, Sykes Ballroom C from 12 – 2 p.m. You are required to be present to receive your award.

Permission Notice

Submission of an essay indicates that you authorize GEO to publish all or parts of winning and non-winning essays on the GEO social media and webpage.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Matheeha Majeeth.

We look forward to reading your insightful essays and witnessing the transformative power of cross-cultural exchange.