Lanterns Across the Sky: Global Essay Project
CALL FOR ESSAYS | Due: October 30th

Call for Narrative Essays: Global Essay Project

A Joint Project with the American Association of Colleges and Universities

Share Your Global Journey! šŸŒ

Everyone has a memorable story of studying or working outside their country of birth. What is your story about studying or working overseas? What are your cross-cultural experiences from exchange programs or study abroad? Are you a current or former international student or scholar? Did you participate in Fulbright or any faculty exchange program? Tell your stories of exploring the words, the world, and the wonders.

Essay Categories

  • International Student & Scholar Experience
  • Study Abroad Experience (short or long term)
  • Faculty/Staff International Experience

Join us in celebrating transnational narratives. Illuminate our “Global Essay Project” with your experiences. Contribute to this exceptional initiative by the Association of American Colleges and Universities and STAR Scholars Network.

Languages Accepted

You can write your story/essay in any of the following eight languages:

English | Spanish | French | German | Hindi | Arabic | Chinese | Russia

Essay Writing Suggestions

  • Share a story: Focus on moments, encounters, and experiences that shaped your journey as an international student. Tell a story that no one else could tell. Your story can be about friendship, service, freedom, discrimination, injustice, activism, belonging, family, courage, resilience, citizenship, academics, spirituality, parenthood, discovery, inclusion, self-discovery, growth, etc.Ā 
  • Be brief: Your statement should be between 1,000 and 1,500 words (use template). Thatā€™s about 5-10 minutes when read aloud at your natural pace.
  • Write about real events: Write your true journey as an international student; exchange student; study abroad student; or scholar, current or former.Ā 
  • Describe how you changed: Wrap-up the essay by sharing what you learned from the experience, how it has changed your beliefs, perspectives, or identity, or what the story means to you now as you look back on the events and how it has shaped you.Ā 
  • Be personal: Tell a story from your own life, not an opinion piece or commentary about an issue. Write using words and phrases that are natural for you. Read your story aloud several times, and simplify it so it captures the story as you experienced it.
  • Tell your challenges and lessons. Flavor your writing with idioms and figures of speech from your language. Paint the picture. Be concrete about what you have seen in your travels, academic encounters, woes, and wows!Ā 

Format Requirements

A story or essay of 1000-1,500 words; Typed in 12-pt size, Times Roman font; includes page numbers. We accept Microsoft Word files only. Please use this template to write your essay

Award Includes: All authors will receive a complimentary copy of publications (book). Selected top three authors will receive certificates, special recognition, and membership to the STAR Scholars Network.


All faculty, staff, and students (including international, study abroad, and exchange students, including former international students) from schools, colleges, and universities can submit their narrative essays.

Application Deadline

All essays must be submitted online by 11:59 p.m. EST on October 30 each year.Ā 

Permission Notice

By submitting your entry, you agree that your essay/story might be published by the STAR Scholars on the web or in a publication. You will receive a copy of the publication.

About STAR ScholarsĀ 

The Society of Transnational Academic Researchers (STAR Scholars Network) is an international forum of scholars that advances global social mobility by using research and advocacy. Our mission is to carry out scholarly research and publication related to international education, exchange programs, academic mobility, and employability. We envision a humane world and we fulfill our mission by creating dialogue forums of exchange through our activities such as conferences and consultations.Ā