ELS & UN annouce Many Languages, One World 2016 Essay competition

Feb 1, 2016

ELS and the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) global initiative are working together to promote multilingualism through the Many Languages, One World — Global Essay Competition where 60 winners will be awarded with an all-expense paid trip to New York City to present at the UN General Assembly in the UN Headquarters and participate in the 2016 UN Global Youth Forum in July 2016. 

The goal of this competition is to promote multilingualism in the context of sustainable development  - which is the framework of the essay topic that is to be written in one of the UN’s six official languages:  Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.  To qualify, students must write their essays in a language which is neither their mother-tongue nor the language in which they received their primary or secondary education.

Michelle Gyles-McDonnough, United Nations Resident Coordinator for Malaysia said, “This is an excellent opportunity for students and youths in Malaysia to express their views on the aspirational 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals, and on our role as individuals, communities and nations in transforming our world; and to present these views at the General Assembly. Take this once in a lifetime opportunity with both hands and be the change!”

2016 marks the third edition of Many Languages, One World. In 2014, over 4,000 people participated in some aspect of the competition. Close to 1,500 essays were submitted, with contestants from 128 different countries. The 60 winners represented 26 different countries and 6 continents. College freshmen through doctoral candidates participated in the event. Winners were attending a diverse group of universities around the world, including such esteemed institutions as The University of Basel (Switzerland), Princeton University (USA), and Cornell University (USA), and their areas of study included engineering, political science, language, philosophy, economics, and computer science.

In 2015, more than 3,500 people from 130 countries took part in the initial phase of the contest. 70 students from 42 countries, representing 60 universities were selected as winners from an essay pool of over 1,200. Winners attended prestigious international universities such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA), Yonsei University (South Korea), and Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (France). Their fields of study include art, human rights, medicine, engineering, law, business management, communications, international relations, and linguistics.

For this year’s contest, ten winners will be selected from each language group for a total of 60 winners. ELS will award each winner with an all-expense paid trip to New York in July 2016. Students will attend a Global Youth Forum at Hofstra University to prepare to present their views in the General Assembly of the United Nations Headquarters. At the Global Youth Forum, the students will discuss their plans of action addressing selected topics from the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. These international delegates will also have the opportunity to interact with invited international scholars and tour New York City. The deadline for essay submissions is 11:59 p.m. EST Thursday March 31, 2016.

Only full-time students enrolled in higher education institutions are eligible to join this competition. For more information and to take part, visit ELS Malaysia’s website or the contest website at http://ManyLanguagesOneWorld.els.edu.

Essay Contest Eligibility and Qualifications:

  1. Students 18 years of age and older who are currently enrolled in a full-time degree program at university are eligible to compete to win a place as a delegate to the Global Youth Forum. Students must be recommended by a University Faculty Member or Authorized University Representative in order to participate. 

  2. The essay, not to exceed 2000 words, should explore how multilingual ability advances global citizenship and cultural understanding. The essay should reflect the entrant’s academic, cultural and national context. 

  3. Entries should be in an official language of the United Nations that is not the first language of the Entrant or the principal language of instruction in his or her primary or secondary education. The official languages of the United Nations are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. For complete contest rules and information on how to enter, please visit ManyLanguagesOneWorld.ELS.edu 

  4. The deadline for essay submissions is 11:59 p.m. EST Thursday March 31, 2016.