Students Staff

13 June 2016

Essex student wins global essay contest

Karla Drpic

Winner Karla Drpic.

For the past three years, Essex students have won the Many Languages, One World Essay Contest for the UN Academic Impact outreach programme (UNAI) by ELS.

This year, Karla Drpic, a first-year student from our Department of Language and Linguistics, won with her essay on the connection between multilingual ability and global citizenship. The Spanish essay had to be written in one of the official languages of the United Nations (UN) and not in Karla’s Croatian mother tongue.

Out of more than 3,600 other essays submitted from 36 countries and 54 universities, Karla’s essay was chosen alongside nine other Spanish essay winners, due to her creativity, development of ideas, thesis and fluency and her use of language.

As her reward, Karla will be going on an all-expense-paid trip to New York in July, attending the Many Languages, One World Global Youth Forum, creating an action plan related to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and presenting the plan at the General Assembly of the United Nations Headquarters.

Karla said: “I felt like giving the contest a shot would be worthwhile. I've been studying foreign languages since I was a very young child, and now I've truly begun my 'global' experience by studying at Essex.

“It was motivational to know about past successes of Essex students in the contest. Staff in the Department constantly went out of their way to help me with all the documentation and supported me throughout.

“The prize is a dream for me, getting to see New York, work on a common goal with like-minded people, and present my work at the UN Headquarters. I hope to represent all the communities I belong to with dignity, including the University and the whole of the Croatian youth, make my family and friends proud, work with fellow winners, and make connections.”

Dr Manuela Nocker, University representative for the UNAI programme, said: “I am absolutely delighted that Karla has won this global contest. It’s an exceptional achievement and will be inspiring for many other students.

“The University is a partner institution in the UNAI programme which advances a global agenda based on the values of free speech, peace, equality and human rights. It especially encourages global citizenship through education.

“With Karla’s achievement, and the former winners Yasmin Afina, from the School of Law, and Hiva Rafiei, from Essex Business School, our University has accumulated a fantastic track record across departments. It’s a great story of our students’ leadership when engaging with the complexities and opportunities of global citizenship.”

Many Languages, One World challenges students around the globe to write an essay examining global citizenship, cultural understanding, and the role that multilingual ability can have in fostering both. The contest supports multilingualism and recognizes the impact of the UNs six official languages - Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.

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