Student Essay Contest and Global Youth Forum

Deadline: 25 March 2015
Open to: full-time college or university students
Prize: winners participate in a 7 day International Youth Forum in New York and present their work at the United Nations Headquarters


The United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI), in collaboration with ELS Educational Services, Inc., (ELS) organizes the “Many Languages, One World” Essay Contest, which will decide the winning delegates to be invited to a Global Youth Forum and preparatory conference to be held in New York in July of 2015.

The essay should relate to the post-2015 global development agenda, in the context of the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, and the definition of new goals reflecting the imperative of global sustainable development that recognises, and is enriched by, cultural and linguistic diversity. Entries of up to 2000 words in length must be in an official language of the United Nations that is not the entrant’s first language or 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.


The contest is open to full-time college or university students, 18 years of age or older by March 25, 2015. A University Faculty Member or Authorized Representative must sponsor your participation in the contest and must attest that you are a full time student in good standing and that you are submitting an essay in an official language of the United Nations that is not your first language or principal language of instruction in your primary or secondary education.

Functional knowledge of English is required in order to use the UN websites to conduct research on the essay topic and for participation in the preparatory conference.


A total of 70 Winners will be chosen: 10 Winners for each of the six official UN languages, plus an additional 10 chosen on merit from the remaining entries in all languages. These Winners will be invited to New York to participate in a series of events during the week of July 20-26, 2015. These events will include a Global Youth Forum on the sustainable development agenda in the context of multilingualism, cultural diversity and global citizenship at United Nations Headquarters, preceded by a preparatory students’ conference at Adelphi University sponsored and arranged by ELS Educational Services, Inc.

ELS will pay for the Winners’ roundtrip economy class airfares in carriers of its choosing between the commercial airport nearest the Winner’s home city and New York, and be responsible for their travel, room and meals for the duration of the conference.


In order to enter the contest you must follow the next steps:

  • Write your essay according to the contest rules and eligibility guidelines.
  • Show your essay to a University Faculty Member or Authorized Representative who can attest to the fact that you have followed the contest rules. Have that Faculty Member or University Administrator complete the Faculty/University Reference Form in support of your participation in the contest.
  • Once the Reference Form has been received and verified by Many Languages, One World, you will receive an email with further information, and a link where you can complete your Student Entry Form and upload your essay to the contest website.

The deadline is 25 March 2015.

For further information please visit the official website.

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