Katharine Clifton, Hawaii native and winner of the 2009 Hawaii Branch Shakespeare Competition, represented the United States in the International Public Speaking Competition held in London during the summer of 2012. Read about her experience below.
Exploring a new place, whether it be a nearby town or a foreign country, is simply fun. It is engaging and exciting, everything feels like a new adventure. Now if you take this natural high of traveling and add 54 intelligent, charismatic, and curious young adults from completely different backgrounds, there are even more adventures to be had, stories to be told, and ideas to be shared. The five day IPSC program was packed with cultural activities--my personal favorite being a tour of the Houses of Parliament. We also toured Kensington Palace and Shakespeare's Globe, watched Shrek the musical, and participated in debate, public speaking, and theatre workshops. All of these were a wonderful blend of fun and educational, but what made them especially memorable was the company; spending five entire days with other students from all around the world was a unique and exhilarating experience. Among other truths realized, those five days confirmed that humans are universal. It's sounds simple and strange but it's a crucial truth that no matter the background we all are fundamentally the same, asking the same questions, facing the same challenges, and discovering who we are in similar manners. I made friends who I'm certain will make a positive impact in their country and I'm determined to stay in touch with them so that together we can bring more good to the world. This was an experience I will never forget. Thank you so so much for allowing me to represent the US in this competition.
The ESU celebrates English as a shared language to foster global understanding and good will by providing educational and cultural opportunities for students, educators, and members.
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