NYU Abu Dhabi student Norbert Monti (Class of 2018) will return to his studies in Abu Dhabi this September from an unforgettable summer experience in the Big Apple.
Monti, a Political Science and Economics major, entered an essay into a worldwide contest for university students called Many Languages, One World and was selected as one of just 70 winners from more than 1,200 entries.
He and the other winners gathered in July for the Global Youth Forum at Adelphi University in Garden City, New York, then presented their essays in the General Assembly at the United Nations headquarters in New York City.
"I am very interested in sustainable development and when I saw the topic of the essay contest (sustainability) I knew that I had to give it a try," he said. His essay, The Flickering Light, focuses on sustainable economic growth and his personal experience from the Rio+20 UN Earth Summit.
"I was really frustrated with the inefficiency and suboptimal results of the negotiations," he explains. "I believe the mechanisms and structures used are limiting the way problems are approached and solved. Sustainability is such a complex concept that we have to consider all the different angles."
Representing 42 countries and 60 different universities, each essay winner had to speak more than one language fluently and present their work in a language (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, or Spanish) other than their primary language.
Standing at the UN podium to speak to fellow students in English was a highlight, Monti said, although he was most inspired by others who have mastered many languages. Monti is from Hungary and speaks Hungarian, English, Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese.
The contest, in its second year, is organized by ELS Educational Services Inc., and the United Nations Academic Impact.