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United Nations Academic Impact Essay Contest

United Nations Academic Impact Essay Contest

United Nations Academic Impact Essay Contest_miniThe United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI), in collaboration with ELS Educational Services, Inc., (ELS) invites students, 18 years and older, who are enrolled in a course of study at a college or university, to participate in an essay contest on the theme “Many Languages, One World.”

The essay should relate to ideas of global citizenship and understanding and to the role that linguistic abilities and felicity can play in fostering these. Entries, of up to 2000 words in length should be in an official language of the United Nations that is not the mother tongue of the entrant or the principal medium of instruction in his or her education. The official languages of the United Nations are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.

Entries should be uploaded to the website by 21 February 2014. An institutional representative will have to attest that the entrant is a student of the institution, in good standing, and that the essay is written in a language that is not the institution’s primary language of instruction and is the original, unaided work of the entrant.


Many Languages, One World


The United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) and ELS Educational Services, Inc., (ELS)


Winners will be invited to New York for an International Academic Impact Youth Forum, June 25-29, 2014. They will present their work in a Conference at the United Nations Headquarters on June 27, 2014. Airfare, room and board provided. Winners participate in a 5 day International Youth Forum in New York and present at United Nations Headquarters on June 27th.

These events will include a youth forum on the 10 principles of the United Nations Academic Impact, multilingualism and global citizenship at United Nations Headquarters, preceded by a preparatory students’ conference at Adelphi University on Long Island, New York. Programmes of touristic sightseeing and recreation will also be arranged by ELS Educational Services.

ELS will pay for roundtrip economy class fares in carriers of its choosing between the entrants’ home city and New York, and be responsible for the entrants’ travel, room and meals from their arrival on June 25th until their departure on June 29th, 2014. No extensions of stay or early arrivals will be possible. Entrants are responsible for all documentation relating to their journey, including passports and visas and the costs related to these, as well as appropriate medical insurance for their journey and stay in the United States.

All winners will be given certificates of participation by ELS, signifying they have won the Student Essay Contest arranged in cooperation with the United Nations Academic Impact.


21 February, 2014


  • Submit an essay (2000 words or less) exploring how multilingual ability advances global citizenship and understanding.
  • Your essay should reflect your academic, cultural, and national context.
  • Entries must be in one of the 6 official languages of the United Nations that is not the entrant’s mother tongue or language of instruction.
  • Entrants must be 18 years of age or older.
  • A panel of judges will decide upon a total of sixty student winners of the competition—ten in each of the six languages.
  • While the entrants shall retain the rights to their essays, by participating in the contest they grant ELS and the UN a worldwide, exclusive, royalty-free, and irrevocable license to use the content of the essays in whole or in part.
  • In addition, the entrants grant ELS permission to photograph, record, and videotape all activities during the conference. These recordings and photographs will become the property of ELS for didactic use at their discretion, in all media, in perpetuity, to promote multilingualism and global understanding.
  • The entrants also grant the United Nations permission to photograph, record, and videotape all activities during the conference. These recordings and photographs will become the property of the United Nations.
  • Submit your entry online here.


Got questions? Send them to United Nations Academic Impact at; and/or Louisa Soto at e-mail:


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