Felsted’s Riccarda Gerig, Tom Salter and Hugo Whitten spent the penultimate week of the Spring Term attending the International Youth Summit at Transylvania College in Cluj-Napoca in Romania.
This summit, organised and led by Year 11 students at Transylvania, debated three issues - Education for Diversity, the Right to Education and the Rise of extreme Nationalism.
After each day’s debating, the delegates voted on the recommendations, selecting 5 each day for inclusion in the overall summit manifesto. One of Riccarda’s suggestions was chosen on day one.
The summit took place not only at Transylvania College, but also at a hotel in Baisoara, a ski resort high in the Carpathian Mountains, and at the top hotel in Cluj, which was also hosting an International Social Media conference at the same time. It is a mark of the importance of the Youth Summit that the keynote speakers included a former Romanian Prime Minister, a current government minister, a current European Commissioner, as well as speakers from the Mayor’s office in Cluj, from the provincial Government and from the wider international political and business community.
One of the major benefits of attending this summit was getting to know delegates from other countries – Romania, South Africa, Germany, China and the USA. The debating was at times intense, but the format allowed for consensus, and there were plenty of opportunities for both formal and informal discussions. The final, positive recommendations have been included in a Summit Manifesto which will be sent to the participating schools. Tom and Hugo were judged as being two of the top 6 debaters at the Summit.
Furthermore, as we stayed at host families, we enjoyed enhanced opportunities to see and experience different aspects of Romanian culture and lifestyle.
Overall, it was a great week. The summit has been an amazing experience for everyone, and visiting the city with all of its sights and monuments is a memory that we will treasure. Being able to share our opinions with others, to tackle these subjects, and to speak in front of sizeable audiences was a great opportunity. Importantly, we have all made new friends from around the world, with whom we intend to stay in touch.