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August 15, 2016 / compassioninpolitics

The value of debate from an international student

“Debating was my favorite part of high school. I was this confused boy who did not know what to do when high school started. Joining the debate team and getting training from my debate coach Thom, was some of the best past times. I enjoyed riding my bike to main campus every Thursday afterschool, just to take my favorite class of the week. Debate tournaments were hard at first: winning rounds was not easy, as I was not experienced and limited in English skills. But I kept trying and practiced ever harder. I learned how to find good evidence, construct a strong arguments, go against opponents effectively, and most importantly, be confident. I became a different person, a better person because of debating. I became more open to challenges, eager to learn, and I am passionate and motivated. As I honed my skills in many tournaments, I kept getting better and enjoying debating more. Each tournament was better than the previous, and I learned something new every time. I was regional champion, national 2nd place, top speaker, and the debater with the most NSDA points in China. It’s not the awards and honors I value the most from debating, it is the improved knowledge of the world that I treasure. Debating shaped who I am, it makes me an open-minded world citizen. This crucial experience in high school helped me so much academically and socially. I became a stronger writer, which makes college essays easier, and a huge part of my college application is about debating. I now study at UC Berkeley, and my debating experience keeps taking me further. My friends and professors are always surprised about my English skills when they know that I am an international student; the communication and thinking skills also make college classes a lot easier. I have to thank this amazing experience in high school; being a debater is a part of my identity, and I cannot recommend this activity more.”

Ryan Wang student at Cal-Berkeley

BTW, I think its more Parli than policy, but great quotes.

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