Essay Contest – How to Enter MLOW 2015

How to Enter

Essay Topic

The essay should relate to the post-2015 global development agenda, in the context of the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, and the definition of new goals reflecting the imperative of global sustainable development that recognises, and is enriched by, cultural and linguistic diversity. Students wishing to participate (“Entrants”) are encouraged to visit the website for background material in this regard.

Entries, of up to 2,000 words in length should be in an official language of the United Nations that is not the first language of the Entrant or the principal language of instruction in his or her primary or secondary education. The official languages of the United Nations are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. For complete contest rules and information on how to enter, please visit the Contest Rules tab.

Eligibility Guidelines

  1. Full-time college or university students, 18 years of age or older by April 15, 2015, can participate in the contest.
  2. A University Faculty Member or Authorized Representative must sponsor your participation in the contest by completing the form under the tab: Faculty/University Reference Form. The university representative must attest that you are a full time student in good standing and that you are submitting an essay in an official language of the United Nations that is not your first language or principal language of instruction in your primary or secondary education. S/He must also attest that the essay you are submitting is your own, unaided work.
  3. Functional knowledge of English is required in order to use the UN websites to conduct research on the essay topic and for participation in the preparatory conference.

How To Enter

  1. Write your essay according to the contest rules and eligibility guidelines.
  2. Show your essay to a University Faculty Member or Authorized Representative who can attest to the fact that you have followed the contest rules.
  3. Have that Faculty Member or University Administrator complete the Faculty/University Reference Form in support of your participation in the contest.
  4. Once the Reference Form has been received and verified by Many Languages, One World, you will receive an email with further information, and a link where you can complete your Student Entry Form and upload your essay to the contest website.
  5. The Student Entry Form must be completed in its entirety, and in English. Incomplete forms will be disqualified. Be sure to include your national identity card number or passport number showing your name as it appears on your official documents or passport. Do not submit your photo.
  6. At the bottom of the Student Entry form you will find the link to upload your essay to the contest website. The essay must be submitted in MS WORD format. Only essays submitted through this link will be accepted. You can only submit one essay.
  7. Essays must be received by 11:59pm Eastern Standard Time on Wednesday, April 15, 2015 in order to qualify.

Selection Process

Step 1: Two panels of judges will read and evaluate essays on the quality of ideas expressed and their fluency of language. These two scores will be combined, and the top essayists will pass to the interview stage of the competition.

Step 2: The top essayists will be invited to complete a personal interview regarding their essay, in the language of their essay. This interview will be conducted online via SKYPE by a panel of international judges.

Step 3: Winners will be selected based on the scoring of Step 1 and Step 2. Selection criteria includes the originality and quality of thought and the written and spoken language proficiency in the essay and interview.


A total of 70 Winners will be chosen: 10 Winners for each of the six official UN languages, plus an additional 10 chosen on merit from the remaining entries in all languages. By mid-May, ELS Educational Services, Inc. will begin notifying Winners. ELS Educational Services, Inc. will send Winners a letter of invitation to the 2015 Global Youth Forum and ELS Preparatory Conference. At that time, Winners will also receive complete rules of participation for the ELS Preparatory Conference. Winners are required to sign a statement promising to abide by all of these, and acknowledging that they will be sent home immediately, at their expense, if they disobey any of them.* Winners will also receive detailed instructions about visa application, e-ticketing for the round trip (non- refundable) air ticket*, arrival procedures and the tentative agenda of Conference, which will take place in July 2015.

*No e-ticket will be issued until the Winner’s signed statement has been received by Many Languages, One World.