A national essay contest for Romanian high school students, organized and sponsored by Danubius University, will begin in March, and operate on a monthly basis.  Students who would like to participate will first view an historic photographic exhibition entitled, Then and Now, which is currently on display at the university.   This important exhibit was originally developed by the US Embassy in Bucharest to display photographs capturing the Communist era and juxtapose them with today.  It illuminates the  benefits of freedom and democracy for all Romanians and serves to remind all, particularly the generations born after 1989, of how communism looked and the oppression, fear, and injustice that defined it.

The theme of the essay competition is, Thoughts and Opinions About Then and Now, and students will submit an essay, in English with a maximum of two pages, that presents their reactions to the exhibition.  There will be two categories of entries, actual and virtual, based on whether the students have seen the exhibit in person, or through the video presentation on the Danubius University website.

Winners of the competition will be selected on the thirtieth day of each month, in recognition of the fact that 2022 is the thirtieth anniversary of the university’s founding, and there will be monetary awards for the three best entries during that month: 200 lei for first place; 150 lei for second place; and 100 lei for third place.  In addition, seven honorable mention entries will also be selected and the authors of those essays will receive a certificate of merit and a tee shirt with the Danubius University slogan: Young, smart and beautiful.

All high school students, first through fourth year, in public and private institutions, are eligible to enter the competition, and the entries will be submitted through a portal on the Danubius University website.  Students must affirm that the work submitted is their own and that they have not received assistance from parents, teachers, or coaches.  Judges for the contest will be high school composition teachers from throughout Romania, and the membership of the review panel will rotate each month to ensure that each section of the country receives representation among this select body.  The judges will be assisted in the operation of the program by faculty members from the School of Communication and International Relations at Danubius University.

Danubius University is pleased to extend this opportunity to the high school students of Romania to express themselves in writing on such an important topic.  As the country emerges from the pandemic and the social isolation that it has imposed on everyone, this competition will be a valuable exercise that will facilitate both the personal and the academic development of young people.  Students will be able to express themselves, to assess their writing capabilities and thought processes, and possibly even win an award for their submissions.  The rules of the contest will allow the individuals who are not prize winners to enter the competition again during the subsequent months, so they will have an opportunity to review, analyze, and improve the essays that they submit for the next review.  As a result, they are certain to be better prepared to be successful when they graduate from high school and they enter into their university experience, either at Danubius or another institution.  In the long run, we are hopeful that the entire country will benefit from this endeavour.

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