SHANGHAI, June 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly 600 top students and future leaders from 30 countries will come together in Shanghai June 18-20 for the 2010 Global Round of the World Scholar's Cup (WSC - http://www.scholarscup.org).
This year's WSC theme is A World Divided.
"It's not just about political division," confides founder Daniel Berdichevsky, 33. "Students look at all kinds of divisions, both the ones we choose and the ones chosen for us: between the sick and the healthy, between men and women, between the wealthy and the poor, between different branches of the same religion ... and, of course, between countries."
Shanghai is the perfect venue for this year's culminating Global Round. Explains Berdichevsky: "Not only is it a multicultural city caught between tradition and modernity, but the theme connects perfectly with the Shanghai Expo - which is literally divided into exhibits from around the world."
Award-winning Canadian author Guy Kay will be the keynote speaker.
The WSC launched in 2007 with a ten-team, three-country tournament in Korea. This year nearly 200 teams will come from all around the globe.
Teams spend weeks, even months, delving into the theme. They research and debate motions across six fields of study: economics, science, art, history, literature and the psychology of war. They then compete in a series of events, including Team Debate and a live-action quiz show, the Scholar's Bowl.
Unlike programs that reward specialization, the WSC encourages all students to discover new interests and new skills, such as public speaking and collaborative problem-solving. "No one comes into Scholar's Cup already good at everything," says Berdichevsky.
Winners walk away with medals, but the larger story is what students learn from their international peers and about themselves. There are teams from war-torn countries such as Georgia and Lebanon, and others from the premiere schools in academic powerhouses such as Singapore. There are students who desire to come, but struggle to attend because of government restrictions or financial obstacles.
"You make friends from places you've never heard of, and it turns out they're just like you," says Bunnie Hadsall, a former participant and now a program volunteer.
Many are drawn by the competition, but participants consistently rate the non-academic challenges as their favorite. One highlight: the Scholar's Scavenge, in which teams of ten students from ten countries race to solve clues and snap winning photos. This year's Scavenge will take place at the Shanghai Expo. Students come away not just with amazing pictures, but with lifelong friends on the international stage.
"It's ironic," says Berdichevsky. "Our theme may be a world divided, but our objective is to help bring the world together."
On June 18-19, events are at Concordia International School Shanghai. On June 20, the climactic bowl and closing ceremonies take place at the Shanghai Center Theater.
As a nonprofit, the WSC depends on sponsors, including DemiDec, Meridia Audience Response, Zip-scan, and Princeton Review. Interested donors should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOURCE World Scholar's Cup