EUDC 2017 Day 2: First Timers at Euros

Datum: Aug 17th, 2017
Category: International, Menschen

The EUDC is attracting many of the same people again and again every year. But there are also always the people who come to Euros the first time and don’t know what to expect and what will be happening.

The Achte Minute has talked to some of the people who are at their first EUDC here in Tallinn about their experiences, expectations and how those expectations were met.

Hilla Schwartz

Tudor Musat

Emma van der Horst and Fenna ten Haaf

Rachel Mullally

Mrinal Kumar

Hila Schwartz, Ben Guiron University of the Negev (Israel)

Hila Schwartz - © H.Hecke

Hila Schwartz – © H.Hecke

AM: So for how long have you been debating so far?
HS: This is my first year. Since November

AM: What made you decide to come to Euros?
HS: It was not only my decision, my institution had a say in it, too. I guess the challenge of being in such a big tournament with the entirety of Europe and to get feedback from judges from all around the continent

AM: What did you expect from Euros before you came here?
HS: I did expect it to be huge, much bigger than anything I ever experience in Israel and I expected it to be very social and to meet many people from other countries and make new friendships. I expected more difficult motions then normal and different types of adjudication, because judges are different in other places than they are in Israel.

AM: In how far have your expectations be met?
HS: Some of them have been met. The social part not so much yet. I didn’t expect how tiring the tournament is and how much it is draining you. You really have to put much effort in socializing and not just sleeping. In terms of judging it definitely has met my expectations. The feedback was great. Debating didn’t go that well, but it was really intense and I got to see many great teams.

AM: What surprised you most about Euros?
HS: I guess I expected it to be big, but once you get here and see all the people and all the organization required, it is just much more than I ever expected that everything has to be on the minute to run. And just all of the teams.

AM: Did you get to know a lot of new people?
HS: I did talk to new people. But not really knowing them enough. I didn’t form much of a new relation with new people. But I did find out that they’re all very nice and want to get to know more of them.

AM: Is there anything you dislike about Euros?
HS: I guess the food. That  you can’t choose anything and then there is nothing to eat and you can’t get another portion.

AM: What has been your favourite thing about Euros
HS: My favourite thing? Well, I guess I really enjoyed the debate rounds. You get to hear cases you’d normally never run. You hear cases that you wouldn’t have thought about intuitively. I really enjoyed it a lot. Especially in round 2, because it was so knowledge heavy and people just analysed it in a way I’d never have and that was great to hear.

AM: And lastly: Will you return to Euros?
HS: Yes. I really hope so. I think next year I’ll be more experienced and enjoy it differently. Especially because it is in Scotland. I really want to go.

Tudor Musat, University of Cambridge (UK)

Tudor Musat- © H.Hecke

Tudor Musat- © H.Hecke

AM: How long have you been debating?
TM: 5 years. Four years in schools and one year university BP debating.

AM: What made you decide to come to Tallinn?
TM: Mainly the fact that Cambridge was going there and the immensity of the tournament, I guess. Also the excellent CA team and a lot of great teams joining

AM: What were you expecting from Euros?
TM: In terms of debating, a very competitive atmosphere. A lot of fun as well. Because a lot of good people, who are also good friends come together and enjoy each others company.

AM: In how far did Euros turn out what you expected it to be?
TM: Fully and even beyond that. I’m seeing them incrementally being overwhelmed by the days
AM: What surprised you most about Euros?
TM: The way in which with every flight you took, you could see more and more debaters on planes and airports and you could see more and more people carrying the economist and discussing foreign affair issues.

AM: Did you get to meet a lot of new people so far?
TM: Definitely. Especially from delegations that other people from Cambridge have been friendly with, but also strangers I met on busses and in taxis. Also especially between rounds.

AM: Is there anything you dislike about Tallinn Euros?
TM: Not really. No

AM: What’s your favourite thing about the tournament so far?
TM: Favourite thing, facourite thing. The excellent pool of judges I feel, which are really top class in every round no matter how high or low.

AM: Lastly: Will you return to Euros?
TM: Definitely.

Emma van der Horst and Fenna ten Haaf, Erasmus University, Rotterdam (The Netherlands)

Emma van der Horst and Fenna ten Haaf- © H.Hecke

Emma van der Horst and Fenna ten Haaf- © H.Hecke

AM: How long have you been debating?
EVDH:  4 and a half years.
FTH: 1 year.

AM: Fenna, why did you come to euros?
FTH: Because it seems a lot of fun as it is such a really big tournament and it seemed I could learn a lot from it and outside from it I never had experiences with huge tournaments.
AM: And Emma, why did it take you so long to go to your first Euros?
EVDH: I always was scared by the investment, but this year we had a huge fun Dutch delegation going and I thought I should do an international at least once in my debating career.

AM: What were you expecting from EUDC before you came here?
EVDH: I guess I was just wanting to meet all the people and just learn a lot about debating
FTH: I thought I would be going to all the socials every night and partying. Outside from that I expected less of a great organisation and more of a delay. It’s always impressive when something like this is somewhat on time.

AM: How have your expectations be met?
EVDH: I’ve talked to some new people already, but I expected to go to social every evening, but they are not as visited as I expected
FTH: It’s about the same for me. I also expected to do more outside of the debates. I actually expected to see some really high quality teams, like Oxford, cause they’re the teams who go to euros, but it’s a huge mix. And we obviously don’t meat Oxford A, so the debates are actually doable.

AM: What surprised you most so far?
EVDH:  I’m not sure if anything really surprised me. I have been to a lot of tournaments. Maybe was I was expecting was that the hotel was close to the city. But that was probably my fault, cause I didn’t research.

AM: Have you met many new people already?
EVDH: There are quite a lot of people we’ve never met, but also a lot of old faces. Before I planned to meet many new people, because it’s such a great chance, but you also hang out a lot with the people you know.
FTH: For me I’ve definitely met a lot of new people, because it is especially great to use the time during the judging to talk to people and use it as an excuse to ask them about their background and experiences. Apart from that the fun is also to meet people I’ve met before, but not again. You just see loads of people again, which is just great fun.
AM: Is there anything you dislike about Euros?
FTH: The breakfast time
EVDH: Yes. We have to get up to early.
FTH: I do think that delegations stick together quite a lot, especially because they come with so many people, so it’s easiest to stay with your delegation, which is also really fun, because there is a big dutch delegation, who’re huge fun, but it also makes it less likely to talk to other people.

AM: What has been your favourite thing about the tournament so far?
EVDH: Maybe debating the female tech motion. We both study ecometrics and we were the only women in the room and it’s fun to talk about something that’s somewhat close to out things.
FTH: You don’t often get to debate something related to ecometrics.

AM: Will you return?
FTH: Yes. I think so. I’ll try to get to Scotland.
EVDH:  If I have the time and money, then I think yes.

Rachel Mullally, UCD Law Soc (Ireland)

AM: How long have you been debating?
RM: I’ve been debating since September

AM: What made you decide to go to Euros?
RM: Basically I’ve put in an aweful lot of time in debating and it sort of is my end goal and was giving me an objective throughout the year.

AM: What did you expect Euros to be like before you came here?
RM: I was expecting it to be an intense environment, I suppose with a lot of competitive teams. I guess I was also expecting a lot of teams I haven’t yet encountered in tournaments before

AM: Have your expectations been met?
RM: They’ve definitely been matched in the quality of the teams competing and about the diversity of people. I think the food is more questionable than I expected. Also they are way more supportive of Fresher’s than I was expecting them to be, especially in UCD where I am from.

AM: What surprised you most about the tournament?
RM: Just the degree of fluctuation that is happening of how people are doing and that it can change so quickly. And some of the motions were just much more out there and wider reaching then I was expecting them to be.

AM: Have you met nice people?
RM: Yeah definitely. An awful lot of people I know, but also many I never encountered before, through the year, especially from outside from Ireland, with different styles which is interesting.

AM: What do you dislike about Euros?
RM: Mostly the food. I thought the competitive vibe would be worse, but that turned out very fine, because people are looking after you, in a very positive way. I’m a very upbeat person though, it takes a lot to make me dislike things.

AM: And your favourite thing?
RM: My favourite thing was probably the free day we had just discovering Tallinn and settling and seeing everything. It’s just a very different city.

AM:  Will you return to Euros?
RM: Yeah. I’m pretty sure I will.

Mrinal Kumar, Nottingham University (UK)

Mrinal Kumar - © C. McDonald

Mrinal Kumar – © C. McDonald

AM: For how long have you been debating?
MK: I’ve actually debated at a University level for 2 years now.

AM: What made you decide to go to Euros?
MK: It would be the biggest competition I’ve ever been to, and because I’ve seen people at University opens, I wanted to see what it would be like here, to see the best of the best, and learn from them.

AM: What were your expectations for going to Euros?
MK: To be honest, I didn’t think I’d break or do fantastically. I wanted to aim for top 100 speakers. That would be a win for me as I’d be at a level where I can compete with them. I’ve never competed before so wasn’t expecting to beat them, but the expectation was to see how big competitions are run, what the city going to be like, and to see the international competition as a whole.

AM: In how far have your expectations be met?
MK: So far, I’ve done alright considering I have 5 points after 4 rounds. I was a bit demoralised getting a 4th in a previous round, but now I have a flow and am pushing myself with judges’ feedback and using their notes in the next debates.

AM: What surprised you most about Euros?
MK: It was the people. Even though they’re competing, they’re part of a big social group, they’re really friendly chatting, and it’s a good way to connect with people.

AM: Did you get to know a lot of new people?
MK: Yes I did, I went to socials, there you meet the people you debated against in a different light, they are more friendly. I ended up playing table tennis against this guy and now we are friends. That doesn’t happen often where you meet someone playing table tennis.

AM: Is there anything that you dislike about Euros? (apart from the food)
MK: I really can’t think of anything. They’re trying their best to run as smoothly as possible. Generally, the debates are drawn out and start late, so the schedule is generally not kept to in other debating competitions, but they’re trying to not let that happen.

AM: What has been your favourite thing about Euros so far?
MK: Watching Oxford, Cambridge, and other champions who have been debating for years and years. The way they form their arguments and speeches makes me want to be like them someday.

AM: Will you return?
MK: Oh definitely! I would even love to go to Worlds as well for a wider look. It’s a brilliant experience. It’s not just debating, it’s a trip. You don’t go home, you debate and stay there and debate again.

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