Winner Details

Costel Tudor Voica

* Absolvent al Liceului Teoretic "Spiru Haret" (Promoția 2017);
* Locul II la Categoria English Language Band, ediția a VIII-a a Concursului Național SKOLAR, 2016;
* Premiu: tabără de vară (2 săptămâni) în cadrul European University of Lefke, Cipru;

"...Imagine escaping from your daily routine, putting everything on hold, and flying to a faraway island, all by yourself. You get a splendid view of the beach, take a sip from a deliciously cool lemonade, and lay back in your chaise lounge, all the while unwinding completely.

Believe it or not, this summer, I did the exact same things. My two weeks in Cyprus – offered by the European University of Lefke – were the best I've had in a long time. A typical morning there begins with a copious breakfast, and the anything but ordinary English classes. My teacher was impressively good at making us, the students, communicate in English by employing subtle didactic strategies. One moment we were telling ghost stories with the curtains drawn, the other we were dancing around the classroom having the time of our lives. The classes were relatively short since there were a lot of other activities to do during the day: boat trips on the open sea, exquisite beach excursions, and historical sightseeing being a handful of them. There was also plenty of swimming time allotted to us. The sea was salty and warm – it was extraordinary.

The Cyprus evenings arrived with their own temptations. They offered some respite from the heat and a chance to chat languidly with the locals. Afterwards, there was singing and dancing to oriental music at cafés.

Everything that was genuinely Cypriot readily combined with the strong international atmosphere to create a satisfying whole. The majority of people who enrolled in the summer school were native speakers of Russian and knew little to no English, which is why I had to switch frequently between languages. It was an entirely new experience for me and it sometimes made me miss speaking in my native language; in retrospect, however, I feel like it was a useful and powerful mental exercise. My command of both languages has therefore improved by a significant amount.

I have made a lot of new friends and exchanged a plethora of social network profiles. To this day we’re talking with each other online and reminiscing of the hot beaches, the entrancing sea, and the sweet sleepless nights… Lefke is an isolated little town and there aren't too many lights during night-time, which is why an especially lovely phenomenon can be observed at its greatest intensity – the meteor shower. I will never forget lying on my back, on a nearby tennis court, talking about life and gasping in awe at fiery white stripes in the sky with my newly made friends.

I can write on and on about how great my time in Cyprus was, but words are meager and can’t describe powerful feelings. Butterflies in the stomach, rushes of adrenaline, blissfulness... That's what this whole voyage has been: feelings that I will not forget for the rest of my life."