Colombian Student Reflects on Peace Studies Debate Tournament

March 9, 2020

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As a law student at Universidad del Rosario in Bogotá, Colombia, last year I had the opportunity to participate in the “What We Owe” Debate Tournament, organized by GW Peace Studies and the GW Debate & Literary Society, in partnership with Fundación Centro INCIDE here in Bogotá. And it was one of the best experiences in my entire life. 

I have always enjoyed speaking in public because I like to share my ideas. But I had never participated in a formal debate. So, when the opportunity came, I really doubted if I even wanted to sign up. Fortunately, I did and, although it was a challenge, I managed to be a finalist with my partner. At first, I could not understand the dynamic, but since the tournament was so well organized, being a beginner in the subject was not a problem. 

We were able to have online practice debates with our partners and with other participants in preparation for the in-person debates. Moreover, we received feedback from professors and judges. As a result, when I finally met my partner personally — since he was in Washington and I was in Bogotá during our practices — we were already a great team. We made it into the final round, and I won a Study Tour to Washington, with another student from Rosario. So, I cannot complain, it was a great first involvement in debate! 

When the Study Tour finally arrived, it was an amazing experience. We were able to learn so much about GW and Washington; I had no idea of how much history a university and city can have. Also, we met so many nice people, all of them with so much knowledge. The places we visited were magnificent, and the food was great! I am so grateful to the GW Peace Studies Program. So, if you ever can participate in any of the debate tournaments organized by this group at GW, do not hesitate to do it!”

Andrea Galvis Malagón

Finalist, GW’s “What We Owe” U.S.-Colombia Debates