Written by Tessa van Engen and Ceria McMinn (Students at GEMS World Academy Switzerland)
The World Scholar’s Cup (WSC) is an intellectual competition that invites teams of 3 students to study 6 different topics and use their knowledge on these topics to win medals and do their best in each of the 4 events. This however is not solely created for educational purposes but also to meet new people and learn about different cultures and have fun. We competed at the regional Switzerland round at GEMS in May and were able to qualify for a global round. We decided to go to the mini global round in Prague and as we like to call it Pwaague*.
On July 21st, we arrived in Pwaague and got settled into our hotel. The next day we had the opening ceremony with an interesting speaker called Mr.William Cathers, followed by a scavenger hunt in the afternoon. We were divided into different groups that represented different countries. We had a lot of fun running around the old town and trying to complete bizarre and interesting challenges. We bonded with many different scholars from around the world and ended the day with an amazing evening boat cruise on the Vltava river.
The following day was the most challenging. We had the scholar’s challenge (a very difficult individual multi choice quiz), team debates and finally the collaborative writing (an essay challenge with topics related to the world scholar’s cup subjects).
On July 24th, we had the scholar’s bowl (a difficult collaborative quiz with creative and interesting ways of gaining points) followed by the debate showcase (the top 8 debaters debated on a new topics in front of all the scholars). This concluded the educational part of the WSC but by no means ended the whole event. Later that afternoon we had the scholar’s show and cultural fair to look forward to. The cultural fair was a chance for everyone to try food from around the world and learn from the 30 countries that were present.
The next day we had a day off to explore Pwaague. We decided to go on a day tour and booked a guide to show us around the whole town. Later that day we had the scholar’s ball. This gave all the scholars a chance to dance off all the stress they had from the past few day and eat ice cream and chat to each other. We also had an interesting performance from the alpaca-in-chief, Mr.Daniel Berdichevsky who almost broke a light and another organisers’ glasses.
The last day was the closing ceremony where the medals were awarded and the farewells were said. Switzerland as a whole did very well winning medals across all events and subjects and we were very proud to hear that we qualified to go to the tournament of champions at Yale University.
Overall we had a lot of fun and definitely recommend it for other students.
* A common occurrence during World Scholar’s Cup tournaments is the echoing of the word “Pwaa”. “Pwaa,” explains Berdichevsky, “is the sound that a happy alpaca makes.” The alpaca is the symbol of the World Scholar’s Cup and appears in the logo. The word “Pwaa” is used as a pun in various places during the contest. Examples of usage: Pwaasome (Awesome), Pwaala Lumpur (Kuala Lumpur), Singapwaa (Singapore), Pwaalified (qualified), or just “Pwaa”.