Full Scholar Georgi Manolov, Class of 2014: Debating Widens Your Horizons
Georgi Manolov is one of the 300 new students AUBG welcomed in Fall 2010. What sets him apart is that Georgi is not such a new face to the University after all. When he was still in high school, Georgi took part in both the 2009 and 2010 AUBG Debate Tournaments. He won first prize in the latter. Georgi was also awarded a full-tuition, four-year America for Bulgaria Foundation scholarship to study at AUBG for his excellent SATs and overall achievements.
Georgi attended one of the best high schools in Plovdiv, the Plovdiv Language School, where he studied English intensively. He started debating in 11th grade thanks to 2010 AUBG graduate Ivaylo Vasilev, an avid debater himself. Georgis first official debate tournament was held in Bulgarian in Shumen, Bulgaria, where he won all debates in the preliminary rounds. He has since acquired extensive debating experience. He participated in national and international competitions starting with the AUBG Debate Tournament 2009, American College of Sofia (ACS) Open 2009, and the Bulgarian National Championship where he won the third place.
Other triumphs followed. The young debater took part in several international tournaments, including the World Online Debating Championship, Macedonia Open Championship, IDEA Youth Forum, and World Schools Debating Championship (WSDC), which is the premier international competition for secondary school debaters. In the 2010 edition of WSDC, which took place in Qatar, Georgi was part of the team representing Bulgaria. The WSDC was the most challenging and enjoyable tournament Georgi has participated in so far, he says, adding that international tournaments are a great opportunity to meet new people and [learn about] new cultures.
Georgi says he took up debating because he has always been interested in political and economic issues. Through debating, he has been able to test his opinion and theories on others as well as to engage in stimulating debates over topical issues. Moreover, he believes that debating gives him extra knowledge that he otherwise would not have acquired. It really widens your horizons and makes you look at the world in a different way, Georgi states.
Apart from debating, Georgi enjoys reading history books, swimming, hiking, and mountain biking. He loves Bulgarias Pirin, Rila, and Rhodope mountains, which he visits as often as he can. He has also tried his hand at journalism by writing for his high school newspaper and trains aspiring debaters. Organizing a debating championship in his former high school is among the projects he is working on right now.
At AUBG, Georgi leads an active student life. Naturally, he is a dedicated member of the Debate Club and has already taken part in a public debate that pitched students against professors. Georgi teamed up with Baasanjav Ochirkhuyag, a senior from Mongolia, to argue that striptease should be made an official sport against Professors Molly Burke-Kirova and Emilia Zankina, who defended the opposite claim. In addition to debating, Georgi attends German Club meetings and plays volleyball.
Georgi chose to study at AUBG because the liberal arts education system allows students to explore different academic fields before committing to a major. He also hopes an AUBG degree will improve his chances at getting into a good graduate school. His long-term plan is to stay in Bulgaria and devote himself to the betterment of his country.
Photos by Ioana Mura