The URDU sent four Worlds debaters and coach Nina Datlof to tournaments in Hungary and Serbia over spring break. The first tournament, hosted by Central European University, was located in the heart of beautiful Budapest. It was excellently run and we got the chance to meet debaters from all around the world, both in rounds and at social events outside of rounds. The team also got the chance to explore Budapest on days when there weren’t in rounds, visiting sites such as Turkish baths, the Hungarian Parliament building, the famous Chain Bridge, a cemetery, a ballet at the State Opera House and ancient Roman ruins at Aquincum. Although neither of our teams cleared, Miriam Kohn and Reefat Aziz finished on 10 points and missed the break on speaker points.
After touring Budapest, the group caught a train to Belgrade for the second tournament. Although the tournament was hosted outside of Belgrade in the town of Arandelovac, we were able to explore the city for a few days before and after the tournament. Highlights included the national military museum, Belgrade fortress, the Nikola Tesla Museum, visiting the site of a former concentration camp, and wandering the city’s shopping district. Although neither of our teams cleared, both Sarah Hofmann & Katelyn Offerdahl and Miriam Kohn & Reefat Aziz were in bubble rooms for the last round. Additionally, Miriam Kohn was awarded 5th speaker for the Open Worlds division.
All told, the trip was a wonderful experience and it was a pleasure to be hosted at two great international tournaments! All of the debaters came back with broadened worldviews and sharpened debate skills that we look forward to applying at tournaments closer to home.