I had a great time at the Qingdao Leadership Convention. It was really interesting to meet new people from a different culture. Everyone felt very welcoming and friendly. For the first round, we worked with students from China and we had to learn how to work together even though we were not together very much. The Q&A section of our presentation was a little disappointing because we were told that there would be a translator but there wasn't anyone there to help us translate. This made it difficult for us to understand the questions and for us to effectively communicate our answers. The second round was the most challenging. Again, it was difficult to communicate with the Chinese students, but I was very fortunate to have a nice group. They tried to help me understand what they were discussing, however the subject that they were discussing was not one that I could relate to because of our cultures. I tried to contribute as much as I could but I felt that I was generally a useless member of their group. Despite all of this, I still learned a lot from this experience and had a lot of fun.
The Qingdao camp was very interesting. Actually, a week before the camp had started, I wasn't even aware there was more than one round. I had honestly thought that the project we started working on before was the entire competition. I worked in a group with Priscilla Wu and five Chinese students. Our topic was regarding peer support in depression. We didn't get a lot of time to practice presenting together, less than a couple hours, but the presentation ended up going very well. Our group even go to present a second time for the final round of the first round. I'm not sure if I remember correctly, but I think our team got 11th place. While I was obviously disappointed we didn't score higher, I was definately proud there we were able to make it to the final around. I think the part of the first round that made me the most nervous was the Q&A portion. Fortunately, I didn't end up having to answer any questions. The first time we presented however, our translator spoke very quietly and I had a really hard time hearing her, so I didn't understand what the judges were asking regardless. The second time, our translator translated everything using a microphone before we answered, and then also translated the answers for us, so I understood more the second time. The presentation itself was also fine, although I'm a little embarrassed to admit that the second time we presented, I completely forgot what I was supposed to say for one of the slides. Overall, presenting was fine, though. The second round was my least favorite of all three rounds because there wasn't anyone in my team that could clearly speak or understand English, not even my coach. It wasn't helpful that our presentation topic was a very strange one. In the end, the only way I contributed at all to the second round was presenting one slide. The language barrier was extremely apparent here. The third round, however, was my favorite!! I think I had the most fun during the debate, mostly because I like to have discussions like that. I think the biggest issue during our debate was that we kept interrupting each other, although not maliciously or on purpose. The judges, supposedly, really liked our debate. I really enjoyed this camp, and I made a lot of good friends though it that I, hopefully, remain in contact with for a very long time.