Now studying his PhD in a joint-program with the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya and the Universitat de Barcelona, International ESU alumnus Patrick Saliba shares his life-changing experience.

Patrick Saliba

My name is Patrick Saliba and I am from Lebanon. In 2011, I had the opportunity to represent my university in the National English Public Speaking Competition organized by the ESU in my country.  

Luckily enough, I was granted the opportunity to be a special guest at the International Public Speaking Competition held in London and organized by The English Speaking Union.


I arrived in the city of Big Ben on May 18, 2011. From the stay in the hotel to the orientation session where I met the other 60 contestants from all over the world, everything was new and exciting.  Every day I made new friends and got to know new and enriching cultures.  Additionally, we had the opportunity to attend workshops and training sessions in very prestigious institions such as Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. We were prepared by the best experts in the field of public speaking for the ultimate round of the Competition held in London and organized by the English Speaking Union.


This experience was the turning point of my whole life. First, it taught me the basic skills of speech writing and gave me the confidence to speak in public in front of an audience and to deliver my thoughts about specific topics with logic and reason.  In addition, the whole experience allowed me to build connections at the international level by gaining the friendship of participants from different countries all around the world.  To this day, I am still in contact with almost all of them. 

Currently, I am giving back to the ESU international community by working as an ESU Mentor in Spain. I want to share my experience and encourage other young people to participate in the National Public Speaking Competition in Spain and the International Public Speaking Competition in London.