Everything You Need to Know About Model UN
I just got back from the University of Virginia. I’m not a student there (yet!) but rather participated in the UVA Model UN conference. As a high school junior, I have now attended 7 of these conferences at universities around the country. I’m proud to say that I brought home the best delegate award for the second time – and a lot of memories that include new friends, meaningful experiences, and tons of fun.
If you’ve been thinking about joining Model UN or starting a club at your school, I definitely recommend it! Here’s everything you need to know about Model UN, why it’s a great student activity, and how it can help get you ready for college!
What is Model UN?
Model UN (or MUN) is a simulation of the United Nations (UN). Students from across the globe and varying grade levels take on the roles of delegates, speakers, and chairs. They represent different countries, or even people in crisis simulations working together to achieve solutions to international challenges.
As they prepare for a conference, students work through assigned “real world” topics. For example, topics might include anything from arms control issues to the role of diamonds in world conflicts.
MUN team members research their subjects, draft position papers, lobby fellow students, and take part in debates to reach suitable solutions.
The entire process is governed by formal Rules of Procedure.
Fun Fact! Ironically, the MUN format is actually much different than the format used by the United Nations.
Why Join MUN?
MUN is a great club for anyone interested in learning more about the world around them. You don’t have to be a genius to join, and it doesn’t have to take up all your time.
I’m on the cheer squad and competition team, serve as class president, take part in show choir, am a member of the National Honor Society, and participate in the spring musical each year. I also carry several AP and Honors classes but STILL have plenty of time for MUN and my role as the club vice president.
If you can squeeze it into your schedule, there are some awesome benefits.
MUN is a great way to help you develop leadership skills and grow your confidence. In addition to taking on leadership roles at conferences, you can also hold a MUN office (a great college resume-builder!)
Consider running for Secretary General, Secretary, Treasurer, or committee chair for a conference. You’ll understand just what it takes to get people organized and working efficiently for a common purpose.
2. Interpersonal Skills
Interpersonal skills and diplomacy are at the heart of Model UN. You’ll learn how to compromise, negotiate, and generally get along with people who think or don’t think like you.
There’s a lot of conflict resolution, collaboration, and problem-solving as you plan strategy and work toward solutions for the topics you’ve been assigned.
3. Research and Writing
If you’re a good writer (or hope to improve before college essay time), MUN is a fantastic way to showcase your skills. You’ll write speeches, position papers, amendments, and final resolutions using research that you’ve done.
The research and analysis required for each piece really help hone those skills that you’ll need for college and beyond.
4. Public Speaking
This is one of the best reasons to get involved with MUN. Public speaking is really scary…like terrifying…. for most people.
But speaking is a big part of a conference, and you learn quickly how to overcome your fear and make your points. Standing in a room full of people and presenting your position in a clear, concise, and persuasive way is a HUGE confidence-builder.
More than ever before, we live in a global society. No matter what field or profession we end up in, we’ll be interacting with people from around the world.
MUN is a bridge that makes the world just a little bit smaller. There are countless opportunities to attend conferences in the U.S. and abroad. You’ll meet people from every demographic and have an incredible time learning about other cultures.
In addition, there are committees for practically every interest. GA3 is for beginners and UNEP is perfect for environmental delegates. CCPCJ is the way to go for pre-law and WHO is for pre-med.
If you’re not sure how to plan a conference trip or where to go, click on the links below or ask your club sponsor to help get you started.
How MUN Helps Prepare You for College and Beyond
We’ve already talked about all the ways Model UN can help improve your academic skills- which in turn prepares you for your next phase of life. But MUN is also a great way to make connections and buff up your college applications.
Fun Fact! Many of today’s leaders in government, law, business, arts, and even the United Nations got their start with MUN.
Model UN gives you the learning and leadership experiences that admissions officers are looking for. If you want your application to stand out, highlight your role with MUN.
Focus on your accomplishments and “memorable MUN moments” in your personal essay content or in interviews. Or use your network of contacts – you’ll find former MUN alumni at almost any college.
Get started with these resources from Best Delegate…
Everything You Need to Know About Model UN
Model UN is a fantastic way to fine-tune your academic skills, keep current with world events, meet new friends, travel to new places, and get on the right track for college.
But the most important thing you need to know about Model UN is that it is a LOT of fun!!!!
Related Reading: 5 Best Tech Tips for Traveling Teens
Contributed by high school junior and active MUN participant Molly G
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