Model United Nations can be the experience of a lifetime and very formative during one's teens and twenties. Not many extracurricular activities offer the wide scope of experience that Model UN offers high school and university students. Consider which activities your school has: mock trial, debate team, language clubs, chess or robotics societies, etc. All of these are great, but none offer the collective skills and experiences that Model UN does. Not only will students learn critical skills and grow their academic resumes, they will also have fun in the process.
If you have never looked into Model UN, or your school is thinking about starting a Model UN team, then read this article for our top 10 reasons why you should make Model UN part of your education experience!
Top 10 Reasons
1 - Learn essential skills
There are so many skills that students will learn from Model UN that will help them in the future. These skills will be valuable long after MUN the conferences end. Students can take these skills with them to college and beyond.
Public speaking is one of the biggest fears most people face. Model UN will offer students the ability to create and polish speaking in front of others. They will have the chance to speak to smaller and larger committees as they represent their country’s positions.
Our article, Research for Model UN and How to Prepare a Research Binder for Model UN will give you an idea of how much research students will have to do to prepare for conferences. Not only will students be researching their country, they will also be researching critical global issues and how they relate to their committee issues. They will learn how to use and cite credible sources to their claims are legitimate.
Learning to work with many different types of people can be useful in life. To set goals and achieve them will help the aspiring Model UNer ace group dynamics exercises when the time comes to get into scholarships and get jobs. Guiding an idea from concept to final vote, persuading tens of people in the process, is a skill a student can take to the bank.
Students will be gathering research, but Model UN is so much more than that. It will require them to analyze the gathered data and figure out how it applies to their country and committee. They will have to think on their feet during negotiations with other delegates as they synthesize information in continually changing situations.
2 - Learn about global events
Many people ignore the news outside of their country. They tend to forget just how many people there are in the world and that other daily routines exist beyond their own. Our globalized world means that what happens in one area of the globe affects every other area. In Model UN, students will learn to pay attention to global events. Their knowledge base will grow as will their understanding of global news and determine how it affects them. They will begin to see events from the viewpoints of others and be able to have in depth conversations with citizens from all over the world.
3 - Create quality bonds with fellow school students
High school and university friendships can last a lifetime. Students that are in Model UN together share more than the mandatory societal requirement to go to school. They will get to meet students from other grades and parts of the school, or university, who have the drive to work harder and stay over school to do something they love. They will also have the join experience of all the hard work that is done in a preparation for a Model UN conference. They will also share their lives and experiences with one another as they grow. Students could potentially be together on the same delegations for three of four years as they progress through their studies. Teamwork skills will be built as students face the challenges that simulate what real diplomats face. Students on Model UN teams will develop strong bonds, memories and friendships that could last for beyond the end of the official Model UN stage.
4 - Travel to other countries
Many people never leave their home country. Some don’t leave their city or state. As part of your institutions delegation, Model UN could give you the opportunity to travel to places you never thought you would. Sure, there will be conferences inside your region and country, but there are many conferences in other countries as well. Look at this 2017/2018 database of global conferences. Also, if you cannot afford it many schools have budgets set aside from delegations. The possibilities are endless for global travel. If you have ever wanted to become a world trekker, consider Model UN as your first passport.
5 - Make friends internationally
Most people grow up with friends from their area and from places they regularly attend: their jobs, school, or vacation place. In an ever-increasing global community, knowing people in other countries will be valuable. It is even more valuable when you share interests and have a joint experience, such as Model UN, to connect over. How great would it be to have friends from across the globe to interact with? There is no better way to meet excellent, intelligent and driven people than through Model UN where you could meet life-long friend from other countries. Also, nothing fosters global cooperation better than personal relationships. In an era of global contention, the more we get to know people from across the globe, not only will we be better off but the world will have a better chance to bridge gaps and foster cooperation.
6 - Model UN looks great on university applications
High school students, and their parents, are always looking for ways to increase their chances of getting into a good college or university. If you are in university, you are looking for ways to stand out for a prestigious graduate program of MBA. Our article, How Model UN Can Help You Get Into College lays out how Model UN can be presented to increase your chances. The skills and experience students will gain will give them a unique perspective that colleges are looking for. A Model UN student who applies for college is not your run-of-the-mill applicant. Flagging the skills learned, and experiences you had in MUN, will place you far above the other applicants.
7 - Learn about the United Nations
Many people have no idea what the United Nations does. While it was founded in the 1940s, with its roots reaching back into the early 1900s, today the United Nations is part of millions of people's lives. Though controversial at times, the UN has played a major role in global events since its inception. Our articles Overview of the UN and History of the UN give a great starting point for students to learn what the UN does and has been involved in. The UN website should be explored by Model UN students as they research and prepare for the conference.
Learning about this international body, which includes over two hundred countries and observes, will allow student to prepare will for Model UN simulations and understand the complex global issues facing international communities.
8 - Understand other cultures
Since the end of the Cold War, the world has become globalized at a rapid pace. Increased ease in travel and instant connectedness through the internet and social media have influenced every aspect of our lives. Cultures have become intermeshed, sometimes in harmony and sometimes with conflict. It is inevitable that today’s students will encounter other cultures, whether in college or in the business world and beyond. It is vital that the traditions and methods of other cultures are seen and understood. By truly getting into the shoes of diplomats, and embodying their values, Model UN gives a unique opportunity to be exposed to such things without leaving the comfort of their homes. It is misunderstanding of one another that causes conflict, so let Model UN take steps to correct some of that misunderstanding.
9 - Become a negotiator/diplomat
Diplomacy is not just a skill used by foreign policy experts in the State Departments and Foreign Affairs offices. Negotiation is used every day, from the personal level at a market to business dealings. Negotiating is a skill that calls for tact and knowledge. Students will learn valuable negotiating skills throughout their time in Model UN. These skills will be used throughout their lifetime as they move towards accomplishing their academic and career goals. Our article, Negotiation and Cocktail Diplomacy will show you just how important these skills can be and how to master them.
10 - Set yourself up for the future
Model UN will give students the ability to control their future. They will gain confidence as they increase their skills and they will make connections that will be invaluable. They will potentially meet dignitaries and influential leaders at opening ceremonies. They will certainly meet college professors and administrators who can help them with their academic careers beyond high school. If a student is the head of the society they can make connections within the university, city, county and beyond. Also, the friendships they will make, both from their own school and from many others, will help them create networks of friends who will grow into accomplished professionals as they move forward into professional careers of their own.
To Sum Up
Joining a Model UN team will give you the experience needed to be successful in your future academic life and career. The skills acquired during the MUN process will be invaluable. The places you go and the people you meet will leave lasting impressions. Model UN is unlike any other high school activity. These are just ten reasons why you should consider participating in Model UN, but there are so many more. Once you make the decision to participate in MUN, simply follow your heart and you will understand, very quickly, just how much of an investment you are making in your present and in your future.