Before vs. After My First MUNI Conference

Model United Nations is an incredible way to meet new people and develop your social/public speaking skills, and learn more about international affairs. As a delegate, you never stop learning new ways to improve for conferences and as a positively influential member of the international community. After attending the Model United Nations Institute this past summer, I can say with confidence that my abilities as a delegate and a future member of the political community would not be the same without the expert advice I received and the diverse community that I was exposed to. Here are just three of the multitude of ways that delegates can expect to improve at MUNI:

1. Leadership In Blocs

Every delegate, whether they consider themselves a novice or an expert, can run into issues showcasing leadership in a block, especially with extremely strong and assertive peers. As a relatively new member of the Model United Nations community when I went to MUNI last summer, I definitely faced this issue, as I was surrounded by some of the most impressive delegates I had seen in my MUN career. However, my peers were not just impactful delegates, but they were also amazingly supportive, creating an environment of respect that allowed me to blossom more as a leader and gain confidence. And I was certainly not the only one who improved as a delegate in this way, as almost all of the delegates I interacted with became noticeably stronger leaders throughout the course of the week, showcasing the immense influence MUNI has not only on my development as a delegate, but on the leadership skills of almost all that attend.

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MUN Institute at Harvard University July 24th

2.  Vocabulary and Terminology

Anyone who has ever been exposed to MUN, from a parent that has observed for an hour to attending a weekend conference with hundreds of delegates, know that there is a lot of advanced (and sometimes confusing) terminology that goes along with the functioning of debate. When I first joined Model UN, I definitely struggled with some of the terminology, for even some of simplest actions require intricate vocabulary. However, through the extremely detailed lectures that take place throughout the week, delegates at MUNI are able to not only learn the terminology used in a conference, but adapt their own process of debate in order to best implement their newly gained knowledge. Personally, I know that I experienced this improvement on the topic of mergers, for I was not only able to learn the exact workings of merging different resolutions, but I was also able to practice this skill during different simulations throughout the week, allowing me to improve my abilities as a delegate.

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MUN Institute at Harvard University July 17

3. Diversity in the Community

As someone who has grown up in a small, rural town in Massachusetts, USA, for her entire life, one of the most shocking realizations for me was to see just how many people from around the world are united through MUN. Through MUNI, delegates are able to converse and befriend people from all around the world, from California to South Korea. While before MUNI, I did understand that MUN was an international organization, I did not realize just the extent of the international community that exists, and, more importantly, the number of different perspectives of people from all around the world. Through my week at MUNI, I was able to not only meet delegates and staff from across the international community, but I was also able to learn and recognize new and foreign ideas separate from my own American bias, an experience that I am not usually able to indulge in, and therefore one that I am extremely grateful for. As a result, my experience shows the amount of appreciation that one can gain from the diversity of the MUN community by attending a MUNI conference.

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MUN Institute at Southwestern University June 12th

MUNI not only fosters a respectful and supportive community for delegates, but it also provides a haven for students across the world that, despite being from different places and having different opinions, share the love of politics and bettering the international community. Through MUNI, delegates can not only expect to grow in debate, but also as thriving members of the international community. Therefore, for me, while learning the terminology and workings of conferences is extremely important, it is not nearly as important as developing my understanding of different cultures and political opinions through the diverse community that MUNI provides, this being what I will take with me far into the future.

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