Written by Six One student Germaine – President of General Assembly, Benenden MUN.
I have been participating in Model United Nations since I was in the Fifth (Year 10) and it is still my favourite club. MUN has benefitted me greatly in building my confidence, especially in public speaking and becoming more educated in current affairs. It has helped me develop vital skills for the future, like adaptability and knowledge outside the classroom, and allowed me to meet people from all over the world!
Adaptability is crucial to building confidence, and helpfully, MUN always puts you out of your comfort zone. Skilful questions and critiques by other delegates help to identify flaws within your argument and having to think on the spot teaches you how to debate effectively.
I remember initially being terrified to speak in MUN sessions, as I was afraid to say the wrong thing or argue out of line with my country’s views. However, those skills take time to develop, and mistakes are the only way to learn. Discussing broadly different topics not only teaches delegates prevalent issues, but also how to debate from a perspective that benefits their country while appealing to a wider range of delegates.
MUN helps build knowledge outside of the classroom effectively, as the dynamic of learning is drastically different. As the Model United Nations Institute website mentions – in classrooms, students learn from their teachers whereas students learn from each other in these conferences. The ‘conference complements the classroom’, as students must deliver information from their research into speeches and questions in their country’s favour. In this era of globalisation, it is increasingly important for students to learn more about the world and international relations. Thus, MUN can be seen as more and more advantageous, as students are able to learn a strong foundation of international diplomacy.
Lastly, MUN is a fun way to meet people! Here at Benenden, we have a close MUN team holding weekly after-school sessions and most of us go to conferences together as well. Although we may have drastically different passions and interests, we all come together and learn from each other. Going to conferences is therefore extremely eye-opening and enriching. Although it is essentially a competition, there are great friends you meet from those experiences – many of whom I keep in touch with to this day.
Overall, MUN is a great way to connect with people, expand learning beyond the classroom, and build confidence through adapting to different situations. Although it seems intimidating at the start, it is actually very enjoyable. You learn vital skills for the future, and I would recommend it to anyone.