Whether it was in elementary school, middle or high school or in college, you have likely heard someone talk about Model United Nations. The concept of the MUN is one that has become common enough that most people don’t give the term a second thought when they hear of a classmate’s involvement in a conference or two over the year. What is a Model UN, though, and why do a growing number of students around the globe have such an interest in it?
Simulation for Education
Model United Nations is essentially an academic portrayal or enactment of issues and matters that might be faced by actual members of the United Nations. Originally established in the 1940’s, Model UN was a strictly-collegiate activity. Since then, students of nearly every age have had a chance to participate in these simulations, with their popularity steadily increasing among students under the age of eighteen.
This growth in interest may be due to an increased desire by young people to understand current events and influence world politics. Model UN gives them this opportunity, by allowing them – in a fun, exciting and ceremonial format – to explore ideas and issues relevant to the many nations of the world. They also develop skills as the students suggest, and provide support for, solutions they discover during their research or come up during debate. Being a Model UN delegate is all at once educational and enjoyable, enlightening and entertaining!
The Many Benefits of Model UN
Participation in MUN committees and conferences does more than simply giving students a better understanding of the issues being discussed and debated therein. When people are involved in the model UN, they may also:
- Improve listening and speaking skills.
- Bolster their confidence through public speaking and debate.
- Enjoy many exciting opportunities for travel.
- Learn valuable negotiation techniques.
- Increase their understanding of current events and the impact these events have on various peoples and cultures worldwide.
The biggest change that most Model United Nations participants report isn’t simply educational. Many young students who participate in Model UN activities come away from the experience excited, energized and empowered to make a positive difference in their community and their world. That alone is worth the investment of time for many students, and supportive families, who encourage participation in Model UN. Participation in MUN may be the most overall beneficial part of their education experience and might also give them the life skills to help create a better future for all of us.