So you’ve been to your first Model UN conference. One thing is for sure- the few conferences that your school MUN team attends simply are not going to cut it. You have gotten hooked on to MUN and there is no going back. Unfortunately for you, this realization is accompanied by the fact that your school or club simply does not offer the opportunities that you would like to find in the MUN world and beyond. You have looked all everywhere and are continually met with the response that “there is simply no time/ budget/ support” for your MUN team to attend more conferences.
But keep your chin up. The world of Model United Nations doesn’t end at the doors of your school. And as so many of today’s MUN veterans know, one of the best ways to hone your public speaking skills and knowledge of international affairs is through participating in the activity outside of school. Yes, this process requires a bit more effort than simply walking to room 204 after class and plopping down in a seat. You may even have to apply to some of the more competitive programs. But in the end, the experiences that you will gain from putting in this extra time will prove indescribably valuable. So if this sounds like the kind of thing you want in your life, please keep reading for a comprehensive guide on how to participate in MUN beyond the walls of your school. It’ll be worth it.
Here are some more ways to get involved in Model UN outside of school!
1. Online Model United Nations (OMUN): Four words, countless opportunities to debate. And lucky for us, the name says it all. All you need to provide are a stable internet connection and your pre-existing passion for MUN. This THIMUN partner, which was the brainchild of the MUN legend Lisa Martin, “believes in access over exclusivity” and holds true to this mission by hosting numerous online debates each month. In order to participate in these debates, all you have to do is create an account on the website, and check out which debates are happening in the future. The special thing about this organization is that it connects people of all backgrounds and all levels of MUN expertise. OMUN offers monthly global and regional debates, as well as training sessions for delegates. After a few months of experience, you even have the opportunity to work behind the scenes as a debate monitor, where you’ll play an essential role, maybe even as the debate chair! Although the formal language of debate is English, OMUN partner’s OMUN Arabic and OMNU Français offer debates in -you guessed it- Arabic and French! I myself started participating in OMUN debates in 2011, simply because I wanted MUN to be a bigger part of my life. The school that I was attending only participated in one conference per year and I knew I wanted more than that. So I did a bit of research and found OMUN. Though entirely online, my first debate functioned exactly the way a formal MUN conference did, only over the course of a shorter time frame. I was so impressed with the organization as a whole that I kept on signing up for debates, sometimes even for two on the same day. And yes, it sounds a bit cheesy, but I would not be here, working with Best Delegate today, had I not signed up for that one debate with OMUN three years ago. The experience I’ve gained from the organization as a whole has made such an incredibly impact on my MUN career and I can’t speak more highly of it. So at this point, I honestly don’t know why you’re still reading this! Go to the OMUN website and make an account ASAP!
2. OMUN Travel Teams: Final word on OMUN for the article, I promise. The organization sends competitive teams of students to some of the most competitive MUN conferences across the world to allow interested students to experience the physical environment of an MUN conference. Such conferences include THIMUN Hague, THIMUN Qatar, and PAMUN. If you’re interested in travelling for a full MUN conference, these travel teams pose one of the best mediums for doing so.
3. College Apprentice’s All-American Model United Nations Programs: For this program, don’t let the name fool you. Fortunately for many students, you do not have to be an American citizen to participate in this program. You will, however, be representing the United States at whichever MUN conference you attend. This program began three years ago with the intention of providing students with opportunities to travel for MUN conferences. Currently, the program gives students to participate in three different conferences: WE Model United Nations Expo (Beijing), Yale Model Government Europe (Budapest), and Harvard OAS Simulation (Mexico.) Though only one of these conferences is a formal ‘MUN’ conference, they are all model government conferences and give students the opportunity to explore within the realm of international relations. It is important to note that there are only 24 spots per team, the application process is rather competitive, and it is advised that you apply months before a conference. Having said that, if you are looking to actually travel to an international MUN conference, this would be the program for you. Members of the All-American MUN team consistently win the Best Delegate in their forums and they go on to become some of the top debaters on the collegiate level.
4. Best Delegate: If you’re reading this article, then you may have seen a link to ‘Summer Programs’ on Best Delegate’s website. Remember that summer time is the perfect time to gain MUN experience. (There’s nothing better than a bit of international relations under the sun. Am I right?) Best Delegate offers MUN training camps across the US (Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, to name a few locations.) The programs range anywhere from 5-14 days and are available as both commuter and residential programs. Because the programs are available for everyone, from beginners to advanced delegates, they fit the needs of every possible applicant.
So now you have a few different ways that you can use to grow your MUN experiences outside of school. But what it comes down to is this: the list above will mean absolutely nothing if you don’t use it. So if you haven’t already, scroll down and click on one of the websites that will give you these opportunities to grow your MUN experiences!
All American MUN: http://allamericanmun.com/
Best Delegate Summer Programs: http://summer.bestdelegate.com/