KFC and I frequently answer questions from students, teachers, and parents at the myriad Model UN conferences we visit. Some of the most frequently asked questions include:
- “I’m at this conference and I see students speaking and debating, and I know they we were working on something before the conference — but what exactly are they doing? What’s their goal this weekend?”
- “I never did Model UN when I was a student — How should I prepare my students for Model UN conferences?”
- “I’m representing a small country — How do I find my country’s position?”
- “Which conferences should I attend? What conferences are good?”
- “How do I use Model UN in the classroom? Can Model UN help me teach a foreign language?”
- “Will Model UN help my students get into college?”
We give them our best answers to these questions, and we refer them to our our strategy page and our conferences page. But these questions share something in common — they underscore a larger question…
How are you supposed to get started — and succeed — in Model UN?
KFC and I meet many students, teachers, and parents who are excited to participate in Model UN. They recognize that this activity builds public speaking and leadership skills, helps students learn about the world and the global problems we face, and allows them to meet and make friends with the best and the brightest from other schools and other countries. There’s no other activity that combines academic learning with skill-building — and, most importantly, FUN — the way that MUN does.
But these students, teachers, and parents also get frustrated trying to get started in Model UN. Take something like research, which is the first step in preparing for any conference, and a fundamental skill that students will use throughout their lives. How do you research your country’s position on any given topic? Where do you go to find it? And if you can’t find it, where can you go for help?
Some conferences and non-profits provide preparation materials and pre-conference support to answer Model UN questions. Most students, teachers, and parents learn how to do MUN from more experienced students, teachers, and parents. But otherwise, there’s no central organization dedicated to helping students, teachers, and parents with Model UN. There’s no one place you can go to teach you how to do Model UN research, or how rules of procedure work (and how they differ across conferences), or how to really succeed in this activity.
Our goal at Best Delegate is to change this.
At Best Delegate, we know from our own experience and countless others’ that Model UN is a life-changing activity. We also know how difficult it is to get started, to learn how it works, and to really succeed in Model UN.
That’s why we decided to blog about our Model UN strategies and offer tips on how to get started. That’s why we started to visit Model UN conferences around the world and to share the stories taking place at every conference. That’s why we started coaching students, teachers, and parents — in group classes, through private coaching, even over Skype — and now, at our Model UN Summer Camps.
The mission of Best Delegate is to help students, teachers, and parents around the world get started and find success in Model UN.
Success in Model UN means different things for different people — for some it’s preparing your hardest for a conference, competing with others, and winning an award — for others it’s enjoying the experience, visiting cool places, and making new friends — for everyone, I believe, it’s about having fun and building skills while learning about the world, and about yourself.
However you define success in Model UN, Best Delegate is here to help.
How do you define success in Model UN? Leave a comment below — we read every single one.