Parents: Why your child should participate in Model UN

Model United Nations can be an amazing experience for students- putting themselves in the shoes of students from around the world, debating global issues, raising their confidence, and setting them up to succeed in Model UN and beyond. But there’s one actor in Model UN who is often forgotten- the parents. Whether it’s encouraging your students to sign up for the club at their school, teaching them how to tie a tie for the first time, helping them research, or sending them to conferences, parents are one of the most important parts of any Model UN program. We want to show you just how important Model UN can be for your student, so that when they come home talking about “Brazil” and “France” as if they’re people, or win a “gavel”, you know they’re development critical skills they’ll carry with them for the rest of their lives.

Why Model United Nations?

The Educational Experience

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Students practicing their Resolution Writing at the Model United Nations Institute

Students in Model UN gain a wide range of skills and information critical to their success in high school, college, and beyond. Students learn public speaking and deliver their first speech in front of an audience. They hone their research skills and synthesize information from all over the world. They practice how to write policies, and learn about cultures they never even knew existed.

However just as importantly, students will learn critical social skills that will help them throughout life. Whether it’s learning to discuss complex issues and compromise, or learning how to be a leader for the first time, many students will “find their voice” through Model UN, and realize their leadership potential and social ability. Model UN helps students build the Confidence to succeed.

Access to the UN, NGOs, and incredible keynote speakers


Bill Yotive, the Head of the Global Teaching and Learning Initiative at the United Nations, speaking to students at the Model United Nations Institute

Model UN is an enormous activity with over half a million students participating each year. UN Officials, NGOs, and other business leaders and public figures have taken notice, and actively engage with these students. Officials from the UN Department of Public Information and organizations around the world teach students Model UN and even help MUNers on their path to college, internships, and careers! Often, students get to meet incredible leaders who deliver the Keynote Address at Model UN Conferences- notable keynote speakers to Model UN conferences include UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, the Director of the FBI, and even Pope Francis! Model UN introduces students to a global Community of leaders.

College and Careers

Model UN helps students on their paths to college and careers- from our MUN programs alone, we’ve had dozens of students go on to Ivy League universities, and MUNers fill youngest generation of employees at the UN, Foreign Services around the world, and a wide range of the most prestigious careers around the world. We’ll talk even more about how Model UN can help students get into college later on! Model UN gives students the ideas and tools they need to make real Change in the world.

And of course, M-U-N is F-U-N!

Model UN puts students on the paths to amazing careers!

Ryan Villanueva- Co-Founder, Best Delegate 

Ryan“The confidence I gained from Model UN helped me get into Yale. The skills I developed through Model UN helped me find my first job at Goldman Sachs. And my passion for Model UN is the reason why I quit Wall Street to partner with one of my best friends and started Best Delegate.”



Stephanie Sobek- US Foreign Service Officer, Former Pickering Fellow (Harvard Kennedy School)

Sobe“As a Foreign Service Officer, it is essential to be able to speak on foreign policy issues in front of an audience, collaborate with people from different countries and cultures, and negotiate policies that will have a real impact on people’s lives.  My participation in Model UN in college prepared me to do just that. I went from debating solutions to the Syrian civil war with college students to collaborating with UNHCR and the Jordanian government on how to provide Syrian refugees with work permits and access to education in Jordan. In addition to learning about a wide range of foreign policy issues, Model UN taught me how to research, refine and present the interests of a different country and how to convince my peers to jump on-board with my proposed policies. I use these skills every day working as a U.S. diplomat and I continue to work with Model UN programs in Jordan.”

Finn Carlson- Intern, UN Department of Public Information

Finn“I started participating in Model UN in my junior year of high school in 2010 and continued throughout my undergrad. Thanks to Model UN, I not only improved my personal and academic skills and found a college major to follow, but also had the opportunity to intern for the real United Nations. During my internship, I worked with the Department of Education Outreach, and Model UN gave me the experience I excel at my job!”


Ilhan Dahir- Rhodes Scholar, Fulbright Fellow

“Model UN allowed me to cultivate my public speaking, interpersonal and diplomatic skills while also putting me in contact with some very ambitious and intellectually curious young people. If I could recommend any one extracurricular to students it would be Model UN, you can’t ask for a community as challenging and supportive as this one.”


What kinds of Model UN Programs are available?

Model UN Conferences are available around the world at the middle school, high school, and university levels. There are programs available for all levels of MUN experience, and can be hosted by community organizations, high school students, or university students.

“Diplomat” (Novice) Level Conferences

In most cities, you can find small, 1-day or 2-day conferences for training new Model UN delegates at local schools or community centers. These novice conferences are usually very inexpensive and include training workshops to for all the first-time delegates at the conference. The goal of these conferences is learning, not awards, and students are in small committees so they have plenty of opportunities to participate and practice their skills.

“Ambassador” (Advanced) Level Conferences

Once students have outgrown local conferences and small training events, the next step is to move on to regional and national level conferences with stronger educational or competitive objectives. These conferences are generally held in major cities, and can range anywhere from 500-3000 students. Usually lasting 3-4 days, most of these events are held at universities or hotels, and students will stay on-site for the duration of the conference. At the largest of these conferences, Model UN clubs from around the world will bring teams, with some countries hosting students from over 50 countries at a single conference. These conferences are an intense and usually competitive experience, but are a great way for experience students to test their skills and make new friends from around the world.

“Secretary-General” Level- Hosting their own conference!

The greatest challenge for a student in Model UN isn’t competing at a conference- it’s hosting their own! University, High School, and even Middle School students around the world host their own conferences of 50-3000 students. By taking on a new role in Model UN, students actually learn how to become better delegates as well, by putting themselves in the shoes of conference organizers for the first time. Hosting conferences challenges students to hone their leadership skills, looks incredible to colleges, and can be a great fundraiser and a great learning experience for any Model UN club.

The Model United Nations Institute

Each summer, Best Delegate hosts the Model United Nations Institute at the top universities across the U.S. The Model UN Institute includes classes during the day, and fun evening programs for residential students from all over the world. Programs are available for elementary, middle, and high school students. “Diplomats”, “Ambassadors”, “Secretaries-General” and more  have programs designed just for their needs! Want to learn more about the Model United Nations Institute? Click here!


Students at the Georgetown Program of the 2015 Model United Nations Institute