The following is a recap provided by SMCHS MUN Advisor John Remmell.
The group began their trip with two days in Seoul, South Korea. Students were fortunate enough to receive a private tour of the Korean Congress just before making their way to the DMZ, where they ventured into the 3rd Infiltration Tunnel underground and walked to the very boundary of the DMZ and South Korea! The students then traveled to Beijing where the students had the opportunity to visit the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, the Great Wall of China, the Summer Palace, the Temple of Heaven, and the Lama Temple before the three day conference began.
The conference had students from fifty international schools from countries in Africa, Asia, and Europe. Santa Margarita Catholic High School was the only school from the United States to attend. The students from the SMCHS MUN program represented the United Kingdom and debated a wide variety of issues, such as arms control, sustainable development, and human rights issues. Students Madi Weil, Katie Fernelius, Steven Holcomb, Kristen Gallogly, and Liz Zarka all won the award of best delegate in their committees. The nine day trip gave the students a whole new prospective on China, Korea, and the world we live in. The students all believe that they grew intellectually, socially, and spiritually as a result of their experiences on this trip.
Katie Fernelius: “The China trip was an incredible opportunity that not only allowed us to develop global awareness, but also permitted us to foster relationships with amazing kids from around the world. This trip gave me insight into the Chinese and Korean cultures. This trip was the most significant experience I will take with me from SMCHS and I feel so blessed to have been given this opportunity.”
Kristen Gallogly: “This trip truly was a trip of a life time. We were completely emerged into the Chinese culture from the traditional Peking Duck lunch to the subway traffic during rush hour. At the conference, I met and worked with delegates from Qatar, Nigeria, Shanghai, and Moscow. I discovered that these teenagers were not too different from me, we shared many surprising similarities. My favorite memory was flying mini panda kites in front of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Bird’s Nest, it was a surreal moment. I am so thankful to have traveled with the 8 other students from the senior class; we will always be bonded together by our memories of this extraordinary city.”