Over the past two years I have had the privilege to travel to Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne, Canberra, South Korea and New York. I was a United Nations delegate for Egypt, India, Portugal, Dominica, Saudi Arabia, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Well… not in a literal sense, let me explain my GLP journey to you.
For the past two years I have been heavily involved in Model United Nations (MUN), holding two executive positions within the Macquarie United Nations Society on campus. The aim of MUN is to allow students to engage in an academic simulation of the United Nations, by taking on the role of Diplomats and representing different countries. By preparing draft resolutions, plotting strategy, negotiating with supporters and adversaries, resolving conflicts, and navigating the United Nations rules of procedure as applied in the respective United Nations bodies, all in the interest of mobilising “international cooperation” to scrutinize international issues, argue, deliberate, consult, and finally develop solutions to world problems.
My MUN experience peaked when I, along with two other Macquarie students, took the plunge and decided to make a bid to host the Asia Pacific Model United Nations conference at Macquarie. This required a lot of hard work, emails, phone calls and organising that resulted in a 27 page document! A conversation with GLP staff, Chloe and Tara, helped to boost our confidence and open doors we didn’t know existed when navigating university systems. Our GLP experiences taught us to stand up for global issues and stand out from the pack, and it was this that ultimately influenced the theme of the conference we envisioned hosting.
The proposed theme was ‘A New Frontier’; the exploration and navigation of our world and the unknown challenges and triumphs that lay before us. Allowing for a visionary way to view our world in the past, the present and the future tense. Creating the means for delegates to observe the challenges and changes global society faces in the modern day, and discussing how the international community can best address them. We were aiming for delegates to be exposed to how past and current events in the world impact the day-to-day functioning of society, politics and relations between states, with hopes to facilitate a fluid and complex interaction between decisions and their impacts politically, socially and globally over a period of time. The theme would afford delegates the opportunity to observe what could have been with the benefit of hindsight at their disposal.
Though we were not successful in our endeavour we were able to utilise our skills and take a risk that I would dare say we’re all better off for!
Model UN conferences are a great way to build networks with like minded people, just as we’re encouraged to do through GLP. With a diverse range of students participating from all sorts of majors, and the chance to meet delegates from other universities and countries, Model UN is the perfect blend of intellectual and social.
Imagine having the opportunity to assume the role of a delegate representing Yemen, discussing maternal health in the developing world. Taking on the role of a country that is different to my own and having to look at pressing issues from a different point of view has taught me to think outside of the box and look beyond my own experiences to create effective solutions.
There are conferences all over the country—and the world, so get out of town! Whether you want to take a trip to USyd or UTS and experience a conference at a different uni, or go to Canberra, Brisbane or Melbourne, even Germany, New York or Russia, there are dozens of different opportunities to explore the world around you through Model United Nations. I can say with confidence that I have gained a couch to sleep on in every continent through MUN!
Without the GLP and the encouragement of GLP staff I’m not sure that I would have taken initiative, or had the drive to get out of my comfort zone, stop coasting through my degree, create great experiences and become a better version of myself.
Jeanette has just completed a Bachelor of Arts in Politics and International Relations and Media, Culture and Communication. She finished up the GLP with a whopping 260 experiential credit points! A number of those points were from the many Model United Nations conferences Jeanette participated in.
For Undergraduate students, Model United Nations is applicable for 40 experiential credit points. For Postgraduate students, Model United Nations can be claimed as an international or domestic conference. More details on how to claim a Model United Nations can be found in your guidebook or get in touch with your GLP Advisor.
If you would like to join the Macquarie Model United Nations Society check out their Facebook page.