This week, we exchange with two students who participate in the Model United Nations (MUN) programme, an exercise of diplomatic roleplay which enables students to practice their oral mastering and their thoughts during a debate. Each student participating represents the position of one country. MUN is also the opportunity for students to discover the work done by the UN more in details.
Hello Tahy and Amélie, thank you for taking a bit of your time to answer our questions. First, how long have you been paticipating in the MUN programme?
Tahy: I joined the MUN programme in 10th Grade. I was already interested in it the year before, but we couldn’t join in then.
Amélie: I have been participating in the MUN programme for two years since the beginning of Grade 10, but I had been interested in the programme since Grade 9.
What interested you the most in the programme?
Tahy: I’ve always had a critical mind regarding the politics of different countries. Politics within one country and even in the world concerns all of us daily, I felt involved with the project.
Amélie: Personally speaking, I was never very interested in worldwide news whatsoever, but the programme did enable me to be more curious about these topics which I now find captivating. Debates and interactions between participants are what interests me the most. I like observing how other students defend the point of view of the country they represent during debates.
How are your MUN sessions going now that you are all in e-learning?
Tahy: It’s not easy because I don’t necessarily have the time to have lunch between classes when I have a MUN class. Nevertheless, conferences go well, the efforts put by the coordinators are admirable.
Amélie: Now that we are online, we meet up at the same time as we did on the campus, and we debate the same way.
What do you find difficult personally (or something particularly challenging) during debates?
Tahy: The only constraint, I would say, is that sometimes students can be a bit shy and afraid to jump in the discussion. But our teacher always makes sure to maintain the debate interacting.
Amélie: Personally, I think that what is difficult during online sessions is the organisation. You have to get use to the equipment to know who’s talking, but other than that, debates occur the same way as they do when we’re at school.
Do you think participating in the MUN programme gives you ideas for the future?
Tahy: Oh yes, definitely! I have realised I don’t want to work within the UN, even though politics and diplomacy will remain interesting topics. The UN plays a very important role in the world, nevertheless, the rules established for conferences and debates are very strict and rigid, and I think I prefer expressing myself with less constraints.
Amélie: Participating in the MUN programme can indeed give ideas, especially for students who hesitate pursuing studies in diplomacy. On my part, I already knew international relations were not my thing, but it doesn’t stop me from finding these topics very interesting.
What are your best MUN moments?
Tahy: Last year, the Euromun conference occurred at the school, and it was a great event. It is what made me continue the programme this year.
Amélie: I really enjoy the big conferences where the two Eurocampuses gather. I particularly liked the Euromun 2021 who occurred at the school. The one this year was also a very good experience because I was one of the organisers. I oversaw the entire organisation of the online conference, but also of the creation of debates topics. I also had to make the connection with the DSS students and Yangpu.
Would you recommend the MUN programme to all students?
Tahy: I wouldn’t say MUN is a programme for everyone because you must make sacrifices. But it is certainly a good opportunity to develop your English level, get out of your comfort zone to express your ideas, and learn about worldwide news by yourself.
Amélie: Yes, I would recommend MUN to all students, especially to those who are thinking of moving forward with diplomacy. I think MUN is a very good exercise to develop your oral skills.