In this series, we’re going to explore some of the clubs students love on campus. From Model UN to cooking clubs this is a chance to learn more about the campus activities our students love and why. Today’s post is by Alessandra DiNicola, a year two IB student at EF Academy Oxford.
Model United Nations (MUN) is the discussion and debate on international topics affecting multiple countries. Despite its reputation as a debate club, it’s far more about discussions and forward-thinking concepts. It’s a club that shows students how to negotiate, discuss ideas, and cooperate.
Joining MUN represented a massive change in my life. I joined the team when I arrived at EF Academy. I come from Italy and moving to Oxford was a unique and useful experience because it gave the opportunity to expand my horizons by discovering new cultures and improving my English language skills.
I believe my decision was also based on the fact that I started to feel like my world was too small. I thought it was time to grow and discover the world around me. I wanted to become more responsible and have the ability to manage myself. MUN was a part of this change. I had never done something similar before, so initially, I was really insecure and scared as I had to express ‘articulated’ thoughts in a language which is not my own.
However, in the long-term, it helped me develop new skills. I gained confidence in expressing myself in front of a big audience, learned to research the right information to support my standpoints, and how to consider multiple perspectives in order to sustain my firm points.
The MUN conference in Cambridge, where I was part of the UN Women representing Argentina, was the culmination of my path in the MUN club. In fact, the moment I stood up in the conference, presenting my opening speech, I felt confident in my capacity and my abilities in facing difficulties.
MUN is not just about debating, it is a way of developing a part of your knowledge, as well as a part of your self-esteem by participating in the problems that affect the world on daily life. MUN for me symbolizes the importance of embracing new experiences, in order to develop new skills and adapting to an international environment.