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5 things you'll get out of participating in an international Model UN

The term ‘MUN’ is mysteriously thrown around among international relations and humanities students at Bond. ‘MUN’ actually stands for Model United Nations, which, (surprise, surprise) is a simulation of the UN. In a MUN, participants are assigned a country and must negotiate with others to create resolutions that reflect everyone’s interests.

At Bond, there are a range of MUNs to participate in. The Bond University United Nations Student Association runs semesterly MUNs for students from all faculties to participate in. This is a great place to start if you’re looking for a casual introduction to MUNs.

A step up from this is participating in international MUNs, which are run by organisations external to Bond. Students pursuing international relations and humanities degrees such as the Bachelor of International Relations, the Bachelor of Arts, the Bachelor of Policy, Philosophy and Economics or any dual degree combination of these are eligible to participate. These experiences are competitively selected, so if you do apply, make sure you put your best foot forward!

Recently, a group of eight Bondies participated in WIMUN Geneva Online 2021. This international conference gave students the opportunity to improve their diplomacy skills and build their international network, all while learning about the functions of the United Nations.

Thinking you might be keen on participating in a MUN? Here are five things that our Bondies got out of WIMUN Geneva Online 2021.

1. A better understanding of how the UN works

Perhaps the most impressive thing about WIMUN is that it is the most accurate simulation of the UN in the world. This means that students from across the globe get a chance to experience what it’s like to be a diplomat at the UN, represent a country’s interests and work in regional groups to develop solutions.

For WIMUN Geneva Online 2021, Bond students worked in the Peacebuilding Council and the Commission on the Status of Women to negotiate pressing global issues. Bondies represented the Republic of Peru, the Kingdom of Norway, the Kingdom of Sweden, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Kenya, the United States of America, Malaysia, and Italy.

WIMUN conferences typically run over ten days, with the simulations occurring in the evenings, and a bunch of side events occurring throughout the week. If you’d like to learn more about what goes on behind the scenes of a MUN, check out this article by Bachelor of Laws / Bachelor of International Relations student Crystal Paris.

2. International networking made easy

Although Bondies couldn’t travel to Geneva for WIMUN this year, there were still plenty of networking opportunities available throughout the conference.

Bachelor of Laws / Bachelor of Arts student Maeve Moroney participated in WIMUN Geneva Online and had countless networking opportunities throughout the 10 days.

“In the lead up to WIMUN, our lecturer Dr Mark Dinnen organised workshops with students from Hokuriku University in Japan. This meant that us Bondies got to build friendships with Japanese students before the conference even started,” Maeve says

“Throughout the conference, we also got to meet students from all across Europe and Asia. I’ve already connected with many of these amazing people on social media and LinkedIn, and I hope to keep in contact with them in the future.”

The Bond WIMUN team: (L-R) Tony, Heaven, Andie-Lee, Maeve, Carolyn, Paul, Alissa, Olivia.

3. A new sleep schedule

The fact that WIMUN is an online international conference means that you’re often dealing with pretty tricky time zones that differ greatly to your average Australian nine-to-five. For WIMUN Geneva Online, there were two options available for participants – 5pm-12am, or 1am-8am.

Bond had a pretty even split across the two groups, which meant that students could be involved in both the Peacebuilding Council and the Commission on the status of the Women. For the earlier group, this meant heading to bed at about 1am after sessions and waking up at 11am the next morning. The later group slept at random hours of the day and napped between simulation sessions – not an easy feat!

4. Opportunities to develop your skills and explore career paths

WIMUN Geneva Online organised multiple side events for participants to get involved in outside of the formal negotiations. These events ranged from career development workshops to informative sessions on current global issues, and participants were welcome to attend as many or as few as they desired.

Side events included ‘Negotiating at the UN – the Practitioner’s Perspective’, ‘UN Careers and Internships’, ‘Impacts of the COVID-19 on the Sustainable Development Goals’, ‘Develop your Personal Branding’ and ‘From Model UN to Success in the Workplace’.

Master of International Relations student Tony Yang,found that the side events offered by WIMUN Geneva Online were complimentary to his current studies.

“There is no better MUN experience like WIMUN in Geneva. From the sessions this year, I received inspirational insights regarding how the United Nations functions and performs, both theoretically and practically,” Tony says.

“The side events taught me substantial negotiation skills for diplomatic scenarios, which I actually utilised for my subsequent assessment in the Master of International Relations.”

5. A for-credit, practical experience in international relations

One of the best things about participating in WIMUN is the practical exposure the experience provides. WIMUN is an excellent way for international relations and humanities students to learn about career pathways as a diplomat and get a real taste of how the UN operates.

On top of all this, WIMUN counts as a subject for undergraduate students. Bondies who are selected to participate in the conference still have to complete assessment based on the experience, but this is more self-directed because there are no consistent classes throughout the semester.

Think you’d be keen on participating in a MUN? Speak to your lecturer about upcoming opportunities, and stay connected via your student email.

Learn more about Model UN at Bond

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