What is MUN?
Model United Nations (MUN) is a simulation of the United Nations that aims to educate participants about current events, topics in international relations, diplomacy and the United Nations agenda. Students research a country, take on roles as diplomats, investigate international issues, debate, deliberate, consult, and then develop solutions to world problems.
Conferences take place across the world. During a conference, participants must employ a variety of communication and critical thinking skills in order to represent the policies of their country. Brillantmont participates in several MUN conferences each year, locally and overseas. Everyone in the Brillantmont community has the opportunity to attend a prestigious MUN conference. In fact, every year around 40% of our students attend Model United Nations and amazingly, Brillantmont is the only school from Europe which participates in MUN Singapore. The MUN conference in The Hague is hugely popular, which means that bigger schools can only take a small percentage of their students who wish to attend. However, Brillantmont is proud to be an inclusive school, which means we can take every student who wishes to experience an MUN conference.
Brillantmont - building skills and confidence
Inclusiveness and providing opportunities for all, means that at Brillantmont the focus of MUN is on learning and development, not competition, performance and elitism. Through the conference experiences Brillantmont’s students get to grow and develop. Having their personal achievements celebrated breeds confidence. Any anxiety, apprehension and self-doubt with regards to public speaking, levels of English when preparing for the challenge of the first MUN conference is replaced by ambition, confidence and desire to engage in public debate. MUN is a unique course. It is academically challenging which explains why it is held in high regard by admissions departments for College. It is also recognised as a High School credit in our Diploma program.
As well as developing an international perspective, boosting academic English vocabulary and nurturing informed global citizens, MUN teaches students about themselves. The authentic learning experience provides them with the opportunity to take control of and responsibility for their learning. Dealing with uncertainty, collaborating with others, leading, managing and team building are all developed in the conference, together with emotional intelligence and public speaking. The practical real life situations cannot be manufactured in the classroom; building a team in a room of over 100 people you do not know is simply not possible. All this is in a safe environment of safe failure. Students are encouraged to take risks, to learn through trial and error without the negative consequence of a bad grade or lost opportunity. In the future they can draw on this experience and the confidence it installed.
What I’ve learnt from MUN
Our first MUN conference of the academic year took place in early November and was held locally. Students with no MUN experience were able to sample a simulation of the work of the United Nations.
Georgia from the US enthuses, “The opening speaker was really interesting as he told us about his work at the United Nations. I was in the environmental committee; our subjects ranged from poaching and illegal wildlife trade to plastic pollution. There were some good debates and arguments back and forth. It was the first time I have done this and it was exciting and really interesting.”
Later this month, a delegation will head to Singapore and the students are very excited. Nicolas from Switzerland feels that, “MUN is a great experience which can bring a lot of skills later in your professional life. I want to study journalism and I think that learning more about international relations and how the UN works will be really useful for me in the future.”
The usefulness of MUN is echoed by Elena from Russia who says, “we’re working on our resolutions right now so I’m doing lots of research on different websites. This is helping me develop my writing skills. I’m really looking forward to going to Singapore.”
Megan is an MUN veteran, having joined conferences locally but also in Singapore and The Hague. Reflecting on how well she performed in her last conference, she says, “I could really see how much I had learnt and developed from my first conference. I felt very confident and delivered a speech which changed the vote in the forum, which was a great feeling.”
MUN Singapore – here we come!
In November Mr McClean and Madame Feunette will take seventeen students to the THIMUN Singapore conference. For sixteen of them, it is their first conference experience. As the conference dates approach the atmosphere in the classroom is electric! “This is one of the highlights of being an MUN Director” Mr McClean enthuses. “Seeing the anxiety and nervous energy stimulate feverish application to be ready but with the best still to come.”
For him, the greatest satisfaction of taking students to the Singapore conference is “the jubilation and euphoria of every individual success, when the students rush to report that they spoke in the debate or had their ideas included in the resolution. In the bus afterwards, they’re shouting and celebrating their successes!”
Who couldn’t love Singapore with its food, architecture, shopping and vibrant lifestyle? But what makes MUN Singapore so special and important is the visible student development that the students themselves see and feel for themselves.
Want to learn more about the education at Brillantmont International School or ready to register your child in our programme? Click the link below.