This week Brillantmont students are at MUN in the Hague. Model United Nations is an integral part of our programmes and we are delighted to participate in two overseas conferences each year, in addition to the MUN events we join locally.
Nicolas, an 11th Grade student, shares his MUN Singapore experience.
"As a Brillantmont student I had the chance to take part to the THIMUN conference in Singapore. During the time of the preparation, we learned multiple skills which would be helpful during the conference such as public speaking, individual research and protocolary language relevant to the UN context.
The more the conference was approaching, the more everyone could feel the tension going up. Once arrived in Singapore, my stress reached a whole new level (the seven-hours jet lag might not have helped).
I realized that I was going to spend four days in an auditorium, full of people I didn’t know and who were probably way more prepared than me, trying to debate with them and somehow sell myself and my ideas.
My first day at MUN
As the first day came up, I felt the same as a four-year-old pupil starting primary school. Questions were running through my head, am I prepared enough? Am I going to be able to work in a group? Am I even capable to find the auditorium in the gigantic campus which is the Hwa Chong institution?
As I find the way to my GA (general assembly, groups forming the conference which are divided by the types of issues they are treating) with the help of the admins (students formed to help the delegates through the week of conference), I enter the auditorium and I am immediately shocked by its size. It seems like about 200 people could fit in it.
As I sit down with my fellow Brillantmont student, the three chairs of our GA start their opening speech explaining the structure of the next four days. They finish their speech and now the conference can really start. As we are dispatched into small groups of about ten delegates, the merging and lobbying process is starting; we start to write a common resolution about our issue, the measures to reduce the incidence of hate crimes, which we will later defend through speeches and debates. I get into my group and things seem to go so fast, I feel extremely lost. But little by little I found a way to add some ideas from my own research and resolution. Since the merging and lobbying is one of the most important part of the conference, I am glad that I was able to participate and incorporate my input into the final resolution.
The challenges and the motivation
The second to the fourth day were all dedicated to debate. About eight hours of debate per day can seem quite intimidating and boring at first, but after only a few minutes I start to get in the rhythm and really enjoy it.
As the first day of debate goes by, I feel more and more comfortable with the protocolary language in use at a THIMUN conference, I even feel comfortable enough to ask my first Point of Information (a question). I felt so stressed my legs were shaking as I walked up to the microphone, I kept repeating my question in my head to be sure I would have something to say when it was my turn. As my predecessor finishes his question, I realize it’s now my time to speak. Now I feel like my question sounds extremely stupid. I mumble it and wait for an answer from my interlocutor (another delegate presenting the resolution made by his group), as he tries to understand and answer my question I grasp the fact that I might have been too vague in my phrasing and so try to clarify it, at this moment I hear the three hammer knock of the chair in charge asking us to continue this discussion by note forms.
It was a really bad Point of Information, I probably did speak in an incomprehensible way and yes in a way we could say that I failed, but for some reason that did not frustrate me or made me feel like I should never speak up for the time of the conference; in fact it had the opposite effect, all I wanted to do after that was to speak again, write some amendments and get involved in the debates.
That’s what’s great about MUN, if we fail it has strictly no consequence on anything, I did completely mess up and it did not have any incidence on the rest of my conference. My mistakes drove me for the rest of the conference, I just wanted to achieve more and do what I did better. I asked more and more questions, proposed amendments and even did a speech (under the impulse of my neighbor, I must admit).
The feeling of satisfaction I had after the conference was indescribable, speaking in front of such a colossal audience is something I thought I would not have been capable of before actually doing it.
Why MUN is a great opportunity for students
I strongly believe that this MUN conference reinforced my overall confidence and public speaking skills, being in an environment such as MUN made me grow up on a professional point of view. Even if MUN is not a competition, there is a competitive spirit which is quite similar to the one in the professional world.
It is a good preparation for what comes after high school, since MUN is mainly about selling ourselves and our projects which, in nowadays world, is an essential skill.
MUN was a great experience for me humanly and academically, I’ve made some great experience, met some amazing people and discovered a part of the world I never went to. I am really looking forward to my next THIMUN conference, hopefully in the Hague."
Want to learn more about the education at Brillantmont International School or ready to register your child in our programme? Click the link below.