By Siya Aggarwal

Model United Nations, simply put, is an activity where students role-play as delegates representing different countries and their interests while debating on real-life issues. It’s a simulation of one of, if not the most important organization in the world, the organization responsible for keeping peace in the world, United Nations. When I first learned about MUN it was in the eighth grade, as a unit with the final test being the first MUN I ever participated in. While learning about the UN, and all about the procedure, from things like formal language and attire to elocution and lobbying, it was all well and good. What I didn’t know was how much my stomach would be churning on the day when all of that was put to the test. I could feel my heartbeat speed up when I stood up to give that initial speech when I had to raise a topic or to bring up a point. On top of that, I was the delegate of the US, meaning I was constantly criticized by the rest of my countries present. I hated public speaking, I felt under prepaid, I stuttered before I begin every sentence and somehow I still won the best delegate. Due to one teacher, one unit, one test, I found my passion. It sounds strange, I just described what felt like steps away from a nervous breakdown but I still characterize it as my passion? For some people, they can tell they have found they’re calling instantly. Others are indecisive, like me. However much I was sweating it, it is the only test I remember from 8th grade. Since that day, not only have I have attended multiple MUN’S where I compete and collaborate with students from schools in and around Mumbai, I have also initiated the first-ever student-led club in our school with a classmate of mine that shares similar passions, Khushi Junjunwalla. 

We have recently begun our second year teaching the MUN club.

I love teaching, imparting my knowledge, especially about something I am passionate about.

By the time Khushi and I graduate Ascend International School we plan to have our very own MUN, Ascend Model United Nations, where we invite other schools to participate. Our goal is to have our students be prepared to take on the role of leaders, just as we have, to be ready by the time we host AMUN and to take senior positions such as chairing a committee. 

Model UN motivates students to learn and teaches them about world issues. It is a way to become an active, more concerned global citizen. Furthermore Model UN builds confidence and leadership and diplomatic skills. MUN is an exercise in research, public speaking, and teamwork. Since I started my journey I have seen tremendous growth in every one of these aspects. These are the skills that you will need throughout your career, and MUN gives you a chance to practice them while you’re a student. You can also leverage your MUN experience and network to get into college and write it into your CV. But above all Mun is an opportunity for every student to speak, to have a chance to raise your voice, a chance at being heard. Mun gives you chances to travel the world, gain life experiences and get out of your comfort zone. 

This and much more is why I encourage all of you to try it out, join the MUN club!

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