Updated: Jul 16
As part of the recently held Harvard MUN Dubai 2020 Online, we got together with Ivy Central to discuss the importance of standing out in university applications and how Model United Nations can be an invaluable tool to showcase college readiness. Here's what Ivy Central’s Caroline Linger (Founder & Lead Counsellor), Jose Kumar (Director & Lead Counsellor) and Anusha (Student Counsellor and student at Yale University) had to say.
Over the past 70 years, Model UN has become one of the most sought after extracurricular activities for school students around the world. Model United Nations (or MUN), an academic simulation of the United Nations enables participants to creatively deliberate solutions to some of the most critical global and local issues all the while empathising with and considering stances of nations and their realities. Besides sensitising oneself with social, political, environmental issues, the skills participants take back from this experience can build confidence, enable them to present and articulate better, work better in teams and hone skills that can help them with college preparation, career opportunities, and life itself!
WATCH: HMUN India - A glimpse into Model UN
Here are 5 set of Skills that Model United Nations helps enhance in students to help with not just their applications but in making the most of their university experience!
The key elements of a MUN experience noticed in students are transferable skills that allow them to present themselves with a lot more confidence. These transferable skills that vary from research and communication skills, evidently highlight a student's passion towards his/her extracurriculars as the top universities across the globe are looking for students that take the passion for learning beyond the four walls of their school.
Consensus building Skills:
Caroline Linger, Founder & Lead Counsellor at Ivy Central, stresses on the fact that MUN particularly allows students to build problem-solving skills by increasing their awareness of global affairs and understanding different conflicting perspectives to come up with solutions for them. She adds that most of the admission cells are looking for such qualities in student applications considering that universities are obsessed with students who use their problem-solving capacities to change other people's lives for the better.
Students with the experience of directing or organising a MUN conference have added value to their experience as these roles allow them to gain skills like time, logistics and crisis management. This speaks of not just their initiation to be a part of such activities but to excel at them at all levels.
Individual or Personal Skills:
Anusha, a current student of Yale University , who is also a student counsellor at Ivy Central, highlights how Model United Nations helped her enhance her research skills which she still uses at her college. It also challenged her to overcome her fear of public speaking and develop her communication skills. She continues to actively take part in such events at the university. She brings out the lesser obvious transferable skills that one could gain from a MUN such as collaboration and negotiation, writing skills, research skills, critical thinking, most importantly networking.
Anusha claims MUNs changed her life and got her to Yale, her story is a perfect example of how Model United Nations can be used as a tool to create confident leaders that want to be solvers and changemakers.
Problem solving Skills:
The aim of a MUN conference is to provide young students with a platform to debate and find solutions to pressing issues that the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to address. It also lets students understand how the actual UN operates. While MUN surely helps build a strong university application, equally importantly it can help an individual grow their ability to solve and have a positive impact on society. This is most important because the skills you learn from actively solving can change other people's lives. That the very top colleges is attractive as they want to see how you can take the skill sets that you have to solve problems.
READ ALSO: How schools can contribute to the UN SDGs
The Harvard IRC and Worldview Education were due to co-host the first HMUN in Dubai in June of 2020 but the global corona virus pandemic had other plans for the world. With interest and support from Gen-Z and schools all over, We decided that a global lockdown would not stop us from providing Gen Z with a platform to be the leaders and discuss pressing problems of the work as the current situation has highlighted the importance to build adaptive capacity to help create a Generation of Solvers. HMUN Dubai 2020 - Online conference witnessed participation of over 500 students from 20 countries across Middle East, Africa and Asia.
With this continued aim, Worldview is hosting a special online edition of HMUN India in August 2020. Over the past decade, HMUN India has brought together more than 15,000 students to discuss, deliberate and act to solve global issues.