From February 16th to February 19th, 2012, at the historic Park Plaza hotel in downtown Boston, EC Boston students again joined over 3,000 university students from over 35 nations around the world for the 58th annual Harvard National Model United Nations (HNMUN) conference. Each year the conference seeks to mirror, as closely as possible, the workings of the actual United Nations in an attempt to promote instructive dialogue and cultural exchange while engaging in lively, informed debate about the most pressing political and social issues of our time. The conference also includes delegate mixers and other social opportunities for students from world-class colleges universities (and language schools!) to network and connect with tomorrow’s leaders.
“They were extremely involved in what they were representing and highly concentrated in stating what they thought,” said EC Boston student Stefania Rambaldi, who appreciated a chance to see a Model United Nations conference for the first time. “I’ve never had an experience like this in my past. Right now I’m extremely satisfied to have had this opportunity that opened my mind to this new and interesting world.”
The EC Boston students again took part in the Page Corps Volunteer program, responsible for delivering diplomatic messages between delegates during committee sessions. “Well, it really represents grassroots diplomacy.” said EC Boston teacher Chris Ward. Chris was, himself, an HNMUN delegate during his undergraduate days at Westfield State University, Westfield, Massachusetts (’04) and now returns as a faculty adviser. “We shouldn’t forget that the best leaders are servants first and never lose that mentality.”
The issues before the HNMUN are as close to reality as possible to give the future diplomats and international leaders in attendance an opportunity to discuss them. In some cases, however, the issues may have mirrored the frustrations of international diplomacy a little TOO well… “They were talking about international security, especially in the Middle East” reports EC Boston student Wed Alotaibi, “But in my opinion they were lost and still walking in the same empty circle.”
“Actually, I would have preferred to interact and participate like delegates have done because the topics were really interesting,” Said Ms. Rambaldi, “but on the other side, I know it requires complicated preparations.”
“This is our second year participating in HNMUN.” Said Chris, who also teaches a diplomacy elective for the school. “Next year my goal is to build a team, if at all possible, to compete against these schools in debate. Our students are clearly capable, and I think we’d surprise a few people.”
Harvard National Model United Nations is just one of the ways that we at EC Boston Language Centres go beyond language instruction to offer activities and programs that answer to the needs of the whole student. If you find living and working in an international atmosphere, such as exists at EC Boston, to be an enjoyable experience then there may just be a career in International Relations waiting for you!