In the sea of MUN philosophy and vast information, here are the very basics you should pay attention to when choosing a MUN:
1. Committees & Topics
An experienced MUNer or a newbie ( if you are one, check out this guide for becoming a Model UN Delegate), the question of finding the right committee never comes easy. Choose wisely cause the choice will mold your conference experience. The United Nations today has grown considerably from the organization it once was. And the number of committees can seem endless. But don't worry, some committees are always a sure thing in every MUN.
So you can always count on finding a Security Council – MUNIST, BIMUN, LIMUN or SIMUN. Then again there are the committees that are not represented in conferences as often. In this case you have to be a steady hunter preying on your MUN calendar awaiting for that special something, in this case your dream committee. Don’t forget that when choosing a committee you won’t always know the topic of the session right away. The key is knowing that you can swim well in the field of your chosen committee and that it challenges you creatively.
2. The conference dates
Image: February Calendar
When someone says time, I always think: Where did it go? Was it down 5th Avenue?
Even though we all have exams, part-time jobs, girlfriends/boyfriends, pets that need care... Planning out to go to a conference can be a challenge, but it's worth it.
Yes, MUNs do require some "work" , but it can be a relief from your university curriculum. Learning while sightseeing in different countries and making new friends isn't the same as sitting in a library over a book. So get off your couch and take your calendar. Pick four days and do something great for yourself. And remember: don’t miss the registration deadline!
3. The practical guidelines: size & location
Images: Marc Levin
Some MUNs are younger and some are older, some are bigger and some are smaller. And all are awesome! They all share the special MUN atmosphere, but are different. And not just from a point of their location. If you are an experienced MUNer, you know the drill. But for those who are yet to saddle up their horses and take off to their first MUN there are some things you should have in mind.
Find out how big the conference you’re attending is. Would it be better for you to represent the country alone or with another co-delegate. Or even two co-delegates. Bigger MUNs do mean more people, more friends, and soon to be friends, but can also mean a bigger challenge if you’re not used to teamwork. So size does matter.
Knowing the location of the MUN is also significant. Knowing something about the country you’re about to visit shouldn't end with knowing whether you should bring a warm sweater or a swimwear. MUNs are worldwide and the crowds are international and mutual respect is essential for all.
Maybe you won’t always understand the customs of your co-delegates or the country you’re visiting, but respecting them should come natural to you. Be the everyday example of UN goals, and let other cultures touch your heart too.
4. The pre-MUN jitters survival kit
Image: John Hritz
Oh Chocolate, oh chocolate wherefore art thou!
Registration, writing position papers, making the deadlines, some new people hidden behind the many emails you will meet only tomorrow! It does seem like a lot!
The pre-MUN responsibilities can be a bit overwhelming. But there’s no need for herbal infused teas and chocolate to calm you down. Just try to take it one step at the time, knowing that others are taking the same steps at this very moment. And when you connect the faces to the emails, see the smiles, see yourselves facing the same doubts, you’ll know you’re doing just fine.
Until your next MUN I leave you to be diligent MUN minions creating new ways for a better UN today.
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