We have established so far that MUNing is a great opportunity to gain new knowledge and friends. Being able to visit all these interesting places around the globe is a dream for most students. As great as this experience is, embarking on such a journey is not always as smooth as it might look. MUNs cost money, sometimes a lot of it, but there is always a way to lower the final numbers, and here is how:
1. Find a sponsor who will cover the costs of a conference. There is an infinite number of ways to get enough funding but to get there, you need to start the search party on time. Begin with your family and friends by starting to look for contacts there. You could also ask your current employer for some input. The last step is going online and this is where you will get most information. Crowdfunding is also an option. Key is being creative about it and attracting attention. Sometimes you will need more than one source to cover all the costs and this is something that needs to be anticipated.
2. Apply for scholarships. You can ask for these in your university or high school. They usually have budgets for this kind of things. In case you fail there, ask local foundations. Embassies are also a great place to seek your funding. When applying, make sure you mention all your qualities and experience, even things that you might consider irrelevant.
3. Apply early to get the attendance discounts. Early bird applications can lower the price of the conference significantly. To get these you need to check your MUNs website and social media channels frequently. Sometimes you might also come across limited time offers. In cases when you are undecided whether to attend a conference, keep in mind that it will cost you more later.
4. Couchsurf at your fellow MUNers place. Start searching early! As soon as you get the confirmation that you’ve been accepted, with the help of the conference organizer, start looking for the MUNers from the host city by posting questions on the official social networks pages or email. Even though MUNs usually have hospitality programs which can set you up with housing, you should not skip the step of searching on your own.
5. Use public transportation instead of a taxi to reach the conference venue. Although a taxi is getting you straight to your destination, you end up paying more than for the bus, tram, or whatever you have available. Weekly tickets offer great value if they are available so make sure you check for these. A good thing is that sometimes the conference fee covers the costs of transportation so make sure you check this with the organizer.
6. Have your EURO 26 or other student cards ready. Managed by the European Youth Card Association (EYCA), this card will give you discounts to numerous cultural events, transport, shops, eating out and accommodation and it can be used in 38 European countries. Great news for non-European students is that they can use them as well. All they need is to purchase it through the Kiosk shop that is managed by the EYCA headquarters.
7. Apply to be an international committee chair or offer your help to organizers and get attendance discounts. Becoming a chair does require a lot of previous MUN experience. Combine this with great application and you might just get there. You can also volunteer at the conference, assist with the preparations, work in the venues or help with anything else they might need, in exchange for the tuition or housing.
Now that you have covered the financing of your MUN experience, you should read this free eBook guide on becoming a Model UN Delegate!
In case you can think of another way to beat the costs, please let us know in the comments section below.
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