‘Adapt’ was not just the name of a draft-resolution we once made in a way-too-luxurious room in Switzerland, it also expressed the main theme of the past half year. With our eyes set on the Oxford and Harvard MUN, our feet eventually moved elsewhere, with success. The Covid-situation did not lead the delegation and Board to give up, instead, we adjusted our vision and we gave it our all: we attended the Switzerland St. Gallen MUN and Dubai Future We Want MUN as ‘Best Delegation.’
Without knowing what Model United Nations exactly entailed, I signed up, somewhat impulsively. With news articles filling up my algorithm every day, I was made curious by this whole international structure hovering over my head, while I knew so little about it. In the program, the promises about education on multilateral issues were kept. You receive unique insights, by directly getting the chance to ask (critical!) questions to ambassadors, attend institutional visits such as the European External Action Service in Brussels, and of course meet people from all over the world during the (intercontinental) MUN’s and in the program itself. Next to getting lectures from inspiring experts in the field as part of the accredited course at Radboud University, you get to be directly and creatively involved in finding solutions for international issues yourself. The latter can be labeled by any fancy framework you come up with – we have had SAFE, BAM, AMIGOS, and more. Every week, all delegates got assigned a country to do further research about a specific topic, such as artificial intelligence and unemployment, implementation of solutions regarding energy provision, access to education and deliverance of social public services, worldwide. Do you already have some solutions in mind? Or another approach? For one, it led me to know particularly detailed facts about particular sub-sub domains of the foreign policies of particular countries such as Egypt, China and The Philippines, which I will proudly keep sharing at birthday-parties.
The first meeting at the beautiful De Waagh in Nijmegen was exciting and intense, just as the assignments and preparation were for every Friday session. This program challenged me to adapt to its pace. It led me to widening up my energy reservoir, to be filled with a lot of new contacts, experiences, skills and eventually a feeling of fulfillment. For I did not know what was possible, until this program steered me in the direction of planning, preparing – I never once thought I would skip part of my statistics course for an MUN in Dubai! -, and plain improvisation whenever it was needed. This program taught me it could be done, even at times when I thought the opposite. Growing, together with an ambitious and enthusiastic set of 28 peers, was an amazing feeling. You learn from the unique processes of others, their aspirations and the background they take with them: from biomedical sciences, philosophy of politics, to economics. Seeing everyone expand in their speeching- and negotiating-skills (sometimes resulting in me scaringly awaiting their stance when their countries’ position was opposite of mine), inspired me to improve as well. By sharing all these unforgettable experiences, growth pains and victories of progress, we evolved into a group being very close. This makes me all the more excited to see where they will – and already are – end(ing) up in the coming years.
Are you ready to adapt to a life-changing phase?