Being part of the Delegation means being trained with a group of about 30 bright and inspired students. You will learn how to convince others, speak in public and lobby effectively while continuously reflecting on your own development. Furthermore, you will receive academic lectures in all relevant aspects of international diplomacy; visit prestigious institutions; participate in Oxford International Model United Nations (OxIMUN); receive an intensive training week in New York; and participate in Harvard National Model United Nations (HNMUN).
Every year in February, Harvard University hosts the oldest, largest, and arguably, most respected Model United Nations conference in the world. Together with your fellow delegates of the United Netherlands Delegation, you will go to Boston to negotiate the best possible resolution for the country which the Delegation is representing during four intense days at the HNMUN conference.
"This programme was exactly what I was looking for."
“It was inspiring to see my fellow delegates grow and improve themselves as the trainings went by and it has made me realize this programme was exactly what I was looking for. I have no doubt that the skills I learned during the Delegation will be useful throughout my future career.”- Raman van Wee
When does the Delegation take place?
The Delegation takes place every Friday from the start of the academic year in September to mid-February from 10 in the morning until 6 in the evening. In November, you will visit Oxford University for your first international Model United Nations experience with your fellow delegates. The program will conclude in February with a final training week in New York City, after which you will participate in the most prestigious Model United Nations conference in the world: Harvard National Model United Nations (HNMUN).
Where are the Friday Sessions?
The Friday Sessions take place at Radboud University in Nijmegen. Aside from the regular Friday Sessions, The Delegation also visits international institutions to provide more insights into diplomacy as a practice. For example, visits from previous years include the Clingendael Institute, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassies of the countries represented at Harvard.
What can you expect?
The Delegation trains you to compete against the best students at Harvard National Model United Nations (HNMUN) via an intense preparatory track that will teach you skills you will use the rest of your life. The sessions in the Netherlands offer a unique introduction to the theory and practice of international diplomacy and are tailored to prepare you for HNMUN. In addition to academic lectures, you will receive thorough training in public speaking, negotiation and lobbying from experienced student-trainers. The combination of academia, practical skills training and personal training allows you to develop yourself in no-time and ensures that you gain skills useful far beyond HNMUN.
From September onwards, you are expected to be present every Friday. Owing to these intense training days you will quickly improve on all aspects of your personal performance and are ready in November to test your progress for the first time at Oxford International Model United Nations (OxIMUN). Here you will compete with 600 students from over 60 countries in simulations of several United Nations committees. After coming back to the Netherlands, your upward journey will continue and will lead up to the Delegation’s trip to the USA, where delegates experience a training week in New York before participating in the most prestigious MUN conference in the world: Harvard National Model United Nations, here more than 3000 international students participate from over 70 countries worldwide! By this time, you will be prepared to debate, negotiate, and lobby for four intensive days. Here you will have the opportunity to show that you are among the world’s finest future diplomats!
The preparatory track consisting of both academic and practical training, OxIMUN, the New York Training Week, and HNMUN together form the unique course United Nations and Multilateral Diplomacy: Theory and Practice (UNMD). The course is equivalent to a BA-3 course and completion of the course is awarded with 10 ECTS. Delegates are expected to hand in academic assignments and pass an academic exam, allowing them to possibly use these 10 ECTS as an elective in their own program. During the whole track, you will receive intensive training, coaching, and feedback from the United Netherlands Board, who carry the responsibility for The Delegation. They are highly experienced students who have committed themselves to teach the Delegation for a year to ensure you get the most out of this experience.
What do we expect from you?
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin
Being a delegate comes with certain responsibilities. To be able to graduate from the Delegation, we need delegates that are committed, participate actively, and are willing to work hard for the program.
We require you to invest both time and effort to make the most out of The Delegation, for both yourself and your fellow delegates. We thus expect from you that you can invest twelve to fifteen hours (on average) per week in The Delegation (traveling and social activities excluded). This implies that in addition to the weekly six-hour meetings on Friday, you will need time to prepare for at least six to nine hours per week. This preparation, for instance, includes (academic) readings, assignments, and research for MUN topics. The Delegation is an intense and intimate program, which can only flourish if the entire group is committed to (help each other) develop rapidly. Being prepared, ensures that you get the most out of the program, both professionally and personally. Therefore, you may only be absent for a maximum of two Friday sessions. In special circumstances, a third session may be missed, however, in this case, you are required to make an additional assignment. Missing more than three sessions will lead to exclusion from the Delegation.
What are the costs?
This fee is your contribution to the preparatory track in the Netherlands and covers training locations, course materials, training, and lectures. Please note it is not used to cover any personal costs you should make on Friday sessions, such as travel expenses to Nijmegen or food expenses. In 2022-2023, the participation fee will consist of 250 euros.
This fee covers the standard travel and accommodation package United Netherlands offers for the international conferences. This thus includes travel to and from Oxford, the hostel in Oxford, hotels in New York and Boston, the bus transfer from New York to Boston, and conference fees/social packs for both the Oxford and Harvard conferences we attend. Please note that flight tickets to and from the United States are not included. In 2022-2023, the installment fee will be 1050 euros plus or minus a margin of 10%.
The installment fee will be deducted at intervals throughout the semester:
Fortunately, there are good possibilities for financial aid. Foremost, most universities will give you a substantial amount. Our board can help you by providing examples of application letters. Eventually, you are responsible yourself to search for the right university body or/and any additional sources of financial support. If you start right after you have been selected to our delegation, you will have ample time to acquire funds for the trip.
To make the Delegation financially more accessible, United Netherlands’ alumni association, aMUNli, has created the Delegation Fund. This Fund will provide financial aid to a few selected delegates from less affluent backgrounds. During your application to the Delegation you can indicate that you are interested in receiving financial aid from the Delegation Fund, but the actual application to receive financial aid will only take place once you have been selected for the Delegation. Hence, applicants are expected to ensure they can finance the Delegation without financial aid, in case their application to the Delegation Fund is unsuccessful. Your financial situation will not in any way impact your chances of getting selected for the Delegation.
More information about the Delegation Fund will be provided after you have been selected to the Delegation. If you do already want to receive more information prior to that, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
MUN, or Model United Nations, is a simulation of the United Nations meant to let you experience what it is like to be a diplomat in this multilateral institution. Every delegation is assigned a country (e.g., Australia, Brazil, or China), which it will represent in a particular UN committee, like the Security Council or the General Assembly. Your mission is to seek solutions to global problems, while also successfully looking after the interests of the country you represent. Throughout this simulation, there is, on the one hand, a moderated debate where you can give formal speeches about your country’s position, and on the other hand, unmoderated (more informal) negotiations where you can lobby with other countries and write resolutions which can be discussed during the debate. The results of your efforts will be a written resolution, which must be adopted by the majority of the members presents.
Owing to the dynamic interplay of international relations, diplomacy, public speaking, negotiation, and leadership; MUN is a perfect vehicle for developing and testing relevant skills! MUN also allows you to broaden your perspective, not just by representing a country with its own beliefs and ideas, but also by listening to other delegates and hearing their personal stories. Please note that previous experience in MUN is NOT a requirement for participating in the Delegation. The program will ensure that you are ready to compete at the conferences.
Oxford International Model United Nations
In November you will be ready for your first real-life MUN experience! OxIMUN at Oxford University will be your first test case where you can show how much you have advanced. You will be assigned to individually represent a country in a particular United Nations committee and will represent this position in the debate during the three-day conference. Together with the Delegation, you will stay in a hostel, meaning that even though you are by yourself in your committee, you can easily share your experiences with your fellow delegates and trainers. Also, OxIMUN hosts fun socials in the evenings to unwind from the challenging committee sessions during the day!
New York Training Week
In the week before HNMUN, the Delegation has seven days of intensive final preparation in New York! The goal of this week is to get some final inspiration, as well as time to prepare (together with your partner). In HNMUN most (but not all) committees are double delegate, meaning that you will represent a country in a committee together with a fellow delegate. This teamwork requires some extra preparation and expectation management, for which the training week also allows time! The program consists of final trainings relevant to HNMUN as well as visits to inspiring institutions in New York, such as the United Nations Headquarters and Council on Foreign Relations. During the evening, the board also provides an optional social program. After the intensive week, you will also get a few days off before HNMUN to relax and explore New York!
Harvard National Model United Nations
When you enter the conference arena in Boston, you will find yourself optimally prepared for the Harvard National Model United Nations. This is the oldest, largest, and arguably the most prestigious Model United Nations (MUN) in the world. Meeting high level delegations from all over the world is both an enriching cultural experience, as well as an exciting individual challenge. Over four days, you and your committee will have a debate with the goal to pass a favorable resolution. As each committee simulates a different United Nations body the committee sizes can thus vary between 20 and 250 students! Participating in HNMUN is a once in a life-time experience and nothing like any other MUN in the world. Students taking part are over all highly dedicated students who attend prestigious American universities such as Yale University, University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania as well as many international universities. It is truly an opportunity to measure yourself with the best and realize how much you have learned over the course of the Delegation, because we will make sure you are ready to compete in this prestigious conference!
Senior Board of Studies
The Senior Board of Studies is responsible for safeguarding the academic quality of the ‘United Nations Multilateral Diplomacy: Theory and Practice’ course. The academic content of this track includes lectures, research papers, the academic exam and other assignments. The Senior Board of Studies works in close conjunction with the United Netherlands Board to set up the academic program.
Dr. M.G. Valenta – American Studies
Prof. Dr. Ir. M. van Leeuwen – Peace and Conflict Studies
L.R. Glas – LLM European Law
Dr. J.H.H. van den Berk – North American Studies and Transatlantic Studies