Model UN 2010

Walking a mile in another person’s shoes

There is a reason why I had done Model UN 3 years in a row.  The chance to travel to an international conference representing a country that is starkly different to my own is a challenge and a tremendous opportunity to grow both personally and professionally. Participation in the conference forced me into a different mindset - one in which I had to comprehensively research to understand why countries react so different to the problems of the world although we often share a common objective.

Becoming a proponent of another country meant that I had to gain a better understanding of their culture and history; and that I had to abandon my American-centric view of the world. It helped me to better understand other cultures and it affected my negotiating strategies during resolution development.

During the course of the conference, I met people from all over the world. I chatted it up with the British and dined with the Italians.  In our off time, I debated politics with Venezuelans and joked with the Russians.  I made friends with the Koreans and Chinese.  The French provided me with an opportunity to practice my language lessons and upgraded my capabilities.  I flirted with a Romanian and danced with the Mexicans.

The chance to talk with people from over 30 countries was the chance of a lifetime.  All of them were taking the opportunity to understand different world views and become better leaders. This has been the most memorable experience I have had in my academic endeavors--something I will never forget and the first stories I bring up in conversation. I won the Outstanding Undergraduate Scholar Award and I had a fine education at RIT; but my experience at the Model United Nations conference was by far the best.