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Model UN: Ideal Extracurricular for the Future International Relations Major

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Extracurriculars are an integral part of the high school experience. While many students think of grades, standardized test scores, and academic achievements as the backbone of their college applications, at many selective colleges, extracurricular activities are an increasingly important piece of the puzzle, since most applicants are academically qualified for admissions.

Casual participation, however, is not enough to set you apart when it comes to extracurriculars. In order to truly shine, you need to participate in activities to which you’re truly dedicated. By finding activities that you’re passionate about, you’ll be able to engage in them over a prolonged period, demonstrating your commitment and sometimes building up to increased leadership or recognition.

For some students, it’s easy to find an activity that you’re passionate about pursuing. You might have a sport you’ve played since childhood or a long-standing interest in the visual arts. For other students, you may pursue Math Olympiad or a specific language club.

If you have an interest in international relations, your options will be fewer, but you aren’t out of luck completely. Model UN provides the opportunity to learn more about international relations through education, collaboration, and simulated UN sessions. If you are interested in learning more about Model UN, including what exactly participating in it entails and how you can get involved, read on.

What Is Model UN?

Model UN is a group that allows students to participate in mock United Nations sessions regarding real world international issues. The group was founded in 1920 and was originally named the Model League of Nations, but it changed names when that organization was succeeded by the UN.

Model UN exists worldwide, though there is some variation from country to country regarding how students participate and prepare. It also exists at various age levels, starting in middle school. For the sake of clarity, this article will focus specifically on how Model UN functions at the high school level in the United States.

Model UN is usually run as an extracurricular activity through an established high school team, but this is not the only way to get involved. There are also some independent teams, particularly in the case of homeschool students. 

Model UN clubs generally meet regularly throughout the school year to discuss and debate important global issues. Sometimes, teams will prepare for smaller Model UN exercises within their own school, while other times teams will prepare for larger regional, national, or even international conferences.

The culmination of the Model UN experience is a simulation of the United Nations General Assembly. In these simulations, students take on the roles of ambassadors from UN member states to debate current issues on the organization’s agenda. These debates include speeches, resolutions, negotiations, and conflict resolutions. All are carried out according to the Model UN conference rules.

What Is a Model UN Conference?

Model UN Conferences are often the most exciting feature of the Model UN experience. At these large, inter-school events, each school’s team represents a particular country and debates various issues in the best interests of that country. These conferences vary in size, but the largest are usually held over a period of consecutive days and are hosted at large hotels or conference centers. They become truly social events, with participants having plenty of time outside of the simulation to get to know one another.

The first stage in participating in a Model UN conference is preparation. This generally starts before you even register for the event. Before you registert, your team will need to decide which countries it is most interested in representing. Countries are usually assigned on a first-come first-serve basis, with schools listing their preferences when they register for the event.

Choosing a country is not a decision to be made flippantly. Some countries have more responsibilities than others, so you will need to take into account the experience level of your team and the scope of the conference. You may be more comfortable taking on a more significant role at a state or regional conference than you are at a large national or international conference.

While there are 193 countries to choose from along with numerous non-governmental organizations (NGOs), schools most commonly compete for the 15 countries on the Security Council, especially the five permanent members with veto power: China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States. New or less experienced teams often select mid-sized countries, which still play a significant role in debates without being overwhelming. No matter how large or small the country you represent, you will still have one vote in the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, and most other UN committees and agencies. For this reason, it’s worth remembering that even the smallest countries play an important role.

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The Model UN Resources site recommends that teams consider the following when selecting a country to represent:

  • What would your group like to learn from this experience?
  • Which countries would help to enhance this learning experience?
  • How does each country fit into the group’s course of study? For example, an advisor wishing to teach a course on economic development may wish to choose a developing or newly-developed economy.
  • How much of a challenge does each country pose for the group?
  • How familiar are the students in the group with each country or region you are considering?
  • Are there enough participants in the group to represent the countries you have chosen? Most conferences provide a matrix that lists the minimum and maximum numbers of delegates needed to represent each country. You may have enough members to represent just one country or several.

Once you have officially been assigned a country to represent, you will need to research the pertinent issues to be discussed at the conference. The Model UN Resources site provides some research tools to get you started, along with a Model UN Preparation Guide . 

Before a conference, participants are given specific topics or problems that will be addressed, which provides them with plenty of prep time to research and draft positions on these issues. Your team is often required to submit a position paper showing that you have a clear understanding of the dealings of your country, as well as its position on the issues that are being discussed at the conference. You can find more information about position papers along with a sample position paper available in the Model UN Preparation Guide.

At the conference, delegates from the school’s team split up to participate in different committees, where they debate and defend their country’s position and eventually draft resolutions. Depending on your role on your team and your team’s role in the conference, you might be responsible for writing and delivering an opening speech, compiling a research binder, or writing a resolution.

During the conference, delegates will take turns delivering speeches, participating in debates, and working with allies to draft resolutions to important global issues. After the presentation of resolutions, the committee votes on whether or not they want a resolution to be passed. 

At the conclusion of some conferences, special awards are presented to delegates who particularly stand out for the quantity and quality of their participation, compelling public speaking skills, or leadership in the committee.

Because there is no single international governing body for Model UN, different conferences will abide by slightly different sets of rules and take slightly different formats. If you are competing exclusively in the United States without international competitors, you will likely only encounter the United Nations Association of the U.S.A. (UNA-USA) rules and format, though it never hurts to check in advance.

If you go on to participate in international conferences, you can most likely expect the The Hague International Model United Nations (THIMUN) or the The United Nations Guide for Model United Nations (UN4MUN) format and rules. While these are similar to the UNA-USA format and rules, there are some significant differences, though none should be too jarring if you are already familiar with UNA-USA and know about the changes in advance. You should always know what kind of format and rules you’ll be expected to follow well in advance of any conference. 

Why Should I Join Model UN?

Model UN is a well-recognized and well-respected extracurricular activity. For students with an interest in history, political science, government, law, or similar fields, Model UN can help you to highlight those specialized interests on your application. If you are interested in pursuing international relations or learning more about parliamentary procedure and the interests of foreign countries, Model UN will be a great fit for you.

In addition, Model UN offers the opportunity to hone relevant skills that easily translate to success in the classroom. Throughout your participation in Model UN, you will research, write, present and debate. You will also practice and perfect your public speaking skills. 

Finally, Model UN offers a fun social dynamic. Through participation in larger conferences, you’ll meet interesting people who share your interests and may even become lasting friends.

If you are interested in international relations or are considering a career in government, Model UN is a great choice. Not only will you gain insight into the workings of the United Nations, but also if you can sustain your participation and build your skills, you’ll come out with an impressive extracurricular to match.

How Can I Improve at Model UN?

There are many ways to become a better team member and leader for Model UN. The most valuable is simply continuing to be an active participant at Model UN conferences. Be sure to stay actively engaged, asking questions from more experienced participants if you don’t understand what is happening.

There are also several online resources that you can refer to if you want to improve your written work or fine-tune your research. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the Model UN website , especially the Resources for Students link that includes valuable tools for beginners and experienced team members alike. The website Best Delegate also includes some great tips for preparing for conferences, including their guide to 15 Things Every Delegate Should Have in their Research Binder . 

Finally, be certain to check out the CollegeVine post, How to Win Best Delegate in Model UN . Here, we review Model UN’s Best Delegate award and outline some strategies for achieving it, including how to compromise effectively, communicate articulately, and assert leadership skills respectfully.

If you’re a student who’s beginning to think about the impact of extracurriculars on your college applications, or you’re just starting to consider which extracurriculars you should focus on during the remainder of your high school years, check out our  free guide for 9th graders  and our  free guide for 10th graders . Our guides go in-depth about subjects ranging from  academics ,  choosing courses ,  standardized tests ,  extracurricular activities ,  and much more !

For more information about extracurriculars and opportunities for students interested in government or politics, see these CollegeVine posts:

• Your Comprehensive Guide to Extracurriculars

• A High School Student’s Guide to Mock Trial

• A Guide to Taking a Foreign Language in High School

• A Guide to Excelling at Speech and Debate

• Should I Join Class Board or Student Government?

• Your Resume, Revamped: Securing Leadership Positions and Perfecting Your Extracurricular Profile

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Model United Nations Program, Pace University New York City

8.2 Model United Nations and Your Resume

Back to Handbook Contents page.

Excellent participation in a Model UN conference can be impressive when applying to internships, volunteer programs, graduate school or a job, particularly when they have a global, communications or political dimension to them. When you speak in an interview, write a cover letter or produce your resume, consider including the following applicable skills that you have gained by participating in the Model United Nations course at Pace University (fill in the underlined slots with the information relevant to your experience).

  • Worked with a partner on a position paper and served as a delegation at a national conference simulating the United Nations
  • Attended a national Model United Nations conference and acted as a delegate from the Argentine Republic
  • Conducted extensive research on a particular country to develop a position on topics Including illicit animal trade, sustainable energy initiatives, and climate change
  • Collaborated with a working group to create a comprehensive paper on the topic of sustainable energy initiatives
  • Delivered formal and impromptu speeches to a large group of people
  • Negotiated with a group of people on what to include in a working paper addressing the topic of “ Sustainable Energy for All ”
  • Led a working group of 15 people in the efforts of creating a draft resolution on the topic of “ Sustainable Energy for All ”
  • Practiced rules of procedure during formal committee sessions
  • Developed an understanding of how the United Nations operates through simulation
  • Practiced diplomatic skills when working with people that have a common goal of solving the issue at hand

  Example of Model UN experience in a formal resume:

In an experience section:

Pace University                                                    New York, NY

Model United Nations Member                              Sept. 2013 – Oct. 2013

  • Attended a National Model United Nations conference and acted as a delegate from the Argentine Republic
  • Collaborated with a working group to create a comprehensive paper on sustainable energy initiatives

In a membership section:


Pace University Model United Nations , Member                  Sept. 2012 – Present

Pace University Club/Organization, Member                         Sept. 2012 – Present

Jacqueline Kelleher for Pace University, 2013. Version 3.0 BETA. For information, permissions or corrections, contact Dr. Matthew Bolton, [email protected]

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Are you interested in politics or international relations and looking for a club that lets you do you hands-on activities? Have you heard of Model UN but aren’t sure exactly what it is?

Read this guide to learn everything you need to know about what Model UN is, what participants in it do, and how to decide if it’s the right extracurricular for you to join.

What Is Model UN?

Model United Nations, often referred to as Model UN or MUN, is an extracurricular most commonly for high school students, but also available to college and middle school students.

Model UN is a simulation of UN organizations such as the UN General Assembly, UN Security Council, UNICEF, and others. Its participants take the roles of ambassadors from various countries and debate current issues. Model UN was developed in the 1950s as a way to give students hands-on learning in international relations, diplomacy, and the United Nations. Over 400,000 students around the world participate in Model UN each year.

What Do Model UN Participants Do?

The core of Model UN is its simulations of UN conferences where students (known as Model UN delegates) role play as UN ambassadors and delegates. If you join Model UN, you will be doing a variety of activities, including researching, debating, and coming up with solutions with members of other countries. These simulations occur at Model UN conferences, which can be regional, national, or international. Conferences can have anywhere from 30 to over 3,000 participants.

When your Model UN team joins a conference, your team will be assigned a country and an issue relevant to that country that is currently being discussed in the UN. You can request a certain country, but you are not guaranteed to get it. For example, you may be chosen to represent Nicaragua at the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). At the conference you attend, you will have to convince the other delegates to make decisions in your country’s favor.

If you have a larger Model UN team, you may be assigned multiple countries or issues, and the team will break into smaller groups to cover each one. Conferences occur throughout the year, but you will be given at least a few weeks, and usually several months, to prepare your position before you attend the conference.

Before the Conference: 

In order to prepare for conferences, delegates must study the country and the issue they have been assigned and become well-informed on both.  Most conferences require you to write a position paper that outlines your country’s position on the topic as well as suggestions you have for how to resolve the issue.

If you’re representing Nicaragua for the ECLAC, you will need to research topics such as what sectors have the largest impact on the country’s economy, long-term and short-term economic trends in Nicaragua, if there are groups largely excluded from contributing to the economy (such as women or certain ethnic groups), who Nicaragua’s primary trade partners are, what the country imports and exports, and multiple other topics. After discussing these issues in the position paper, you will have to come up with ways to improve Nicaragua’s economic situation.


UN General Assembly Hall in New York City

During the Conference:

Students will be organized based on the committees or councils they are part of, so all the members of the ECLAC would meet together. Each group will have a chair who will moderate the discussions. The chair is often an older student or adult.

Delegates then give a speech outlining their country’s position on the issues and offering possible solutions. Most of this information will come from your position paper.  After each delegate has presented their country’s position and potential solutions, there are question and answer sessions and debates (known as “caucusing”).

The main goal during the conference is for your committee to develop a written resolution. After you have discussed different countries’ viewpoints, debated, and agreed on solutions, the entire group will work together to write the resolution. The resolution will explain the issue your committee is focusing on and give a series of guidelines in order to solve it.

After the resolution is written, the committee will vote on it. If your resolution passes, that is a mark of your committee’s ability to work together and compromise well.  Awards are also often given out at conferences to top delegates in each committee. These are often delegates who had well-designed position papers, debated effectively, worked well with other members, and took an active role in developing the written resolution.

How Can You Start a Model UN Group at Your School?

If your school already has a Model UN group, you can probably join it the way you would join any other school club.

If there is no Model UN club at your school, then you can also start your own. We have a guide that gives step-by-step instructions on how to start your own club , and we also have some specific tips for starting a Model UN club below.

First, you’ll need a teacher to act as the adviser for your Model UN club. When you apply to start a Model UN team, your school may assign a teacher, but, if not, consider asking a social studies teacher who likely has a strong background in the issues that Model UN discusses.

After you have recruited members and set up meeting times, the next step is to choose which conference(s) to attend. Currently, over 400 conferences take place all over the world. You can search online for conferences, and a list of larger conferences is also available here. For new clubs, you may want to choose a conference that is close to your school in order to make traveling easier and less expensive.

It’s possible for a Model UN team to sign up for multiple conferences, but if your team is just starting out, you may want to begin with only one or two conferences a year to make sure members aren't overwhelmed with work. Also, because new teams usually don't get first pick for what country they'd like to represent, if you'd like to represent a larger country like China or the US, you have a better chance of getting your first choice at a smaller conference. Be aware though that representing a larger country often requires more research and preparation.

Once you have a conference selected, your team will be assigned at least one country and committee to represent.  You can now divide up roles and begin researching.


What Are the Benefits of Joining Model UN?

Now that you know what Model UN is, what are the benefits of joining it? Model UN can be a great addition to a resume or college application, and I've discussed four of its most important benefits below.

Benefit #1: Hands-On Experience in Politics, International Relations, and Current Events

If you are planning a career in international relations, politics, or you’re simply really interested in these topics, Model UN is one of the best extracurriculars you can join because it gives you hands-on experience in these areas.  Most of the time, students interested in these subjects can only learn about them in class or by reading on their own.  While this is a great way to get more information, it usually isn’t a very interactive experience.

Model UN involves many of the same activities that actual UN delegates participate in, which is a great way to learn how different countries and committees work together to solve problems.  Model UN conferences also focus on current issues, so you will be learning about relevant current events that are likely being discussed and debated around the world.

Hands-on experience can make understanding ideas and concepts easier, looks stronger on college applications because it requires more work, and is often more fun to participate in as well.

Benefit #2: Improve Public Speaking and Debate Skills

During a Model UN conference, you will spend a lot of your time giving speeches and debating with other delegates, which can really improve your skills in these areas.

Public speaking and debate skills are useful for almost every career, so no matter what kind of job you want in the future, boosting your skills in these areas will likely benefit you down the line.

Benefit #3: Learn Teamwork Skills

Every step of Model UN requires teamwork, whether it’s dividing up research assignments, writing a position paper, or creating a speech. At the conference, teamwork becomes even more important because you must work with the other delegates to come up with solutions that everyone is happy with and write a resolution paper together.

Model UN delegates often gain experience in conflict resolution, consensus building, and negotiations, which are teamwork experiences many other clubs don’t offer.

Strong teamwork skills are very important to colleges because they want to admit students who will work well with their classmates and other students on campus. Having strong teamwork experiences such as the ones you can get through Model UN can help strengthen your college applications.

Benefit #4: Possibility of Travel

If you participate in Model UN, there is also the possibility of traveling to new cities or even new countries.  Model UN conferences are held around the world, and if your team can afford to travel to a foreign conference, you can get the added benefits of exploring a new place and culture, as well as meeting students from other countries.


If you join Model UN, you may get to travel to some exciting places for conferences.

So  should you join Model UN? If you have enough time in your schedule and are at all interested in international relations, politics, debating, or public speaking, then Model UN can be a great extracurricular to get involved in because it includes a lot of hands-on, relevant work and can be a strong addition to college applications. If you're still unsure, drop by a meeting at your school to get a sense of what joining the club would be like.

  • Model UN is a club for middle school, high school, or college students whose members simulate UN committees.
  • Model UN members are assigned at least one country and committee. They research the country and the relevant issues to prepare for a conference.
  • At the conference, students representing many countries and issues come together to debate their positions and agree on solutions.
  • Model UN is a great extracurricular for students looking to learn more about politics, current events, or international relations and for students who want to improve their public speaking or debate skills.
  • You can learn more about Model UN here.

What's Next?

Looking for other after-school activities? We have a list of over 200 extracurricular ideas , and it's sure to include something that interests you!

Considering community service or volunteer work? We have a guide to the nine best places to do community service!

Interested in more opportunities for travel? Read our guide on volunteer abroad programs and learn if they're really the best option for you.

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Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries.

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Pivotal- How Model United Nations (MUN) Changed My Life

Favorite Quote: "Don't compromise yourself, you are all you've got"--Janice Joplin

     “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." said Oscar Wilde. I always liked to believe that I am among the people who are gazing at the shiny dots in the beautiful night sky. The winking lights which seemed to spell out my fate and future if I squinted at them hard enough.     

Before  I get to the point, there are things that you must know about my country. Taiwan is a tiny island on the far west of the Pacific Ocean, miles away from the Western world. We try to go international, however, there are some controversial political issues on whether we are a real country. That is beyond my point here, what I wanted to say was, no matter what political stances we take, it is undeniable that we are deeply affected by the Chinese culture, therefore, the official language in our country is Chinese. A common phenomenon here is how people have polar opposite dramatic reactions towards Taiwanese English speakers. They either praise you with all their hearts or they despise you. Some deny this but that's exactly what I've personally experienced. Since this is such a disputable issue, let's just call it my personal background instead of something that's part of our "culture". I'm not here to discuss this problem right now though I am planning on writing an article on it some other time.

     That being said. Before fifteen, I wasn't shy or anti-social, nor did i have stage fright or anything of that sort. However, I would've been an absolute nobody if it weren't for the fact that I was loud and obvious because my best friends and I were a girl tribe who constantly chatted in English. To the rest of the school it was either miraculous or utterly obnoxious. Otherwise, I was completely invisible in the world of extracurricular activities. I didn't like to be held responsible for anything in public, not even for good things. I edited the school's English magazine but kept my own name out of it, putting my friends name as editor instead while I passed as "co-editor."     

I believe that the most life changing moments of my life that contributed to who I am now is how I chose to spend my fifteenth and sixteenth birthday. And it’s not because I lost crazy weight or turned amazingly pretty, even though it would've been nice if that had happened.     

On my fifteenth birthday, I wasn’t at a fancy birthday dinner but at GIS 2012. No, not Geography Information System, but Global Initiatives Symposium. There I met the most elite and creative graduates and undergraduates from all around the globe. We discussed into the night on our projects of designing products that could serve as feasible solutions to certain society problems. I first had my eyes opened to the unlimited possibilities of the world and actually started having the desire "to see and be seen." Above all, the people there led me into the world of Model United Nations(MUN).

     On my sixteenth birthday, I was in a relatively more birthday celebration kind of situation—at a soirée in a little black dress. However, it wasn’t my birthday party. It was the social event of HSMUN 2013, short for High School Model United Nations. Under the recommendations of the friends I met at GIS 2012, I went to my first MUN conference. There, I was submerged in a pure English environment, meaning that NO ONE gasped or made snarky comments when I spoke in English. It was incredibly liberating , unlike anything you could ever imagine. Finally, it wasn’t about what language I spoke in, but what I said. That, though, is far from the reason MUN changed my life for the better.

     MUN is a place where everyone actually cared about international news and affairs--very different from the people I usually get to meet at school. A place where each delegate is so competent it’s difficult to tell which one was better.There are students with one after another Ivy League early acceptances. Imagine sitting in a conference room, everyone dressed immaculately in western business attire, each representing a country while discussing a worldwide issue, trying to come up with a solution to a problem that even the world’s best diplomats and most revered experts cannot solve; attacking, defending, most important of all, compromising. Diplomacy, courtesy, a place where almost everyone (tries to) make the statement ‘ladies and gentlemen’ true. Researching, coming up with practical solutions, establishing consensus and drafting resolutions. For once, internet security, gender equality or the South China Sea dispute has something to do with YOUR decisions. Even though rather than deciding things according to your own opinion you have to speak and act entirely on the behalf of the country you represent, you are involved; even if your resolutions won’t be carried out by the actual UN in the end you’ve had your eyes opened to the different point of views and events in this world.

     We had heated debates that trained me to think faster. Also, representing countries that held different positions from my personal opinions enabled me to look things from different perspectives. At HSMUN 2013,  I absolutely fell head over heels for MUN. The same way any girl would be totally beyond herself on her first date with Mr. Darcy. (That is, if he really exists and without prejudice of course.)  It was summer, it was romantic and surreal, it also got hot and passionate but it was not a summer fling.

     If HSMUN 2013 was a memory beautified by my excitement as a first MUNer like how one might view a first date through rose tinted glasses, paging at PAMUN 2013 was the second date where you realize things are not the way you thought they were. They’re even better. Next, NYS 2014 was the kind of third date where you discover not only is this guy hot with nice abs (think Channing Tatum), and if he smolders again you might faint (think Ian Somerhalder), but he also understands you perfectly, is a suave gentlemen and all around awesome. Then it was YMUNT 2014, fourth date, he takes you to the best cupcake store instead of his favorite fancy restaurant because he knows that you love desserts. You figure that he’s a keeper and think “He is it.” (Wow, I just created the ultimate dream date, didn’t I?)

     Okay, so the last paragraph that got you drooling and melting was a description about MUN, not a man, sorry to disappoint you. I thought it was a pretty accurate metaphor. Now you get how I’m crazy about it.     

With every MUN I attended, my habits and life gradually changed as well. My daily must-read went from Hollywood Life to The New York Times. Instead of simply chitchatting about the latest episode of How I Met Your Mother I started to talk about the latest international affairs.      

Don’t let the above misguide you into thinking that we are boring and studies orientated. We can be incredibly fun. Ask any MUNer what his or her motto is. As far as I know, the mass of us seem to have reached a consensus: “ Work hard, play HARDER. ” so aside from seeing us composed and serious during committee sessions, you should also see us at the social events. Delegate dances always start off as a white tie occasion, a formal cocktail reception, delegates mingling and taking pictures. Or you can always go talk to that pretty girl you’ve been watching out for since day one. Then the music starts, the dance floor is opened and delegates start ballroom dancing. Before long, it’s party music blasting through the speaker. Girls are dancing in their dresses and stilettos, guys have their shirts pulled out of their pants and their jackets are nowhere to be seen. Sometimes you can catch delegates at bars or bistros on committee bar nights.    

  I admit though, MUN can be sleep depriving. I barely sleep at all each time I attend MUN. It’s not like I needed any. Every MUN was like a four day long adrenaline rush for me, whereas I need no food and no sleep. (Bonus: weight loss!)

     After two years of being in the world of MUN, I am now one of the most active extra curricular activities participant at school. I’ve been the local representative of culture exchange visits several times, I was also chosen to represent the school at numerous competitions and am an in the process of establishing a MUN club at school, in hope that what helped me find importance in my own being can help more and more people. I take credit for my accomplishments and responsibility for my screw ups. These are things I would’ve never done before the year of 2013. So yes, I do believe that joining MUN was the best decision I've ever made .

MUN really changed my life for the beter and I've been trying to promote it ever since. I wish that the rest of the world could benefit from it the same way I did. I really want to tell the story of how it changed me and why I'm so in love with it. It is difficult to be put into words but I tried.

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model un college essay

Competitive Model UN Essay

Model UN is a competition for some. Fact. The goal of a resolution is diplomatic achievement. Lobbying and persuasion are part of the gave. People who practice Model UN want to learn to be more effective.That is not to say that a Model UN committee can’t be a warm loving place. It should be a place to experiment. It can also have the education seeker and the competitor in the same room. Also, the competitor should realize that this is learning for real life and not go too low and also make sure they are learning as well.

I admit that I was very competitive, but ask all of my students and you will hear that I don’t drive competition in my classes, and try to create a warm environment in the class. A place to experiment and learn. However, if not for my competitive drive I would never have got the habits, skills and information I do. Also, after my competitive days ended, and I stopped the ‘mental working out in the gym of the Model UN in the same way, all I was left with were the hard-earned skills.

Competitive or not, what comes easy goes easy and to get these skills you will need to work and work hard. I see a MUN culture where we improve each other by striving to be better. I see rooms where people aren’t taking advantage of shy first timers but a room of 20 delegates who all have 20 conferences under their belt evolving and improving their game to further refine their skill. I see the working on skills to make them memorable in a room of perfect speeches, I see a room where everyone does their prep on everyone else and comes with clashes and calls to action ready to engage. I see a room where after a speech everyone has a proper assessment of their fellow delegates and each speech has multiple layers of subtext and a different message is heard by 6 different people, and each interpretation intentional. 

These skills can only come from practice and drive and I feel that it doesn’t matter if you’re coming from competition or curiosity. As long as you aren’t immoral, and don’t bribe or get someone else disqualified, and play within the very stretched confines of the game, it doesn’t matter why you’re doing it. You will respect who is good and who is serious, whether they are competing or not. In the end, you will respect who is good and who worked hard. In the end, you might be friends with this person, and it will be because of the quality of their actions and not their intentions.

This book can be used for competitive Model Uners. This book can also be used by people who want to study and better understand the human psyche and what makes people tick. This book can be used by curious people who want to understand the complex world of Model UN. I don’t discriminate and think all should be accepted. If you put in the work, gain the skills and love what you do all the power to you. In Model Un people can get hurt, and sometimes we fail, get outmaneuvered and don’t achieve our goals, whether by being bested or because of mistakes we made. 

This is how things work in real life as well. Pain is part of the process. Model UN isn’t about a safe space from some aggressive or strategic diplomats. We are lucky that at the end of the day no one pays the price for our wrong choices, even if we unanimously decide to bomb a country or dismantle all the nuclear power plants in the world. The place to do with, with others, is the safe space and biosphere which you will not find anywhere else. This is the place to try and learn and experiment. This is the place to put yourself out there, lose and learn. I have seen students of mine get “destroyed” only to learn from it and, with a specific committee, I chaired in mind, watched all of my students who “lost” in that room ALL take the best delegate at the next conference they took part in.

The specific story I might recount later in this book but the moral here is clear to me. You can’t make an omelet without breaking some eggs and what you do here, both for those who put a little and those who put a lot, will last a lifetime. Don’t be afraid of hardship. Do your best and love what you do. It was this environment which changed my life and instead of thinking who is competitive or here for the wrong reasons, this who can I learn from. Who, when I watch them is an artist at work? When we engage with the greats, we become better. Engage with the greats. Even if they have different motivations than you do, or the same when it’s done you will have lessons and stories that you won’t find anywhere else. Go get them.

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Articles & Advice > Student Life > Blog

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Why Model UN Is the Perfect High School Extracurricular

What is Model UN, why should you participate, and how can it help prepare you for college? Find all the answers to these questions and more now!

by Hannah Chen CollegeXpress Student Writer

Last Updated: Aug 10, 2023

Originally Posted: Apr 15, 2021

Throughout your high school career, you’ll encounter a multitude of extracurricular activities, but one of the most significant is Model UN. As the Public Relations Officer for my school’s Model UN Club, I may be biased in saying this, but Model UN is the perfect extracurricular no matter your college or career goals. But what exactly is Model UN, and why should you join? Read on to find out more about this organization, how to start a club at your school, and why it looks great on college applications.

What is Model UN?

Model UN is an opportunity for students to simulate the UN General Assembly at school. It’s like a form of debate, but rather than arguing about niche topics, Model UN focuses on coming up with solutions to real-life problems the world faces. United Nations Association of the United States of America puts it best: in Model UN, you will “prepare draft resolutions, plot strategy, negotiate with supporters and adversaries, resolve conflicts, and navigate the UN's Rules of Procedure—all in the interest of mobilizing ‘international cooperation’ to resolve problems that affect almost every country on Earth.” You can visit unausa.org/model-un for more information.

What do you do in Model UN?

Model UN chapters have the opportunity to participate in national conferences, which have committees for all interests. There’s GA3 for beginners, UNEP for environmental delegates, CCPCJ for pre-law, WHO for pre-med, and so much more. Depending on the length of the conference, each committee generally tackles one to three pressing issues our world is facing. Each student is a delegate, representing a country and giving speeches on that country’s stance on a topic: what the country’s policies are, what they’re currently doing to fix it, and what their future plans are.

By the end of the conference, delegates will have worked together within blocs—countries with similar ideals to each other—to come up with resolution papers for each topic. The resolution paper is a result of hours of compromising all the bloc’s countries’ interests, beliefs, and future plans. In between these intense sessions of debating, compromising, and solving world peace, you get the opportunity to be with your friends or make new friends with students from all over the country—and in some cases, all over the world.

Related: 3 Easy Ways to Pursue Your Passions in High School  

Why should I join Model UN?

If solving world peace with a hypothetical resolution isn’t enough of a reason for you, here are some other reasons to join this extracurricular. Model UN teaches life skills that you can apply to any major or career goal. By participating in Model UN, you will:

  • Improve your research skills as you explore your country’s stance on a topic;
  • Nurture your creativity as you come up with resolutions;
  • Foster your leadership skills as you lead a discussion
  • Develop your interpersonal skills as you compromise with others;
  • Strengthen your public speaking skills as you present your research; and
  • Learn more about current events as you gain more insight into the issues our world is facing.

Opportunities for leadership

Model UN also has endless opportunities for leadership roles to put on your résumé. Not only are there club positions, but most conferences are student run and backed by a nonprofit. Students have the opportunity to apply for prestigious secretariat roles or staffing positions. Secretariats are a nine-person team who essentially run the whole conference, taking care of logistics, finances, media, and other aspects. Staffers are the “Dias” in committees, meaning they run each session and make sure the committee is following UN Rules of Procedure.

It’s fun!

On the nonacademic side, Model UN is a fun chance to spend more time with your friends outside of school while doing a productive activity. During conferences (in non-COVID times), you can stay with your friends in a hotel and spend the weekend debating serious world issues, hanging out, and pulling all-nighters together.

Related: 5 Quick Tips to Help You Choose Your High School Extracurriculars  

How will Model UN help me get into college?

Model UN looks great on your high school résumé and college applications. If you’re a delegate, you may have won a few awards, which show off your ability to communicate well in writing, compromise with others, and speak eloquently. If you’re on staff, it indicates strong leadership skills, responsibility, and maturity. Both will show eagerness to learn about current events and dedication to solving current global issues.

Something for every interest

For students interested in international relations or political science , Model UN will be a great extracurricular for you. It’s hands-on experience in the world of politics, and since Model UN follows the same rules as the real UN, it’s as close to the real thing as you can get. Still, whatever you plan to major in, Model UN has a committee for you. There are STEM topics like sustainable space mining, what to do with nuclear waste, or reducing maternal mortality. For future Business majors, there are committees specialized to economics; for Art majors, there are topics on repatriation of art works. The point is, there are topics to fit all types of interests. Model UN gives you exposure to the very global issues you’re going to college to solve.

Boost your college applications

Beyond that, most larger Model UN conferences hold a college workshop, which is a great networking event to meet local admission officers. When writing your college applications, you can detail your experiences in Model UN and what you’ve learned from it. Admission officers are looking for quality over quantity in your extracurricular involvement , and Model UN is an activity with a lot of possibility for quality, allowing you to learn, lead, and develop as a student.

Related: How Extracurriculars Benefit Your College Applications  

My school doesn’t have Model UN—how do I start a program?

Most Model UN programs are school-affiliated clubs, but a lot of successful teams can be independent. To start a school-affiliated program, you should follow the normal procedure at your school to start a club. If you need a club advisor, I’d recommend a history or English teacher—someone who is generally interested in current events and helping start this type of club. For independent programs, you’ll just need a group of people who are interested in Model UN and willing to pay the conference fees.

Tips for a successful club

After you’ve started the program and recruited members, I recommend splitting them into two groups: ones that are complete beginners and ones that have some experience. The most intimidating part of Model UN is the Rules of Procedure, which are tedious and have a bit of a learning curve. During meetings, you should focus on teaching Rules of Procedure and having mini-committee sessions with the more beginner members. For the more experienced members, try mimicking a real conference and going through an entire topic from a first speakers list to the resolution paper.

Related: Top 7 Benefits of Joining Model United Nations in College  

Model UN is a vital extracurricular activity that any student can participate in. It fosters skills that are applicable to all majors and careers and is an amazing opportunity to discuss solutions to current global issues with fellow students. Furthermore, it offers endless opportunities for leadership roles and looks impressive on your résumé. No matter your goal, Model UN will be able to help you in some way, and I hope you consider participating!

Learn about more great extracurricular options that can strengthen your résumé by clicking the “extracurricular activities” tag . 

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About Hannah Chen

Hannah Chen

Hannah Chen goes to a STEM-oriented high school. She hopes to major in Biomedical Engineering on a Pre-med track and eventually become a doctor. Hannah has a multitude of interests and currently holds leadership positions in HOSA, Key Club, and MUN. She also volunteers and works as a tutor, teaching English or Java. Outside of school, Hannah enjoys all things creative, like painting, crocheting, and keeping up with the latest fashion trends. She's currently busy binge-watching Gilmore Girls for the third time.

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Texas vs. Washington odds, line, spread: 2024 College Football Playoff picks, prediction from proven model

Sportsline's computer model has locked in its college football picks and prediction for the texas longhorns vs. washington huskies in the 2024 allstate sugar bowl on new year's day.


One team will advance to play for the national title, and one team will go home for the offseason when the Washington Huskies and Texas Longhorns collide in the 2024 Sugar Bowl on New Year's Day at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans. Washington (13-0) enters the game on a nation's-best 20-game winning streak and is two wins away from the program's second national championship of the poll era and first since 1991. Meanwhile Texas (12-1) is back in the national title hunt after 13 years of mediocrity and is making its first appearance in the College Football Playoff. The winner of Monday's game will advance to the College Football Playoff National Championship Game next week in Houston. 

Kickoff is scheduled for 8:45 p.m. ET. The Longhorns are 3.5-point favorites in the latest Texas vs. Washington odds, while the over/under for total points scored is 61.5. Before making any Washington vs. Texas picks,  you need to see the college football predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's proven computer model .

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every FBS college football game 10,000 times. Since its inception, it has generated a strong profit of well over $2,000 for $100 players on its top-rated  college football picks  against the spread. The model entered bowl season a profitable 13-9 on top-rated spread picks. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on Texas vs. Washington and has locked in its picks and predictions. You can visit SportsLine now to see the model's CFB picks . Here are several  college football odds  and trends for Washington vs. Texas:

  • Texas vs. Washington spread: Longhorns -3.5
  • Texas vs. Washington over/under: 61.5 points
  • Texas vs. Washington money line: Longhorns -176, Huskies +146
  • TEX: Longhorns rank second in the FBS in third down conversion percent defense (0.265)
  • WASH: Michael Penix Jr . leads the country in passing yards per game (324.5)
  • Texas vs. Washington:  See picks at SportsLine   
  • Texas vs. Washington: live stream:  fubo  (try for free)

Why Texas can cover

The Longhorns have one of the country's best defensive players in tackle T'Vondre Sweat . A freak athlete for his size at 6-foot-4 and 362 pounds, Sweat has set career highs in tackles (42), solo tackles (17), tackles for loss (eight), sacks (two) and pass breakups (four), while adding a blocked kick. He has anchored a unit that ranks second in the country in third down conversion percentage (26.5) and third in both red zone conversion percentage (71.4) and rushing defense (80.8 yards per game allowed). For his efforts this season, Sweat won the Outland Trophy and was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year.

In addition, Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers is coming off arguably the best game of his college career. In the Big 12 Championship Game rout of Oklahoma State , the former five-star recruit completed 35-of-46 passes for a career-high 452 and four touchdowns against only one interception. On Monday he will face a porous Washington defense that gives up 263.2 passing yards per game, which ranks 120th in the country.  See which team to pick here .

Why Washington can cover

Running back Dillon Johnson enters the game on a roll. Since Nov. 1, the junior running back from Greenville, Miss., has rushed for 683 yards, which ranks third in the country, behind only Missouri's Cody Schrader (810) and UCF's RJ Harvey (704). He also has eight rushing touchdowns over that time, which is tied for seventh in the country.

In addition, the Huskies have a pass-rushing force in Bralen Trice . The 6-foot-4, 275-pound junior from Phoenix leads the team in sacks (five), tackles for loss (8.5) and quarterback hurries (14). For his efforts this season he was named to the all-Pac 12 first team.  See which team to pick here .

How to make Texas vs. Washington picks

SportsLine's model is leaning Under the total, predicting 59 combined points. The model also says one side of the spread hits over 50% of the time.  You can see the model's CFB picks at SportsLine . 

So who wins   Washington vs. Texas, and which side of the spread hits over 50% of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has notched a profit of well over $2,000 on its top-rated college football spread picks , and find out. 

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Reflecting on mun: 10 tips on how to write your college essay.


Every year, high school seniors across the US and around the world craft their college application essays and personal statements. They’re sharing their life experiences with people they’ve never met who will make a decision that will impact the rest of their lives. For students, parents, and teachers, this is a stressful time.

I remember how difficult it was to write my college application essays and personal statements. I wrote plenty of essays for classes, the SATs, AP tests, and IB exams. I could write about almost any subject in an hour or less using a standard 5 paragraph structure. But there’s one subject I didn’t learn how to write about: myself.

In Model UN, I’m thankful to have found the experience, help, and inspiration that helped me through the college application process. I reflected on my role as a Secretary-General leading a 200+ person program that had seen 5 different advisors in 3 years. I reached out to MUN alumni who were attending the dream schools to which I was applying. And while writing my essay, I realized that Model UN was a way for me to express myself.

College application essays and the personal statement are opportunities to write about meaningful experiences. Not every high school student who does MUN should write about it. But if you read Best Delegate, then Model UN is most likely a meaningful part of your high school career. If so, then here’s a question that might help you:

What does Model UN mean to you?

This question is not intended to be the actual prompt for your essay, but more of a starting point for brainstorming topics. What is it about Model UN that means so much to you? There’s probably something you get out of MUN that relates to other, more personal areas of your life.

Do you have a story – MUN-related or not – that says something about you? A powerful story will evoke some emotion from you – that’s how you know it’s meaningful. And if you communicate it well, then whoever reads your essay will feel some of that emotion, too.

Let’s frame the college application essay and personal statement by boiling them down into their simplest form: a piece of communication. You are telling another person something important about you. This means that you need to A) know what’s important about you, and B) describe it in a way that’s easy to understand and remember.

With this framework in mind, here are 10 tips on how to write your college application essay and personal statement:

Know What’s Important About You 1. Seek solitude. The only way you’re really going to understand yourself is to be by yourself. This means being physically alone – in your room, in a library, or at a park – as well as mentally alone – turn off your cell phone, sign off Facebook, unplug the Internet. You want to be in a place – literally and figuratively – where you can be undisturbed and able to reflect.

2. Make time. You can’t rush self-reflection – it takes time. And you can’t schedule it by blocking off a couple hours on the weekends. It’s more of a daily exercise, even if it’s only 5 minutes – as long as it’s 5 minutes of solitude.

3. Search your feelings. As you sit down to brainstorm essay topics, your mind might wander to recent events, tasks you need to do, or something completely random. Instead of cycling through different thoughts, focus on your feelings. Since you’re in the throes of college admissions, you might be anxious, nervous, or afraid. Push past that. Think about how you got to where you are – to this point in your student career, to where you live now, to your personal situation – and see what emotions that brings up. Different stories or images might come to mind that are associated with what you’re already feeling. These are potential topics for your essay.

4. Give yourself perspective. After getting emotional, try becoming detached from your experience. Examine yourself from points of view other than your own. Question your assumptions. You might learn something new about a situation you thought you knew. This might be a way to demonstrate personal growth in your essay.

5. Be authentic. At the end of the day, you have to be honest with yourself and in your essay. The college application is not a test; it’s an examination. A test checks to see whether you know something about a subject or not. An examination is a chance to show what you know. In this case, the subject is you. College is rooted in ancient Greek philosophy, and one important lesson is to “know thyself.”

Be Easy to Understand and Remember

6. Share a story. Stories are easy to remember because they’re logical – they have a beginning, middle, and end. You start by describing a situation; you continue by explaining an event that changed the situation; and the end is a personal lesson. Start with a small example and then draw larger meaning from it.

7. Set a theme. The academic metrics, extracurricular activities, and other interests on your application might look like they have nothing to do with one another. The essay is a chance to unify the different parts of your application by drawing a common thread between them, i.e. the things that are important about you.

8. Reach out for help. Remember, the college application is not a test – it’s okay to ask for help. Share your essays with people you trust. You want feedback from people who know you and are strong writers. Ideally, they attended or currently attend the colleges to which you’re applying.

9. Write multiple drafts. You might have several potential essay topics, different ways to write about them, and tons of feedback from various people. The only way you’re going to know what works is go through the exercise of writing multiple drafts.

10. Relax. The most important personal lesson I learned through Model UN is that you can’t worry about the things outside your control – who’s in your committee, whether your chair likes you, if you win an award – you have to focus on the things within your control – getting up to make a speech, doing the best you can at a conference, having fun.

This lesson applies beyond Model UN – decisions made by admissions committees are outside your control – choosing to apply and putting together the best application you can are the only things within your control. Strive, don’t stress, for success – let success come to you. And realize that college admissions does not define you – you do. Put together the best applications you can, submit them, and enjoy your final year of high school.

I know that these tips are difficult to practice, but so is the college admissions process. The most difficult things to do are often the things most worth doing. I try to practice these tips as I write my own Best Delegate articles, which often begin as personal statements and end as personal lessons. I didn’t learn how to write about myself in high school, but I’ve had to figure it out as I’ve devoted more time to this blog – and I’m still learning. MUN is an inspirational experience – that’s what Model UN means to me.

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