Carina Babenko ’22 (left) and Kaisia Williams ’19, at United Nations Headquarters, representing Tanzania at the 2017 National Model UN conference in New York City.

Model United Nations is an opportunity that I believe every student should take advantage of. Participating in the 2017 National Model UN conference in New York City offered the opportunity to meet and work with a variety of different minds from all around the world. College students from places ranging as far as only a few counties away to countries like China, came together to share ideas and thoughts about issues that impact the entire world. Getting to experience everyone’s viewpoints which were so different from my own was refreshing and enlightening. Thanks to this conference, I have created friendships with amazing people I never would have gotten to know otherwise.

I was representing the country of Tanzania in a simulation of the UN General Assembly Third Committee on Social, Cultural, and Humanitarian issues. This meant a majority of my time was spent researching and learning more about the depth and severity of these issues, along with the impact that they bring to the international world. Being more knowledgeable in this area only fueled my interest and drive to participate in advocacy in the real world, showing that Model UN can affect parts of your life that you may not have expected it to.

The amount of teamwork and compromise necessary for diplomacy to be successful is usually overlooked but it was a central part of the realistic simulation that the conference delivered, and genuinely put you in the shoes of an actual diplomat. After spending multiple days working with other delegates, finally being able to see your policy ideas become integrated into a final product truly made all the hard work feel extremely rewarding.

Participating in this kind of conference is immensely beneficial to anyone even remotely interested in diplomacy, policymaking, and international relations, and leaves only positive lasting effects on everyone who tried their best.

— Carina Babenko ’22