Natalia Villarreal ’21 (front row, fourth from left, holding certificate), along with other Pace University NYC students at the 2018 National Model UN conference in New York City.

The first few weeks of Model UN class, I felt like I was missing something that everyone else understood. I was writing a position paper, but I didn’t know why. As a delegate for Papua New Guinea, I was researching migration in Libya, but I couldn’t find any connections. I would turn to the background guide, but I didn’t know what exactly I was looking for, and with such a plethora of information, I had no idea what was actually important.

But it all became clear once we started the simulations. Mock sessions on Fridays Friday classes were really helpful for that. As time progressed, things became less ambiguous, more simple, and the workload less. The Head Delegates, my MUNtor, and everyone else in the class, was beyond helpful and willing to answer any and every question I had, no matter how small. They were an enormous help throughout the whole semester and the conference too.

The 2018 National Model UN (NMUN) conference in New York was not at all how I expected it to be — it exceeded my expectations. I met all sorts of interesting people, who spoke a myriad of languages, and were from all over the world. It was draining at times, stressful, intimidating at first, and too, too early, but never disappointing.

I learned so much about the United Nations as a whole, what diplomacy is, and the ins and outs of policy making. I also learned more about Papua New Guinea than I ever thought I would know in my life (which is really cool!). I learned that I am more patient than I have ever given myself credit for, and that I can , in fact, give a speech to a room full of people, albeit enduring a small heart attack in the process. It was a great learning experience that
I would recommend everyone try at least once.

— Natalia Villarreal ’21