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29/11/2022 - 08:11

MUN - A useful academic playground

MUN, where young people participate in discussions on many areas in life, is increasingly growing and attracting young people with the desire to learn and gain knowledge.

Discussing a solution to the problem

An attractive playground

I still remember my time learning in the university; our lecturer once divided the class into small groups. On the topic of learning about the impact of climate on the countries in the Mekong River region, we simulated many different countries and debated to gain benefits for our own country.

It was a very interesting experience, my classmates and I had to take time to thoroughly research about the topic requirements, and prepare strong arguments for the debate. Later, I have found out that the assignment was based on MUN model.

The MUN (also known as the Model UN) is an acronym for Model United Nations, a model simulating United Nations conference. In MUN, participants simulate the representatives of countries to discuss and decide on various issues of the world on that country's stance.

Appeared in Vietnam since 2014, after about eight years, MUN has attracted many students, who are interested in global issues such as economy, security, health, environment, society, and technology, etc.

Covering a wide range of knowledge, many MUN programs are organized by universities and high schools across the country, namely the IVMUN (International Vietnam Model United Nations, held in Hanoi), and the DYMUN (Da Nang Youth Model United Nations, held in Da Nang), etc.

In Hue, Quoc Hoc MUN Club of Quoc Hoc High School for the Gifted, which was established in 2019, has attracted the participation of many high school students in the province. In recent years, the club has also regularly attended the IVMUN and the DYMUN events.

MUN simulating a United Nations conference

“The knowledge used in MUN covers a great many fields such as security, economy, technology, health, and education, etc., and we have various options of councils to choose when participating in the MUN events. For example, the WTO Council requires knowledge of international economy, the NATO Council requests knowledge of security and defense, while the OPEC Council requests knowledge of the oil market, or the IPCC Council requires the understanding of environmental issues. This is also a very good opportunity for us to gain knowledge, understand and explore the issues from many different perspectives,” shared Vo Thuy Hien, a member of the Quoc Hoc MUN Club.

Beside annual MUN events, the Quoc Hoc MUN Club also regularly organizes small-scale "roundtables" in the school, with the aim to improve knowledge and skills for its members.

Enhancing soft skills

In the recent summer, Thuy Hien attended the DYMUN 2022 event for the first time, which was held in Da Nang City. She was overwhelmed by seeing people in formal clothes, and passionately discussing great issues in English.

This is because the MUN is a simulation model of the United Nations conferences; all of the participants should dress neatly and politely, as well as exchange and discuss the issues in English. "After getting to know everyone, I was less overwhelmed and could confidently deliver my arguments," said Thuy Hien.

“To participate in the MUN events, we need to prepare ourselves with a certain amount of knowledge about the world situation and international relations, especially English language competence,” shared Nguyen Thanh Truong Tuan, a student at Hai Ba Trung High School.

“During the MUN events, the organizing committee will provide materials and research guides on the topics, helping participants obtain a basic understanding relevant for the discussed issues,” Truong Tuan added.

In addition to knowledge, MUN participants need to be confident and conversant with rules to deliver their addresses in front of crowds, as well as argue to defend their point of view.

“There have been many unfortunate situations. The participants were well prepared with knowledge, having a good understanding about the rules, but they were not confident and they could not say anything. Even if you are confident, but not sure about the knowledge and the rules, you still face a lot of trouble during the conferences," explained Truong Tuan.

On top of the confidence, the participants also need to use many skills at the same time, including the skills of communication, debate, criticism, negotiation in English, research, teamwork, leadership, and arrangement, etc.

“For young people pursuing diplomacy and international relations, like me, MUN is a chance to meet people with similar passions and interests. MUN also gives me an opportunity to become a diplomat wearing formal clothes, behaving and talking in a diplomatic style, expressing my views on issues from the perspective of the country, thereby creating a more objective and multi-dimensional view of the world," said Thuy Hien.

In the era of globalization, the playgrounds, like MUN, become the useful platforms where young people can connect their passion, gain knowledge, foreign languages, ​​and soft skills.

Story and photos: DANG TRINH

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