The Model United Nations club had an eventful and productive trip to New York City, where they attended the National High School Model United Nations (NHSMUN) conference. The experience was educational but also facilitated bonding time among the students and strengthened their self-confidence.
On Thursday, the group took Amtrak from DC to NYC, and upon arrival, they familiarized themselves with the subway. Once they arrived at their hotel, they ordered pizza and went to bed early to prepare for the upcoming days.
The following day, the group ate at Ellen's Stardust Diner, where students enjoyed breakfast along with musical numbers before visiting popular tourist spots like Times Square and the Grand Central Station. Next, they went to the Summit at Vanderbilt, which offered a breathtaking view of the city. They had the unique opportunity to take a private tour of the UN later that day. A BISW parent who works at the UN helped organize the tour, so it was an opportunity that other schools did not have, allowing BISW students to learn more about the history of the United Nations and its role in the international community. It was an absolute highlight of the trip. In the evening, the students attended the opening ceremonies at the UN. They heard engaging talks from Csaba Kőrösi, the President of the UN General Assembly, and Achim Steiner, the UNDP Administrator, and then had their first session.
On Saturday, the students spent the whole day in sessions at the UN. At one point, they heard from a youth speaker involved in refugee work, and it inspired the students to help others and make a difference. They also had a chance to sit on the UN General Assembly room floor, where ambassadors usually sit, to feel the sense of importance and excitement in those chairs. On Saturday night, the students on the crisis committee had a particularly intense crisis session at 12:30 PM and worked together until 4:00 AM to resolve it. This exercise gave the students a glimpse of what happens in real life when international crises arise at nighttime.
The students enjoyed delicious meals throughout the trip at various NYC eateries, including Ellen's Stardust Diner, Wagamama, and Carmines. One day, Year 12 students had free time to explore the city independently, while others visited Rockefeller Center and shopped on Fifth Avenue before having ice cream.
The trip was educational but also fostered camaraderie and social connections among the 5,000 participants from around the world. On Sunday, there was a delegate social where all MUN groups came together to celebrate their achievements from the week and interact socially outside of committee sessions.
The MUN trip was a success and had a lasting impact on the students. By encouraging the students to step outside their comfort zones, the trip helped participants challenge themselves and grow in confidence. As a result, our students returned with wonderful memories that will inspire them to pursue other opportunities to learn, grow, make new connections, and demonstrate the characteristics of responsible global citizens.
Thank you to School Counsellor Devon DeCataldo, MUN General Secretary Verity and MUN Director General Chiara for sharing details about this exciting trip.