ISY Learning Story

SEASAC MUN Conference & the ISY Learner Attributes

Recently, some of our High School students attended the South East Asia Student Activities Conference (SEASAC) Model United Nations (MUN) Conference in Vietnam. MUN is an academic simulation of the United Nations. Students play the role of delegates from different countries and attempt to solve real world issues with the policies and perspectives of their assigned country. For example, a student may be assigned to Brazil and will have to solve global topics such as nuclear non-proliferation or climate change from the policies and perspective of Brazil.

Something important to know about MUN is it is all student run. Students act as delegates and chairs and are responsible for running the entire conference. After the students returned from the conference, three of our MUN delegates, Esther, Kazumi and Alex shared their perspective on the conference and how our ISY Learner Attributes enriched their MUN experience.

Collaboration

Everyone was helping each other with how to prepare, and we encouraged each other as we prepared. Through all parts of MUN we had to collaborate! It takes a collaborative effort to come up with solutions and resolution speeches. When writing resolutions delegates need to collaborate because everyone thinks differently and to hear and listen to all the ideas. In order to write an effective resolution we had to collaborate and actively listen and engage with others.

Not only do delegates need to collaborate with the people representing your country, we need to collaborate with delegates representing allied countries because some people are more experienced than others. By collaborating with a diverse range of students from a range of different international schools we learned so much from others and their perspective and experiences. It was a very eye opening experience!

Image from SEASAC MUN

 

Compassion

We were all new to MUN, so we had a lot of questions! Everyone was really understanding and showed compassion. It was a ‘high level’ conference with many experienced delegates. However, from the Secretariat team to the chairs, they all showed compassion. We were really nervous, but with everyone being so respectful it gave us confidence to speak up and participate. We always received feedback from the people we were working with. Experienced delegates would alway respond positively and help the newer delegates. Even though the experienced delegates knew so much more than us, they were really patient and helped us. When you had a comment or had a question, the Chair always said, “Thank you for your question delegate”. 

We all were on the receiving end of compassion. It was important to be diplomatic and“maintain decorum.” It was just expected that we were to be respectful and mindful of others.  MUN has helped us become more compassionate and has provided us with a fuller view of the the importance of being conscious of other countries’ perspectives.

Communication

Communication was non stop. The whole conference  was all about communication and how to communicate effectively. We had to give speeches, share thoughts and ideas and communicate in a professional and respectful manner. Compassion, respect and communication all tied in together. 

Because this was our first time at an MUN conference, we needed to ask what was going on all the time. The more experienced students would explain things in a very clear and concise manner. There were disagreements, but everyone kept them professional and not personal. Arguments sometimes got heated but the speakers were eloquent and professional. 

After the first day, delegates shared feedback on the conference. The Secretariat reflected on and took the delegates’ feedback and improved things for the second day. Through clear communication, the second day was much better than the first. 

Courage

Speaking in an MUN setting takes courage and the positive support everyone received from other delegates helped give you that courage. Some students had five to ten years of experience. Alex said to himself, “I’m new. I need to loosen up and not feel scared of what people are thinking. I am here and I need to make the most of it.” It was important to push yourself out of your comfort zone. The compassion of all of the MUN delegates help you feel confident. Compassion helped us have courage and take risks and build confidence.

Critical Thinking & Creativity

Delegates have to think critically at MUN. We are forced to see others’ perspectives. Our critical thinking skills improved throughout the conference. Delegates asked questions that made you think and we had to come up with creative and innovative solutions. We had to get allies to agree and align your views with those of other countries.

Points of Information (POI) required creativity. A POI is asking questions pertaining to the speech. After hearing the POI arguments of others, we could hear POI’s become more specific and would dive deep into the resolution. This helps delegates to think critically and conceptually. The speeches were creative and spontaneous. Listening to the experienced students helped us learn to make our speeches more compelling. By actively listening to speeches we would have to think about how to respond with questions to speeches that challenged our views.
The MUN experience requires students to think critically and creatively. Students can not learn these skills through rote learning. They have to think on the spot and solve a resolution by listening to others’ perspectives and questioning. Why? How? Who?

MUN made us realize the importance of thinking about where your sources of information are coming from. When researching, looking at sources from other nations, and not just the western nations was important. Research skills and analysis are really important and the whole MUN experience really challenges your own established views.

Chair persons from SEASAC MUN

 

Reflection

Throughout the conference we constantly reflected on the process. During breaks we chatted with friends and would share what happened in our committees.We were constantly thinking about what went well and what didn’t go well. We would have passionate discussions and our POIs. With the POI’s we would adjust our views based on what has been said. A good POI challenges delegate by thinking deeper and adjusting.So much growth happened throughout the weekend and through reflection we grew in confidence, learned to think more creatively and critically, and improved our collaboration and communication skills. We had set goals before the conference and we all far exceeded our goals!

We will host the Yangon Model United Nations (YMUN) this weekend. Esther will be a delegate and Alex and Kazumi will be chairs. Reflecting on our experience at SEASAC MUN and what made us feel comfortable as a delegate in Vietnam has helped us think about what we want to do to make our delegates feel comfortable at YMUN. SEASAC MUN was such a great experience and we are supercharged for YMUN! We want to create the same compassionate environment for delegates in Myanmar.

 

The International School Yangon
20 Shwe Taungyar Street
Bahan Township
Yangon, Myanmar

+95 (0) 9 880 441 040

office@isyedu.org

FUNDRAISING GALA

The 5th Annual ISY Fundraising Gala is scheduled to take place on Saturday, March 30, 2024, at the PARKROYAL Hotel Yangon and will be in their Yadanar Ballroom starting from 6:00 pm. The theme will be The Garden of Hope. The Gala supports and links to ISY’s strategic theme of Sustainability. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor of the event, please see this linked sponsorship document with the sponsorship packages and form. Any questions regarding sponsorship should be directed towards our Advancement Associate, May Su Yadana Bo (mbo@isyedu.org) or +95 9 880 441 040, +95 9 964 210 248. You can also see further details about ticket purchases for the event on our ISY Gala webpage and Facebook Event page.