Being a diplomat is an art in itself. You have to be polite, professional and willing to compromise. At all time. This may sound like a major challenge to many people, nevertheless, it is said that for one job vacancy as a diplomat there are around 100 applicants. However, if you are just interested on how it would be like as a diplomat, I can introduce you to the right project!
The United Nations. Everyone knows the institution, but only a few know the number of fields the organization is working in. As a student of political science, I am fully aware of the fact that the institution majorly contributes to the stabilization of the world order. Probably every student has heard of at least one of its programs, but only some have knowledge about the variety of jobs the UN has to offer. However, I personally have to admit that, although I knew what the UN was, I never really informed myself about the projects and opportunities it offers to students around the world.
A lecture changed it all
One day in a political science course, two young students held a presentation about the opportunity to join a delegation of the Club of Hohenheim and to participate at NMUN NY – the National Model United Nations in New York. This is a project where students from all over the world come together, each delegation representing one United Nations member country. The preparation for the project would take around 4 months and the highlight would clearly be the final 4-days-long simulation in Manhattan, New York. The two students immediately convinced me – not only due to the great possibility to visit the United Nations Headquater in New York, but also because of the high number of preparation meetings. I just knew this could help me in so many ways to grow and to enlarge my knowledge, so I decided to apply. No sooner said than done. And I was right. Looking back at that time, I can honestly say it was one of the best decisions I‘ve made at university so far.
Now you‘re probably asking yourself: How can I apply and what do I have to do?
The opportunity for everyone to participate
The most essential factor first: you don‘t have to be a student of political science in order to become part of the delegation. In fact, it doesn’t even matter if you‘re doing your Bachelor‘s, writing your Master‘s Thesis or if you‘re striving for a different degree. The only requirement to participate is to be matriculated at a university in either Stuttgart, Vaihingen, Hohenheim or the Hochschule der Medien for instance, they are open for everyone! After an application process in which you have to write an essay in English about a certain topic, there is a high chance to get invited to an interview with the three current faculty advisors. 17 of the applicants will finally be chosen to become part of the new delegation. The whole process usually takes place in August or September and the preparation meetings start in October. During the next months, you will definitely experience an eventful period of your life! You‘ll participate in weekly sessions in which you‘ll learn a lot of useful information about your committe, how to hold concise speeches in front of an audience and much more.
Being a diplomat is not easy
So now I want to share my experience with you. After a few months of preparation, it was finally time to fly to New York. Some friends of the delegation and I made use of the opportunity and travelled to Colombia before heading to New York. Our flights weren’t really expensive, so it definitely was the best decision we could make! Arriving afterwards in New York City, our Study Week started only a day later. During this time, we visited many interesting places, like the German and Russian Embassy or a German TV channel based in NYC. Besides, we attended many briefings at the UN Headquater which were about the United Nations committees and programs. This first week was super exciting, as we could also visit New York’s most famous sights, beaches and buildings.
In the second week, the „real life“ started with an opening event for all National Model United Nations participants in the Sheraton Hotel in Manhattan. Again, I realized how many international students participated in this a project. It was incredible. Afterwards, all delegates went to their committees and the diplomatic sessions began. The following days were great, I got to know many students from all around the world, we worked together in groups in order to be able to write a resolution at the end. To find a compromise with so many different people representing all kinds of countries who pursue their own interests was surely not the easiest thing, but when you see the final resolution, you just know all the debating was worth it!
More than just business
One main aspect which is barely mentioned in the NMUN intoductions is the friendships that emerge inside the delegations! Our group from Stuttgart and Hohenheim was characterized by such a diversity with students having their origins all over the world! Even today, more than a year later, some of the delegation members are very good friends of mine. I even visited one of them recently in Canada!
Now it’s your turn
If all this made you curious and eager to participate at the project as well, I’m giving you the important details of the whole journey right here.
Preparation time: About half a year. Depending on the application process, it roughly goes from August or September until February.
Date of the simulation: Usually late March/ early April.
Financial aspect: You normally have to pay your flight to New York yourself, but as the simulation takes place in March/April, the flights only cost around 450 Euro or even less. In addition, we had to pay a deposit of 350 Euro because you don‘t have to pay for accomodation during the two weeks in New York. The delegation always looks for sponsors, but you never know in advance how much you‘ll be able to get. After the trip, our delegation for instance got a part of the money back.
What do you need to do? Check the NMUN homepage or Facebook page regularly in order to get information about the application process, or come to the Dies Academicus at the University of Hohenheim, July 7, to get further details. Usually you only have to write an essay and pass the interview.
The facebook page of Club of Hohenheim: https://www.facebook.com/NMUNHohenheim/?fref=ts
I hope I made you curious about the whole project. It‘s not only a possibility to educate yourself further, but also to get in touch with so many people from all around the world!
Everyone can do this, so don‘t hesitate and apply when it‘s time again!