A group of seven Texas A&M International University students are preparing to make their way to Puebla, México for WorldMUN (Harvard World Model United Nations) 2008 where they will meet with delegates (students) from all over the world March 24-27 and engage in a simulation of the practices, actions and debates of the real United Nations.
WorldMUN is the most diverse college-level Model UN conference and the largest outside of North America that provides delegates an understanding of the responsibilities and benefits of global citizenry. This gives students the opportunity to become immersed in a different cultural setting while participating in the world’s most realistic simulation of the United Nations.
“At the conference, we will get to interact with different students from different universities from other countries while we represent and focus on a certain country and their domestic issues and how those issues reflect international policies,” explained Christina Hernández, TAMIU marketing major. The TAMIU delegates were assigned Guatemala because each group of delegates is assigned a country where they do not live or may have not visited. This is done so delegates will learn more about other countries, issues of global import and themselves.
“While doing the research, I came across things I never knew. We’re representing Guatemala and we had to think like Guatemalans,” exclaimed Christine Cortez, TAMIU accounting major. “I didn’t know anything about Guatemala. I didn’t even know Mayans lived there. I knew they were in México, but not Guatemala,” added Cortez.
“This was a challenge because most of us didn’t know anything about Guatemala, so we had to do a lot of research, but not only about one topic or issue. We had to research everything relating to Guatemala—literacy rates, GDP, populations, what they grow, what they don’t grow, their industries. We have to know a lot about Guatemala and think like Guatemalans because we’re going to represent the country and speak about the issues alike Guatemalans,” said Gerardo Castellanos, TAMIU student majoring in business administration.
“As my fellow delegates pointed out, the research process was a challenge, but it’s worth it. In addition to learning about a whole different culture and their history, we have to come up with strategies and resolutions for the topics we’re going to discuss at the conference. That’s a challenge for me because in addition to learning something new, I also have to analyze the information and come up with strategies,” said Rosalie Aguilar, TAMIU marketing/finance major.
This trip was made possible with the support of scholarships provided by the Office of the President, Office of the Provost, Office of Institutional Advancement and the Division of International Programs.
WorldMUN began in 1991 when a group of internationally-minded students at Harvard sought to create a new forum to bring together fellow students with an active interest in global affairs and debate the issues confronting the international system.
Every year, 1,650 college students from more than 42 countries attend WorldMUN in a different location around the world. Last year, TAMIU students visited Geneva, Switzerland for WorldMUN.