By: Harry Halem
July 8, 2015
I came into World Model United Nations (WorldMUN) prepared for anything in debate. I knew I would need to be at my best to perform at a high level in debate and collaboration with engaged and intelligent minds from nations around the globe. However, I realized that the opportunity I received to interact with people from other countries and cultures, as well as my time spent with the Georgetown team, was by far the most important, and enjoyable, aspects of my time at WorldMUN.
After committee on Thursday, I found myself waiting for the delegation from Australian National University to get a snack, and then found myself on the Seoul metro with one Australian, one Finnish national, and a Libyan studying in the United Kingdom. Aside from the usual political topics that any Model UN-er loves discussing, we started talking about our home countries and college experiences. Although Georgetown has an international focus, I did not gain a true understanding of “internationalism” until that moment, talking with three other college students from across the world. It served as a reminder that people are so much more than their politics, and that our similarities stretch across continents and oceans. I don’t remember what my Finnish friend said about the European Union, but I do remember that he has hiked across Europe and loves nature. I remember the accents that my Australian friend mimed, and my Libyan friend’s vivid description of his mother’s cooking.
Model UN in the United States is a unique experience, a social experiment that cannot be described in writing. The same faces appear on the circuit, meaning that we get to know a small group of dedicated, intellectual, and creative individuals who are deeply enmeshed within the community. Travelling internationally showed me more than a new set of faces. It showed me that the dedication and commitment to diplomacy I have come to know and love in the United States is alive and well abroad. As a freshman, embarking on my Georgetown experience, I am excited for the opportunities that will come when I leave the Hilltop. And I hope that I will be able to exercise this spirit of diplomacy to make the world a better place.