Mathew Clarke, Hamburg MUN (December 2012)

Mathew Clarke, an MA International Relations (International Political Economy) Student in POLSIS took part in the Hamburg MUN (December 2012).

In December 2012 I went to Hamburg to take part in a Model United Nations (MUN) Conference with the MUN Society at the University. The experience was eye opening allowing me see how to apply the topics I had learnt at Birmingham to a real world event. While I had been to other non-MUN conferences, which were not with the university, both in the UK and around the world this was a truly unique event."

MUN is a conference where each person is asked to represent a country on different mock United Nations committee (or sometimes a committee from a different international body). The committee is then given 2 topics to discuss over the course of the 4 day event and each delegate is required to present the views of the country they represent with regards to these topics. I was tasked with representing Qatar on the Arab League and our committee was interesting to say the least. From diverting war between the Arabic Countries to discussing how best to deal with Syria many ideas, some ludicrous and some pure genius, were thrown around.

While this was a conference that ran from 9am each day to around 6pm each night, there are also social events every evening which normally leave you getting in at around 4am, grabbing a couple of hours sleep and then waking up and fighting off the inevitable hangover to get yourself into the conference on time. While I came back with very little sleep and was mostly running on adrenaline this conference was a massive success.

Aside from learning, in depth, the topics we discussed it was also a great place to network. As you spend so much time with the people in your committee you get to know them very well as well as the people who came to conference with them from their respective universities. When you add to this, the people you meet at each social you end up with a wide variety of contacts in many different countries (I think I met people from pretty much every country in Europe, as well as further afield).

HamMUN is a great starter conference for anyone interested in MUN as for approximately 80% of people (including me) this is their first MUN conference. I am pleased to say I won a distinguished delegate award too which topped off this amazing event.

Degrees and course information