Model NATO 2018 was one of the most valuable experiences of my life. As a mature student doing a masters in International Development, doing something so politically focused was out of my comfort zone. However, the regular meetings running up to the trip were interesting and invaluable for helping me prepare for the model.
Washington DC is a fantastic city, and the ideal location for the model. With such a rich political history, exploring the sights was exhilarating and gave me a better insight into American politics. UoB were representing Germany in the model, and so on the first day we had the opportunity to visit the German Embassy. We met two military personnel who presented us with the German position on some of the topics that were likely to arise in committee. It was a great experience to see inside an embassy and speaking with officials complemented the background research we had already done.
I was on the newly introduced Crisis Committee, which met on the Sunday morning to discuss and address a simulated crisis that had unfolded over the course of the Model. Because of this, I could attend the other committees to provide support to other delegates and therefore gave me a holistic experience of the convention. The crisis itself was complex and realistic, and therefore gave us all a true vision of the kinds of dilemmas that NATO have to deal with. Meeting all the different students from the various universities was great, and the conferences were fast-paced, exciting and informative.
The entire experience afforded me some fantastic skills and experiences that I would not have had otherwise. Being active in the committees meant that I excelled my presentation skills and built my confidence, and being among so many other represented nations, each with a different set of priorities, meant that negotiation was key. Working in a team alongside the other UoB delegates was truly wonderful. Not only did we build a strong team to successfully represent our nation in the model, the social aspect was great and I left with life-long friends. I could not recommend the experience more.