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BSc International Relations student, Andy Chan Yi En, reveals why the HNMUN conference gives participating students a global edge
The SIM GE team
Representing Singapore, the SIM GE team put on red and white country colours in preparation for the conference
To see a bond being formed through the shared passion to attempt to solve real world issues by putting ourselves in the shoes of world leaders, is in and of itself beautiful

The Harvard National Model United Nations (HNMUN) is a four-day conference and collegiate simulation of the United Nations organised by Harvard University every year. It is the oldest, largest and most diverse student-run Model United Nations conference in the world.

This year, the conference brought together over 3,000 students and faculty from various universities worldwide including those from the Ivy League. Since 2013, SIM Global Education (SIM GE) has been sponsoring students to attend this prestigious conference and sent its fifth delegation this year.

The SIM GE team standing by the statue of John HarvardSIM GE’s 10-member delegation, which were tasked to represent the nation state of Mongolia, comprised local and international students pursuing undergraduate degrees in Business, Communications, Economics and International Relations.

The student advisor Mr Andy Chan Yi En, a University of London BSc (Hons) International Relations student, had spearheaded months of intensive preparation leading up to the conference. This included extensive research as well as procedural and substantive training, which gave students the opportunity to practise diplomacy and equip them with the art of negotiation in a conference setting. (Pictured left: the SIM GE team standing by the statue of John Harvard in the Harvard University campus; Andy Chan Yi En is pictured on the right in the red jacket.)

The conference provided an experience which is exclusive to HNMUN. Participants in this simulated environment were assigned countries whose political positions they would represent, then collaborated with fellow delegates to formulate, analyze, and debate policy on a range of global issues affecting the international community. The level of competitiveness and quality of conversation in a regulated environment is difficult to replicate in Singapore. Within that intense setting, our delegates were challenged to bring the best out of themselves. 

Just like international diplomacy in reality, the conference has its twists and turns too. Circumstances kept changing over the span of the four days. At one moment, you may have the support of your allies; the next moment, your alliance could break away. Such a case is not uncommon and when it occurs, delegates have to be quick to think on their feet and take immediate actions or risk getting sidelined. 

Johan Ruslan

The International Affairs Society SIM Model United Nations Programme ensures delegates are well-equipped to handle adversities and are able to conduct themselves professionally. Most importantly, this beyond-the-classroom experience has certainly provided the students with a ‘global edge’. The surest way to becoming a global citizen is to begin participating in the global community.

Johan Ruslan (pictured left), a first year University of London BSc in International Relations student, said: “Overwhelmed but we overcame it as a team. Some of us performed exceedingly well. And I couldn’t be more heartened to see members of the team return with such positive experiences and renewed interest in the programme.” 

Sakhi Mehta

Sakhi Mehta (pictured right), a first year University of London BSc Economics and Management student, added: “To be able to see a connection between nationalities that come from either first world or third world countries being made, and a bond being formed through the shared passion to attempt to solve real world issues by putting ourselves in the shoes of world leaders, is in and of itself beautiful.”

  • Andy Chan Yi En is a second year University of London BSc International Relations student. He is Vice President for Diplomatic Conferences at the SIM International Affairs Society.
  • SIM GE is an Affiliate Centre for the University of London International Programmes.
  • Find out more about studying for a University of London degree in Singapore.