“NHSMUN sets the standard that MUNUC, BMUN, HMUN and NAIMUN need to follow. Smooth, knowledgeable, focused and elite. You guys are what others hope to be.”
NHSMUN is the world’s most diverse high school conference and has been routinely recognized as having the best quality substantive program available to students. It features the best-trained staff on the circuit, made up of MUN experts from leading colleges and universities across the globe, each of whom has undergone IMUNA’s accredited and rigorous training course. Because NHSMUN is attended by some of the most talented MUN delegates from around the world, it consistently features some of the highest-level debate on the MUN circuit.
Our location in New York City exposes students to one of the most prominent cultural centers of the world. Delegates can experience rigorous debate against the UN backdrop in the same day as they attend a Broadway Production or visit one of New York’s leading museums, such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Natural History.
However, the NHSMUN experience isn’t just created by the staff. At the conference, delegates also have the opportunity to meet and befriend students from dozens of other countries. Sometimes these students are from the country they are representing at the conference! Here are five reasons why you might enjoy NHSMUN:
1. The Students – With students attending annually from more than 70 countries, and more than 130 countries since the conference’s inception, NHSMUN promises a diverse mix of attendees who can provide insightful perspectives and new ways of thinking: exposure to which most students are not accustomed on a frequent basis. Coming together in New York City, the conference represents the global mindset required in today’s society and the future generation to come.
2. The Staff – Our Directors and Assistant Directors spend hundreds of hours throughout the year researching their committee topics to provide relevant background and research information for our students. In order to ensure that debate during the conference is robust and realistic, the dais for every committee produces an extensive background guide to assist the students with their preparations. They also engage the students prior to the conference by requiring a position paper and providing detailed feedback for each delegation. Whereas university-run conferences only recruit staff from their own university, NHSMUN is privileged to recruit some of the most talented MUN experts from the world’s top MUN programs. In fact, NHSMUN’s staff this past year has featured top students from 21 out of the top 25 US universities as ranked by U.S. News and World Report. Having such an experienced and passionate staff is what has earned us consistently high ratings for substantive excellence from our delegates and teachers.
3. The Committees and Topics – While many other conferences are becoming almost entirely crisis-focused and adding a plethora of non-traditional UN committees, NHSMUN commits to traditional United Nations bodies and committees which stress substantive debate of the most pressing issues in the world today. We believe that students benefit most from such debate and real-world topics, and that NHSMUN provides the perfect environment for serious and informative discussion on a global scale. We further believe that MUN should be about diplomacy and cooperation rather than competition. As such, we prioritize the educational aspects of the MUN experience, not an environment where students are only focused on “winning” the competition. Our students, often years or even decades later, tell us that the learning experience they had at NHSMUN was transformative in their lives and helped them develop the skills they needed to identify their areas of passion and pursue their future careers.
4. Deep Immersion into the UN System – NHSMUN offers deep, immersive exposure to the UN system. First, each of our topics is taken from the agenda of the bodies that delegates are simulating, and our research materials frequently refer delegates to actual UN reports and press releases. Thanks to our close proximity to the New York Headquarters of the UN and the surrounding offices, NHSMUN delegates have unparalleled access to professional diplomats and NGO executives who are available to teach students about the issues they are studying. Our staff works around the clock to arrange meetings between students and the actual UN Permanent Missions of the countries they represent at the conference. We also arrange for each committee to receive at least one briefing from a UN or NGO expert who takes live questions from delegates and works with them to craft realistic, authentic draft resolutions. At our 2019 conference, we were honored to host representatives from UN organizations including UNICEF, UNESCO, and UNHCR, as well as NGOs including the Thirst Project, Médecins Sans Frontières, and MUN Impact. NHSMUN also engages students through a Service Learning Project, in which we partner with a non-profit organization which shares our goals of improving the global community.
5. The NHSMUN Experience – The conference is perhaps best known for the “NHSMUN Experience” for which delegates and faculty return year after year. This experience captures the many ways in which NHSMUN is more than just another weekend debate event. From the time that students receive their country assignments to the final rap of the gavel at closing ceremonies, NHSMUN teaches students valuable critical thinking and public speaking skills and prepares them for success in a myriad of fields — all while forming valuable friendships and memories that will last a lifetime. NHSMUN offers a very personal experience for both our delegates and faculty. Our staff is extensively trained throughout the year to cultivate open and inclusive environments in their committees so that all delegates are encouraged to participate. We also offer an extensive training program before debate begins with specialized sessions tailored to both brand new and highly experienced delegates. This way, all students can come to NHSMUN to improve their craft at the level most appropriate for them, with beginners and experts alike being pushed to the next level by the talent of their peers. For faculty, our administrative team works around the clock to quickly address any questions or provide support for each school participating in the conference. Whether a teacher is looking for support leading students through the research process, or simply trying to find tickets to a Broadway show while in New York, our team is here to help at each step of the way. In a review of our 2019 conference, one advisor said, “As a brand new school among hundreds of others, you made us feel like we were the most important team here. This level of service is a major factor for us in choosing conferences.”
“I attended NHSMUN as a delegate during all four years of high school, two of them as president of my Model UN Club. As the last stop on our conference circuit each year, NHSMUN always stood out to me for its professionalism, prestige, and values. Unlike other conferences we attended, NHSMUN was not organized by a university, instead selecting the best-qualified staff from around the world. Without such a heavy emphasis on awards and competition, the conference was free to push a focus on education. Personally, NHSMUN helped me improve my public speaking skills, and the rigorous position paper guidelines coupled with well-researched background guides educated me in world affairs and research methods long before I attended university. My years with NHSMUN shaped me as an adult, and I can definitively say I would not be the person I am today without this incredible organization.”