While many students were celebrating and enjoying Chinese New Year with their families and collecting red packets, I, together with four other students and a lecturer, embarked on a journey to Harvard University in Boston to take part in the Harvard Model United Nation 2012 (HMUN 2012). This event is part of the SP Outstanding Talent Programme, managed by the School of Communication, Arts and Social Sciences (CASS). The team comprised students from the SP Business School (SB), the School of Digital Media and Infocomm Technology (DMIT), as well as from CASS. It is an event that we had spent hours preparing for and have been looking forward to since applying for it in September.
HMUN is a simulation of an actual United Nations Conference where students from around the globe are no longer individuals but delegates representing countries or organisations. They debate on and write resolutions that tackle many issues plaguing the world today. I represented the NGO, Transparency International. My main roles were to persuade member countries to accept certain policies drafted by other member nations, and offer the support and expertise of my organisation.
Procedure and protocol aside, I learnt to be more diplomatic in the way I act and react to things. Throughout the conference, I realised that in order to achieve the best solutions to the issues we debated on, I had to work with others, understand what the other party wanted and then make compromises while upholding my organisation’s fundamental missions and beliefs.
Because it is about being diplomatic (l to r) – Yuewei (SB),
James (DMIT), Writer (SB), Stephanie (SB) and Zi Ying (CASS)
What I enjoyed most during this trip was the companionship of my travel mates. Throughout the trip, we kept a look out for one another, explored Boston together, had our meals together, discussed and exchanged ideas for the conference topics and encouraged one another to endure the long, gruelling hours of the conference. The phrase “going through thick and thin” has never been so meaningful and it is such deep friendships forged that added value to the entire experience.
Other than the conference, we also visited historic sites like Quincy Market, the Harvard Museum of Natural History, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and, of course, Harvard University itself. We even met up with former SP student, Kuriakin, for dinner where he shared his experiences in Harvard.
Starting The Day Right with a Good Breakfast –
A Gastronomical Escapade at Charlie’s Sandwich Shoppe
If I had to sum the entire trip in one word, it would be “enriching”. It was a trip where lessons were not only learnt in the conference, but also from our preparations and the day-to-day activities in Boston. Tough as it may be, it is a trip that I will definitely remember.
It was really fascinating to experience how students around
the world with different culture and perspective work so well
together to tackle critical issues in the world.
Written by SPOT student Nicholas Tei