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Monday Memory: Model United Nations

By Nick Yates, ISB Communications

The International School of Beijing’s (ISB) involvement with Model United Nations (MUN) goes back decades, so it’s no surprise that this academic simulation of one of the world’s most important diplomatic organizations stands out in the memory of many alumni.

MUN sees students role-play delegates from various countries and debate solutions to real-world problems against peers from around the world. It develops skills including critical thinking, public speaking, collaboration, and leadership. The pictured “MUN wall of fame” at ISB charts how MUN students travel far and wide for events.

Meanwhile, the Beijing MUN (BEIMUN) conference at ISB was founded in 1993. It is entirely student-led and is one of the most highly regarded high-school MUN conferences globally.

Spencer Shia got hooked on debate and public speaking with MUN at ISB. He said MUN and organizing and speaking at a Ted talk event “made me think about subjects more deeply in finding arguments for every angle. It helped me learn to communicate more efficiently.”

Click here for some more recent examples of ISB community members speaking at events affiliated to the U.S. media organization TED, which has been providing hugely popular talks by thought leaders worldwide since the 1980s.

“I had an opportunity to travel a lot with Model UN, with debating,” Spencer Shia said. “I went to Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur, the Hague, Paris, Singapore. I was exposed to new people who were very knowledgeable and intelligent, and I was able to understand different perspectives.”

ISB also has Middle School and Elementary School MUN clubs (the latter launched just last year), so many more generations will have formative experiences like Spencer’s.

MUN is just one of many things that make us proud to be celebrating 40 years of ISB. In 2020-2021, everyone is invited to join in marking the 40th anniversary through a range of events. Check out  the Celebrating 40 web page for more details, and please send your photos and memories of ISB to celebrating40@isb.bj.edu.cn for your chance to be featured in one of these articles and in the Celebrating 40 Exhibition.

ISB is an extraordinary school, made so by a tradition of educational excellence spanning 40 years. Establishing, nurturing, and growing such an exceptional learning community has been and remains intentional; we work hard to build strong relationships so our learning is at its best.

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