Chronicles of college Model UN

As a Scripps student I have had the opportunity to dabble in various 5C/4C clubs, however, one that has stayed a consistent part of my college experience is Model United Nations. I joined the Pomona Model UN team (4C only because CMC has their own) during the fall semester of my freshman year. As someone who had never done Model UN before, I didn’t expect to make it out of tryouts. But, for reasons unknown to me, I made it on the team! 


While the PCMUN has provided me with some incredible experiences, today I want to specifically talk about conferences and traveling. You heard that last part right – traveling! Because of the nature of college Model UN, our team travels quite a lot to compete. During my freshman year – the team traveled to UC Berkeley, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Chicago. The best part? Costs for travel, hotels, and food are covered. As a college student, I did not think I would have the opportunity to travel – so being able to do so all expenses paid WITH some of my closest friends has been amazing. While the 6 am flights can be a little insane at times, I would not trade them for a thing. 


Besides travel (though I have stories to tell for days), I also want to touch on the conferences we attend. What is a conference? If you already know then I apologize for re-explaining, but I was personally quite confused when I first heard the term. I know it sounds super official, but a conference is just a fancy way to say competition or tournament. It’s the part where you do all the Model UN things. They’re usually hosted in hotel conference rooms or college campuses, and they are the perfect opportunity to whip out your business and/or lawyer-esque clothing (if you so wish). To be honest, when I first saw a ton of college students in business attire I was a bit scared. However, that fear quickly dissipated when I realized that Model UN is just an opportunity for students (including myself) to play dress up. Moving on from dress-up, conferences are an excellent way to meet students from other schools. At my first conference alone I was able to meet students from UChicago, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Harvard, USC, and Emory to name a few. College Model UN has helped me create a cross-national network of friends. While competition is present, the nature of the activity requires collaboration. This dynamic can make for some pretty unique experiences. My favorite conference activity is to get morning coffee with my teammates or Bloc partners.  


While this world of diplomatic role playing and competition is still something I’m exploring, I cannot imagine my college experience without it. From Game of Thrones to the United Nations Security Council, this activity has something for everyone.


Jannat Verma ’26