A Memorable Trip to New York for the KISJ MUNers - Dragons News

Thursday, February 22, 2018

A Memorable Trip to New York for the KISJ MUNers

By Amy C. (G.10)

Committee in session.
Photograph by Mr. Nick Harris
As the new year began, Korea International School Jeju (KISJ) students attended the Columbia Model United Nations Conference and Exposition (CMUNCE) held at Columbia University in New York. For about a week, KISJ students from grades 8 to 12 stayed in New York not only to participate in the conference but also to enjoy the different culture and food they could not experience back at Jeju. 

On the first day, January 8th, all the students and Mr. Harris gathered at Incheon airport to head out for their journey. Everyone seemed really excited and ready to leave at first, but they soon felt very tired after arriving at New York due to the long flight and jet-lag. All students were advised to go to bed as soon as possible for their early schedule in the morning the next day: ice-skating at the Rockefeller Center. Luckily, the weather was perfect for this outdoor activity, and everyone enjoyed ice-skating as though they were children free of worries and stress. Then, after eating lunch nearby, everyone headed back to the hotel to rest for a few hours, so they could spend their afternoon in Times Square, the major commercial intersection and tourist destination located in Midtown Manhattan of New York City. Students split into groups and enjoyed bright, bustling New York.

After eating and shopping at Times Square, it was time for the Broadway Show, ‘Wicked’. The show was wonderful indeed; the actors demonstrated great acting and singing skills that mesmerized the audience. The powerful show lingered in the students’ minds for hours after. 

The Security Council located in the UN Headquarters.
Photograph by Amy C. (G.10)

The second day was a busy one. Students split into two groups to either visit the American Museum of Natural History or the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was a great opportunity for the students to directly experience the amazing artworks and large-scale sculptures. In the afternoon, students visited Times Square, adorned with flashing neon lights and giant billboards that reflected New York culture once again. It was a great way to end the second day at New York City.

Finally, the CMUNCE came close at hand. The KISJ students started their third day with the United Nations (UN) tour. They had the privilege of visiting the UN headquarters and learning more about the UN itself. Students were busy taking pictures and posing in front of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council as well. The UN tour strongly reinforced to students the purpose of this trip and highlighted the important needs and current world issues that need people’s greater awareness.

Later that day was the opening ceremony for the Columbia Model United Nations Conference and Exposition. Wishing each other luck, the KISJ students went to their own committees and were ready to start the conference. For the next few days, students met new friends from other parts of the world, debated, wrote resolutions, and interacted with one another to combat world issues. CMUNCE was mostly composed of crisis committees in which the actions the delegates took directly affected each update and influenced the eventual result. Unlike the traditional General Assembly and specialized committees, crisis committees do not operate on a static timeline. Although crisis committees operate very differently and have separate rules, the KISJ students did not give up, but rather seemed to enjoy the challenge. They found their own ways of getting used to the unfamiliar system. Students were not afraid of the fact that for most of them, it was their first time participating in the crisis committee and that many people in the committee were very fluent in speaking English. Rather, the KISJ students expressed approval of the high quality of the conference and proclaimed that it was a wonderful opportunity for them to experience something they could not have experienced before. Currently, Jimin K., a freshman who showed great passion in MUN, commented that “the experience of attending a MUN conference, in my opinion, was a valuable experience.” She was able to “get closer to people with the 10th, 11th, and 12th graders who also went on the trip.” Jimin believes that the “CMUNCE trip was very educational and helpful.”

At night gatherings, students would individually share the overall flow of the committee and any dynamic happenings that occurred throughout the day. At the end, everyone agreed that their hard work and effort definitely paid off as the conference gave students each a valuable lesson. Jewoo H. from 12th grade, who won the best delegate in the CMUNCE and showed great achievement for the past few years as a delegate and a chair, said that “the level that the other American students brought to the conference was incredibly high” and that he had a lot of fun. He was glad that he could end his last high school MUN experience as a delegate.
About the author
Amy C. is a grade 10 student at KISJ.  
She is a current Journalism student.

A week at New York went through like a breeze, and students wished they could stay longer. Though they are now back at school with loads of homework, tests, quizzes, and projects, the KISJ MUNers will never forget this memorable experience at New York. More ideas are coming up for future overseas MUN conferences that everyone can’t wait for. CMUNCE was indeed a great start to 2018.

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