In this serial we will find out what it is like to study at United Netherlands: the Delegation, a by the Radboud University accredited and hosted course of 10 ECT.
As we are speaking to Pim Jager (26), master’s student Science, Management and Innovation at the Radboud University, he is about to start his first hour-and-a-half MUN session. He is well prepared and is excited to begin. ‘In a minute we will simulate the Security Council. The issue today is that the president of Burundi has nominated himself for a third term and is viewing each protest as an act of terrorism. The UN needs to interfere, but how? I will represent Uruguay and I will participate in the negotiation as if I am a diplomat of Uruguay. Yesterday, I read a lot about Uruguay and now I know that they are oriented with a western view, highly educated and predominantly catholic. Also, they used to be a Spanish colony. I never knew these things before.’Don’t say ‘I’ or ‘eh’
Simulating the UN is serious business. When Pim gets a chance to speak, he stands up, buttons his suit and begins by greeting the chairs and other delegates. The screen behind him shows a big clock: Pim has got exactly 1 minute speaker time. Just like other delegates he looks confident while giving his speech (in English of course). Even though Pim gives a speech like it’s his daily job, he (and the other delegates) still get criticised in between sessions. The critique comes from Nina, trainer of the Delegation, board member at United Netherlands and former participant in the Delegation. ‘What did we practice?’ Nina asks. ‘You stand up straight, make big hand gestures, you don’t say ‘I’ or ‘eh’. You stand out! Show yourself! That is wat we have been practicing and you have shown to have grown in this. Now I want to see it as well’.
Pim keeps his head cool. ‘You get a lot of feedback here, it’s very nice. It’s just like watching a movie of yourself, first you feel awkward, but if 30 people also let themselves be vulnerable you’ll get rid of that awkward feeling very soon. I learn a lot. This is exactly what I like about this course: you do more, you work hard and you create more value. This is much more valuable than just a high grade, this makes me grow’.
Pim is one of the 30 students participating in the course United Nations and Multilateral Diplomacy: Theory and Practice of United Netherlands. For short, ‘the Delegation’. During six months, he will be trained in public speaking, diplomacy, leadership and negotiation. He will need all these skills when participating in conference simulations of the United Nations in Oxford and Harvard. Pim and his fellow ‘delegates’ will represent a country during the simulations of the UN, known as a Model United Nations (MUN). They will try to solve global issues by keeping the policy of their ‘own’ country in mind.
In the next episode, we will follow Dylan and Pim in their first Model United Nations in Oxford!
Article by Radboud University