Alumni Voices: How PANAMUN Shapes Lives

For  many  ISP  students,  graduation  closes  a chapter  in  their  lives,  and  they  leave  behind extracurriculars like MUN. However, for ISP graduate Sara Bivin (Class of 2004), PANAMUN and the Model  UN  experience has remained a part of her life. In an interview, she offered a glimpse of just how much PANAMUN has grown over the past decade. ( Sara is now a teacher in California USA, where she helps lead the MUN program. When asked to find an international conference for her student's to travel to and participate in, the answer came almost naturally. Why not go to ISP?)

I:  How  do you think PANAMUN  has grown since your last time participating?

S: So the last time I participated as a delegate was in 9th grade, I think I was Israel, and after that I got involved with the press. So it’s grown a lot, there are schools coming from so many different places now, it’s involving the middle school, which I think is awesome, the committees seem just so much more developed,  the movement of the conference, it’s all much more professional.

I: How do you think MUN, in general, has helped you grow as a person or any skills that you may have developed?

S:  Definitely  staying  up  to  date  on  current topics and seeing how important they are and how relative they are and just how important it  is  to  know  what’s  happening  to  people  all over the world and  not  just  being  consumed by your own issues  or  what’s  just  right  in  your  neighborhood or community. I think, in terms of skills, definitely public speaking,  writing,  research skills, I think it really equips students to go  out not only into politics but into the business world, anywhere. Whenever I hear students like “Ah, I’m  having  a  hard  time  getting  along  with  this  delegate”,  I’m  like  “Yeah,  that’s  what  it’s  gonna  be  like when  you’re  an  adult,  but  you  can’t  go  home  after  2 days so you have to learn to work through things and build  those  skills,  and  just  meeting  new  people.”

Bivin ’s story shows us the importance of an interna-tional education through Model  United  Nations.  Her experience demonstrates the advantages of taking part in the collective effort of becoming an internationally-minded community with other students.  PANAMUN especially seems to have been an important part of her academic life as well as her professional life and helped pave the way for her to pass on her love of learning to her students while allowing them to experience a new part of the world and build their skills in an international community.