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.