Come this May, after final exams are over and much of the student body is making itself comfortable for the summer, one group of students will be traveling to Taipei to host the inaugural session of Yale Model United Nations - Taiwan (YMUN-T) from May 23-26, 2014.
Yale’s International Relations Association (YIRA), the umbrella organization that oversees all of Yale’s Model United Nations activities, currently hosts a total of five conferences. Of these, one is domestic and the other four are international. YMUN-Taiwan will become its fifth international conference, bringing the total number to six.
An extension of Yale’s Model United Nations, YMUN-T will serve as a summit in South East Asia for students from all over the world in grades 8-12. The conference aims to help develop critical skills for future leaders and foster international cooperation and positive relations in the region.
Grace Chiang, who is the Secretary-General in charge of YMUN-T this year, says that the conference “wants [its] delegates to walk away from the conference passionate about international relations, diplomacy, negotiation, and public speaking.” YMUN-T has partnered with a charitable summer program on the island called Heart to Heart that provides volunteer opportunities for Taiwanese students, in hopes of continuing the YMUN tradition of incorporating a service element to their activities. “We want to encourage empowerment and sustainability by integrating the concept of social impact into our conference and partnering with non-profit charitable causes we believe in,” Chiang added.
Beyond creating an academic atmosphere of debate and discussion for high school students, YMUN-T will also offer opportunities for delegates to interact with undergraduates from Yale University and major universities in Taiwan. This will take place in the form of panels and workshops in which participants will learn more about the college application process as well as university life. Delegates will also have the opportunity to learn more about Yale’s academic offerings and extra-curricular organizations from the student admissions ambassadors who will be present at the conference.
As a testament to their commitment to making this experience available to all, YMUN-T will be providing financial aid to students to subsidize the cost of attending the conference, and encourages students of all experience levels and backgrounds to attend.
For more information about YMUN-Taiwan, visit their website at www.ymuntaiwan.yira.org.
- By Leo Espinoza