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How to Start Model UN in High School

Are you ready to begin your career in the world of Model United Nations? If so, you are likely a bit overwhelmed by the fast-paced nature of this activity, and are not quite sure where to start. Fortunately, joining Model UN is not a complicated task, particularly given that most high schools already offer Model UN as a club. With a few small conversations and outreaches, you’ll be attending conferences and debating geopolitical issues with other young people from across the globe in no time. 

Do you attend a school that does not have a Model UN club? There are two courses of action: 

  1. Start your own Model UN club. How? Check this out: Quickstart Guide to How to Start a Model UN Team
  2. Compete as a solo delegate. What’s that? Check this out: My Experience Competing as a Solo Delegate


Ultimately, it does not matter which route you choose to initiate your involvement in Model UN. The end goal is identical: meet new people, gain global perspective, exponentially increase your understanding of global affairs, improve public speaking skills, learn how to debate using a wide span of adaptable strategies, and the list goes on.

You can even travel the world to attend international Ivy-League Model UN conferences by applying to compete with All-American Model UN.

Alas, we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Starting Model UN is a simplistic process, and it begins with a few short tasks:


Seek out the student leaders of your school’s Model UN club.

A central responsibility for any club leader is helping with the recruitment process, as well as integrating new members into the club dynamic. For this reason, any club leader will almost certainly be very excited to talk to you about why you should join Model UN. Since these are fellow students, it will be less intimidating to ask them any questions you may have about the activity than to the club faculty advisor. 


Establishing a relationship with club leaders will not only be helpful once you begin attending conferences, but they can also guide you through the process of joining the club, whatever that may look like for your particular school. 


Get on your school’s Model UN club email list.

Getting on the club’s email list may seem like an unnecessary step to take so early on, but it is one of the most critical. Joining the email list will give you updates about all the events and meetings for the club, thus permitting your attendance. When first joining the club, you will want to meet as many members as possible to help integrate socially. 

Attending every club meeting, training session, and fundraising event is the best way to ensure a seamless transition.  


Talk to your school’s Model UN club faculty advisor.

Establishing a relationship with the club faculty advisor is crucial, especially if you are a complete newcomer to Model UN. The faculty advisor is well versed in guiding novices through the process of joining Model UN, as well as coaching them through an introduction to parliamentary procedure and their first ever conference. Again, given the emphasis put on recruitment, the faculty advisor will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have, no matter how clueless you may feel. 


Talk to your parents about Western Business Attire.

Model UN does not have to be an expensive activity, but it does require a few investments in order to participate thoroughly. For example, just a mere few months after joining the club, you will likely attend a local conference to get your first ever Model UN experience. At Model UN conferences, all delegates are required to wear Western Business Attire (WBA) as to create an  environment of professionalism. Soon after joining the club, you may want to discuss with your parents purchasing a WBA outfit such that you can attend a conference. Given that WBA can take many forms, this is not a conversation that you want to leave until the night before your first conference. Trust me, your parents will thank you for mentioning it sooner rather than later.


Apply to attend the Diplomacy Academy to get the best MUN training on the planet.

Joining a Model UN club is the way to kickstart your Model UN career, but in order to get the most out of every conference you attend, you will want to pick up some strategies to excel as a leader in any committee. So, after you’ve attended a few conferences and mastered the basics of parliamentary procedure, apply to attend the All-American Model UN Diplomacy Academy to get the best Model UN training on the planet. Learn about the nuances of speech delivery, rhetorical devices, unmoderated caucus strategies, resolution writing, crisis committee backroom, and so much more. If you want to be more than just an average Model UN participant and take your Model UN capacity to the next level as a competitive, award-winning delegate, then the Diplomacy Academy is for you. 


Model UN attracts a radically diverse subset of individuals, and joining the activity is really an exercise in finding your people within the Model UN world.

So, be brave: express your interest, talk to people who can help you join, attend all the meetings, invest in the training, and above all else, trust the process.


Up Your MUN Game this Summer
The Diplomacy Academy at Boston University guides students through the process of amendments, voting procedure, and more. If you’re looking to up your MUN game with the best Model UN training on the planet, check out the Diplomacy Academy, presented by All-American Model United Nations.

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