Lessons Learned from a Student Conference


The Vancouver Model United Nations Conference hosted 1100 students from across British Columbia and the state of Washington. Among those contending for air time, awards and new acquaintances, Burnaby students aimed to get to the top of the learning curve of this largest-of-all-conferences. Other than the professional and knowledgeable statements that they had researched and prepared diligently for each committee session, what were the primary lessons that the Burnaby delegation needed to learn in order to survive a full 56 hours at a competitive conference in downtown Vancouver?

  1. Which fast food restaurant has the shortest line-up so I can make it back to my committee session in the fastest time possible in the 15 minutes allotted for a break? Think – 1100 people needing food at the same time.
  2. What time do I have to line-up for the elevator in order to make it back to my committee session in time for roll call? Think – 1100 people needing to get to hotel rooms, out of the hotel or back to the committee at the same time.
  3. How can I convince other members of the delegation to go to the same restaurant for lunch? Think – all delegates having different eating preferences and requirements.
  4. How can I get more sleep but still participate in all of the social activities at the conference? Think – packed schedule, with a required global crisis to solve occurring from midnight until 2:30 in the morning.
  5. How do we process all of the experiences we had and the new friendships we made, and still make it home, compress our weekend homework into 3 hours and make it back to first class Monday morning? Think – so much information and social overload and so tired after such a great learning experience.

Burnaby delegates represented their school district and community well. The knowledge they gained will certainly benefit other students who have chosen to go to the next large competitive Model UN conference from  February 24-26th – PacificMUN. Always another opportunity for more lessons to learn.