One of our students studying English, Toru Matsushima recently attended the University Model United Nations Conference (SydMUN2015) in Sydney, and has written about his experiences at SydMUN2015 for ICTE-UQ to share with you!
"The Sydney University Model United Nations Conference (SydMUN2015) was held over three days from Thursday, 3 of December to Sunday 6 December, 2015 at the University of Sydney. I proudly participated in this event as a one of the delegates from the University of Queensland.
"In a Model United Nations (MUN) Conference, delegates are allocated to one of the committees’ assigned countries where they discuss specific issues in an international society from their country’s point of view. At the SydMUN 2015, I represented China in the General Assembly First Committee (DISEC: Disarmament and International Security Committee). Our committee topic was Security implication of the Japanese militarisation. As I’m from Japan, I often hear about the Japanese re-militarisation, and collective defense issues in the news. I was really surprised to hear this was a conference topic at SydMUN 2015.
"Despite having previous involvement with MUN in Japan, and also participating in an English-only conference, I still found it difficult to keep up with the discussions, as most of the participants were native English speakers and spoke very fast! Sometimes I could not understand what they have said, or express my opinion accurately, and the procedure difference between Japan and Australia was confusing. However, I tried hard to make a speech, and write sentences for a working paper in order to show my presence and promote national interests. This wasn’t an easy task for me, however I felt a sense of achievement when the conference had finished.
"I had some amazing experiences during the conference, where I participated in social events and stayed at the on-campus accommodation with other delegates from UQ and other universities in Australia. I tried to talk with them as much as I c"ould which gave me more opportunities to speak English, and this enabled me to make a lot of new friends. I’m really looking forward to seeing them when I travel Australia during holidays or after I finish my exchange study program.
"The conference was challenging but a very amazing four-day experience. SydMUN2015 also provided me with a good opportunity to improve my English, public speaking, and research skills.
"Next semester, I will enter go from being an ICTE-UQ student to a UQ exchange student where I will study International Relations. In addition, there are some MUN conferences in Melbourne and Brisbane next year, and I hope to learn a lot of from my study at UQ and the MUN conferences."
Written by Toru Matsushima