Attending a Model UN Conference in Japan



You’ve probably heard about Model UN Conferences, more often known as MUNs. At MUNs, participants (typically university students) role play delegates to the United Nations and simulate UN committees. Sounds geeky? You betcha. But it’s also a lot of fun.

MUNs have been growing in popularity for a number of years. They are held in many countries around the world. If you’re looking for a MUN experience with a difference, how about attending a MUN in Asia?

Take for example the All Japan Model United Nations Conference (“AJMUN”).

AJMUN is held in Tokyo each December.  Most of the participants are Japanese university students, although overseas exchange students and foreign nationals are also welcome.  In 2013, just under 300 people participated in AJMUN. The debate and discussion in most committees occurs in Japanese, but there is also one committee in which English is used exclusively.

If you’re a Japanese language learner, participating in the Japanese language negotiations is a fantastic way to improve your language skills.

Participating in AJMUN is also an excellent way to network with many of Japan’s best and brightest young people, as AJMUN participants are typically students at Japan’s most prestigious universities, including Tokyo University.

Given that AJMUN is held over Australian universities’ summer break, it won’t have any impact on your studies. It is a great option for those who would like an experience similar to student exchange but whose degree structure doesn’t allow for the possibility of studying abroad.

It is relatively easy and inexpensive to participate in AJMUN. While you will need to make your own arrangements regarding flights (which aren’t too expensive, given the number of budget airlines flying between Japan and Australia) and visas, the application fee payable to AJMUN is very reasonable. In 2013, the cost to participate was only JPY30,000, which included the delegate materials, three nights stay at a hotel in Tokyo (which itself justifies the price), and breakfast each morning.

For more information check out the AJMUN website in English or in Japanese.

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Will Barker is a lawyer in the Brisbane offices of a global law firm. He has studied abroad in Japan and the UK and represented Australia at a number of international youth diplomatic conferences.

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