The other awards were four ‘outstanding position paper awards’, for four of the seven preparatory papers written by the students. “Around five to ten percent of the papers and delegations have won these awards,” explains the trainer of the Rotterdam NMUN delegation Joris van Bakel. “So an outstanding performance.”

During the NMUN, students from different countries take part in simulated United Nations meetings and negotiations. Beforehand, the delegations submit an assignment request for the country they wish to play. The Cedo Nulli students chose Myanmar, because it is a challenging country. “Particularly given the current political situation there,” says Van Bakel.

350 hours preparation per student

Fourteen students represented Erasmus University, all students from Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences (ESSB). “It’s very time consuming, because the students do training sessions at prestigious institutions like Clingendael and have to make preparations in the seven months preceding the conference. On average that adds up to around 350 hours per student.”

Why are students willing to devote so much time to it? “It’s a very enjoyable and interesting experience that enables students to meet many different people from all over the world,” says Van Bakel. It also looks good on your CV. “The students who take part have a better chance of getting a prestigious internship later on.”