This week, the 13 SMUS delegates returned from their travels and came back to class. Our students performed very well in the conference. In the three days of congress, three of the six bills passed into law were drafted by SMUS students. All our students earned Certificates of Excellence and 11 were honoured with distinctions. SMUS student Kun Yang Lee was elected by his peers in committee to address congress with a summary of their committee’s work and achievements.
April Hall and Sara Traubel, two participants, report on their experiences below.
by April Hall, Grade 11
The Harvard Model Congress Asia was an unforgettable experience. We met kids our own age from all over the world and got to work together to pass a few laws. The Harvard staff and chairs were great and they helped us learned so much about group dynamics, the political game and American government. We sat in our own committee (or senate, or cabinet) and debated as if we really were politicians. I was surprised how much we all got into it. By the third day, it was hard to say goodbye to all of our new friends. So many amazing activities and experiences were packed into our trip. I can’t possibly explain how much fun this trip truly was.
by Sara Traubel, Grade 12
As soon as I found out that SMUS was one of the schools participating at the Harvard Model Congress Asia and that there was a trip to Bangkok coming up, I wanted to be a part of it. Since I had stayed at home in Germany during summer, I flew to Thailand individually and met the SMUS group at the hotel in Bangkok. The trip was my first time travelling to Asia. The first stunning experience was getting out of the airport and being overcome by the heat and humidity, which, as a weak European, I was not used to. In the next couple of days, we visited some of Bangkok’s most important sites, including the Grand Palace and some very interesting museums. A boat tour on Chao Phraya River, which is flowing through Bangkok, showed us the places of the city that are not advertised for tourists. One of the things that makes Thailand incredibly fascinating to me, the people would always be friendly and welcoming, no matter where we were, and I felt safe throughout the trip.
I and other delegates were dropped off at the United Nations Congress Centre, which was an island of calmness in this busy and chaotic city. We soon took on our roles, which in my case was that of a journalist reporting on the president and the judicial branch. With my two partners, who were both from Bombay, we chased ‘President Bush’ for interviews and sat in the courtroom, prepared to sprint out at every moment to report on the latest news. Throughout the day, we worked on newswires, which were published twice a day, and on our newspapers. Time flew by and soon most of the students were leaving back to their schools in Bombay, Hong Kong, and Seoul.
Being able to attend the HMCA and getting to know a bit of the Thai culture has been a unique and truly worthwhile experience to me. The Harvard Model Congress was an excellent opportunity to meet fascinating people that were of international background and to build friendships. To me, both the Harvard Model Congress and the trip to Bangkok itself were experiences that gave me orientation for my future life and encouraged me to be active in our community.