The Ermitage MUN group of 15 OIB and IB students left Paris for Haarlem on Thursday 10th April. Our first stop was Amsterdam. As we stepped out of the station after a short train journey, we discovered a beautiful and sunny city where cars had been replaced by ruthless Dutch cyclists ready to take down any clueless tourists who got in their way. After quickly scuttling out of their way, we were quickly debriefed by our new parents for the trip, Mr. Hager and Mr. Wall and and were let loose into this new exotic city in the quest of food. As we split off into small groups, we were given the opportunity to discover the Tuschinski cinema (an historic art-deco monument) and the Canal Belt as we devoured our lunch.
We soon all met up again and headed for the newly reopened RijksMuseum where we admired masterpieces by Rembrandt, Vermeer and many more. Unfortunately, we were not able to stay any longer in Amsterdam as the host school, Stedelijk Gymnasium, was awaiting our arrival in Haarlem. Subsequently, we jumped back on the train and headed for our final destination.
As we arrived at the school, we were warmly greeted by the organisers of the MUN conference and our lovely host families. We soon dispersed into our designated families, bubbling with excitement for the conference that lay ahead.
The next day, at the Stedelijk Gymnasium, the Ermitage MUN group met up once again. Dressed in our smartest outfits, we were ready to save the world from chaos and crisis. We all went into our different committees, prepared and ready to take action as the voices of tomorrow. Our subjects varied greatly from establishing an international policy on euthanasia to tax evasion or even the 65th birthday of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
With 550 students participating in the conference from over 16 different countries, the debating is not the only instructive part of the trip; we were able to mix with people from completely different cultures, who shared the same interest in the world around us. The debates were made even more interesting as keynote speakers intervened on the second day of the conference to give us additional information on the individual subjects as well as answering all of our questions.
By the last day, each committee had written up extremely constructive resolutions. The General Assembly gathered all the GAs to look thoroughly through the resolutions that had passed whilst the rest of the conference found solutions for the made up crisis which was tearing down peace between countries.
All in all, the conference was a resounding success and every student on the MUN Ermitage trip was
devastated to have to leave the beautiful country that is the Netherlands after only 4 days. Even though there may have been a few blips with the temporary loss of a passport (oops!), we all learnt something from this trip and can’t wait to go back next year.
on Wednesday April 9, 2014