Frequently Asked Questions
About the MMUN Program
Q: What is Model United Nations?
Model United Nations is a simulation of the UN General Assembly and other multilateral bodies. In Model UN, students step into the shoes of ambassadors from UN member states to debate current issues on the organization’s agenda. While playing their roles as ambassadors, student delegates give speeches, prepare draft resolutions, negotiate with allies and adversaries, resolve conflicts, and navigate the Model UN conference rules of procedure – all in the interest of mobilizing “international cooperation” to resolve problems that affect countries all over the world.
Before playing out their ambassadorial roles in a Model UN simulation, students research the issue that their committee will address. Model UN participants learn how the international community acts on its concerns about topics including peace and security, human rights, the environment, food and hunger, economic development and globalization. Model UN delegates also look closely at the needs, goals and foreign policies of the countries they will represent at the event. The insights they gain from their exploration of history, geography, culture, economics and science contribute to the authenticity of the simulation when the role playing gets under way. The delegates’ in-depth knowledge of their countries guarantees a lively and memorable experience.
How did Model UN begin?
While there is no official record of how Model UN began, we do know that Model UN is the successor of a series of student-led Model League of Nations simulations. Some people believe that the first Model UN conference was held at Harvard University, although other colleges claim they held the first conference. Regardless, simulations of international organizations began even before the birth of the United Nations!
Q: What is the difference between the Montessori Model United Nations (MMUN) Program and a Model United Nations (MUN) Program?
Montessori Model UN differs in important ways from the traditional Model UN program. First, MMUN is not competitive and does not give awards or prizes. The reason is that neither does the UN. The goal for UN Ambassadors is to foster the interests of their country while creating collaborative agreements with other member states.
MMUN focuses on assisting the delegates to find common ground and create one consensus based resolution per topic. The committee work is based on collaboration and negotiation rather than debate. Skills that will last a lifetime.
Another important difference is that the MMUN Rules of Procedure are not parliamentary because the UN is not a parliamentary forum but one where each member state is sovereign.
MMUN encourages delegates to find their voice and take action to solve global issues that affect the world we share.
Q: What types of topics are discussed in a Montessori Model United Nations conferences?
The agenda items discussed in committee vary at each conference. Most conferences tend to focus on current affairs issues that are being discussed in the United Nations. These issues can highlight political, financial and/or social concerns. However, the task of committees might be to address hypothetical concerns or issues from the past or future. For example, many conferences have “crisis” committees, in which delegates must react to a hypothetical or actual crisis situation. Other conferences host historical or future Security Council simulations.
Q: What are some of the educational benefits of Montessori Model United Nations?
For almost 10 years teachers and students have benefited from and enjoyed this interactive learning experience. It not only involves young people in the study and discussion of global issues, but also encourages the development of skills useful throughout their lives, such as research, writing, public speaking, problem solving, consensus building, conflict resolution and cooperation.
Q: What is a Montessori Model United Nations delegate?
A Model UN delegate is a student who assumes the role of an ambassador to the United Nations in a Model UN simulation. Prior to a conference or event, a Model UN delegate does not need extensive experience in international relations. Anyone can participate in Model UN, so long as they have the ambition to learn something new and to work with people to try and make a difference in the world. Model UN students tend to go on to become great leaders in politics, law, business, education and medicine.
New Teacher Workshop
Q: Why should I participate in Montessori Model United Nations?
MMUN promotes students’ and teachers’ interest in the world around them and broadens a student’s knowledge in a variety of subjects. It teachers vital skills in problem solving, conflict resolution, research and communication. It also gives students and teachers the opportunity to meet interesting new people and make new friends.
Q: How can I enroll my students to participate in a Montessori Model United Nations Conference?
In order to participate in the MMUN conferences, the teachers leading the students delegates are required to take the MMUN New Teacher Workshop. This training is a two-day course to enable teachers to effectively prepare the students to attend the MMUN conferences. For teachers new to MMUN this is an obligatory component. The upcoming workshops are displayed on the MMUN homepage.
Q: Do I have to register for the MMUN New Teacher Workshop even if I have already participated in other Model UN Conferences? How is MMUN different?
Yes. We require all schools new to MMUN to send at least one teacher to the MMUN Teacher Workshop prior to registering your school and delegates. MMUN is not competitive and does not give awards or prizes like some MUN organizations. The reason is that neither does the UN. The goal for UN Ambassadors is to foster the interests of their country while creating collaborative agreements with other member states. MMUN focuses on assisting the delegates find common ground and create one consensus-based resolution per topic. Another important difference is that the MMUN Rules of Procedure are not parliamentary because the UN is not a parliamentary forum, but one where each member state is sovereign. MMUN encourages delegates to find their voice about global issues and implement their ideas into social action plans.
Q. How many times do I need to take the MMUN New Teacher Workshop?
Once. However, you may be required to attend webinar refresher sessions online whenever there is any curricular change to the Program.
Q. Will I need to take the training if I move to another school?
A: No. As a MMUN certified teacher, you are not required to take the on-site training again if you move to another school. Bear in mind MMUN certified teachers may be required to attend webinar refresher sessions online whenever there is any curricular change to the Program.
Q. Can only Montessori schools participate in MMUN?
MMUN is open to all schools, Montessori or not. Although all teachers are require to attend the MMUN New Teacher Workshop prior to leading a delegation to a MMUN conference.
Q. Can parents also take the MMUN New Teacher Workshop?
Yes. Parents are welcome to attend the MMUN New Teacher Workshop in order to effectively prepare student delegates to attend a MMUN Conference.
Conference Registration, Dashboard, Matrices, Fees and Logistics
Q: Can I access the school dashboard using the login information I used for last year’s Conferences?
Login credentials created prior to 08/26/2015 are no longer active. Therefore, coordinators registering schools for the iYES and/or any of the 2016 conferences must create their login credentials at the time of registration. Once you have registered your school for a conference and created your login credentials, you will then be able to register for any conference with the same login information. This new function enables coordinators to manage multiple conference registrations with a single login.
Q: I forgot my school login information. Is there a way to retrieve it?
Every time you forget your school login info to access the school dashboard, please know that you can easily retrieve it by clicking on the link “Forgot your password?”. The link to retrieve your lost login info is located under the login access tabs on the top right corner of this webpage.
After clicking on the link “Forgot your password?”, you will be asked to enter the email address linked to your school account. Once you submit the email address linked to your school account, an automated email will be sent to that email confirming your login information to access your school dashboard.
Q: Do we need to pay the school registration fee for each conference?
The school fee is a charge per conference/per location. If you want to bring both grades (upper and middle) to participate in the MMUN Conferences held in same location, your school will pay for one registration fee only. However, if you want to register your students for conferences in different locations(Rome, NYC, etc.) your school must pay a fee for each conference.
Q: Why do non-delegates (parents, teachers, chaperones and observers) need to be registered to attend a MMUN Conference?
Our first commitment to MMUN coordinators, delegates and their parents is safety. To ensure every person attending the conference is credentialed by MMUN and screened by our security staff as well as the UN’s, we require that everyone be registered online.
Also, MMUN attendees are granted with highly discounted rates at the host hotel. Those not registered with MMUN cannot take advantage of the discounted rates since they are exclusively offered to conference participants. Anyone not registered for conference will NOT be allowed to attend/enter any of the conference sessions/activities, and will not be granted access to the UN.
Q: Do non-delegates need to also pay for a conference package on top of the registration fee?
Yes. ALL participants, delegates and non-delegates, are required to purchase a conference package. Each conference varies as to what is included in the package.
The Conference Package for New York for example; includes access and transportation to and from the UN, as well as portage fees. The hotel requires that to be able for us to use their ballrooms and committee rooms we must all stay there. MMUN has contracted for all the rooms and as a not for profit, MMUN does not pay taxes which constitute nearly 20% of the additional cost for anyone else booking a room at the Marriott.
Q: What is the suggested ratio of adults to students?
MMUN suggests a ratio of 1 adult for each group of 8 Upper Elementary delegates and 1:12 ratio for Middle School delegates. Although the requirement for each school is to register at least 1(one) adult coordinator to ensure there will be at least one person responsible for supervising delegates on-site at all times. The group coordinator will also be our primary contact if an emergency arises during the conference.
Q: Do we need to submit payment for participant registration fees before assigning a country or countries to my delegates?
In order to select a country for your delegation you just need to register your school and pay the school registration fee. To confirm attendance, you will need to pay the fees for all participants (teachers, students, chaperones, parents, observers, etc.) within the timeline provided by MMUN. However, you can save money by registering your participants early.
Q: I’m the teacher coordinator. Do I have a complimentary registration fee?
No. The conference registration fee applies to all participants, including teacher coordinators, parents, students and observers.
Q: How many is the minimum number of students required to attend the MMUN conference?
One student is the minimum needed to form a delegation. Keep in mind the individual student will be required to write and submit one position paper per topic, two papers total.
Q: How do I add participants to my school registration list on the dashboard?
To register additional participants, you will need to increase your number of adults and/or students under the section “school information” on your school dashboard by clicking on the link “edit school information”. Once you have increased your number of adults and/or students, you must then proceed to pay for their registration fees by clicking on the link “pay for participants” under the section “registered participants”. After paying for their registration fees, you will then be able to enter their names and contact information.
Q: I have an odd number of students in my group, am I allowed to place three (3) students in a committee?
The conference matrix will not allow more than two (2) students per committee. In these unique cases, (1) delegate will have to take on the challenge of both topics in one committee. Keep in mind, it is not a requirement to make a speech, and it is a choice to be placed on the speaker’s list. This is designed so the preparation process is not compromised for the delegates involved, as well as, all delegates in committee session. MMUN must also adhere to strict capacity guidelines within each committee room.
Q: What if I have only one (1) delegate in a committee?
Because each committee debates and negotiates two topics, that delegate must prepare for both topics and write two position papers. If a delegates submits only one paper, s/he cannot fully represent their country in the committee and will therefore be moved to observer status and not be able to engage in any of the committee deliberations from speeches to voting.
Q: What if I cannot find enough information about my country and/or topics on the MMUN website?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Q: How many position papers does each delegation write?
Delegates are responsible for having in depth knowledge about both topics. As a delegation, both delegates are responsible for researching and writing one paper per topic, two papers total. Delegates might decide to split responsibilities and write one position paper each. However, they must share in the thinking and development of both topics.
Q: Do both students in the delegation have to be knowledgeable about both topics addressed by their committee?
Yes, it is critical that both delegates are knowledgeable about both topics so they may both participate in the discussion and negotiations on those topics.
Q: Can I represent the country in which I reside in?
No. You must choose a country that you do not reside in.
Q: How should I price the cost of each student to attend the conference?
In addition to the registration fee, each conference has a promotional package that includes services. Check your conference page for pricing and additional information.
Q: What is the recommended ratio of adult chaperones and students?
For Upper Elementary, the suggested ratio is 1 to 8 delegates and 1:12 for Middle School students. Teachers know their students best and can therefore adjust the ratio to meet safety and security needs of their group.
Q: How often should I check the dashboard after I have registered my school?
The dashboard and MMUN website should be checked weekly in the months prior to the conference and then daily in the month prior to the conference. This will ensure that the MMUN coordinator is aware of the details necessary to participate in the conference.
Q: Where I can find more information about the conference schedule?
On the right hand side of each Conference page you will find a tab named “Conference Schedule”. There you will find additional information regarding the Conference schedule and more.
Q: Is the MMUN team responsible for making arrangements for the UN official tours?
No. You will need to contact the United Nations for more information at (212) 963-8687
Q: Are student delegates required to participate in the social and cultural night events?
All students and conference participants are welcome to attend the evening events as performers or spectators. Both, the Cultural and Social Night events aim to extend cultural understanding and provide opportunities for student delegates to make new friends.
Q: Can my students be part of the audience if they are not performing at the cultural night event?
Yes, all participants are welcome to attend the evening events.
Q: Are student delegates required to prepare and bring to the conference a country display board?
Yes, as part of the process to learn about their chosen country, students are asked to create a freestanding display board. They are display during the conference providing an atmosphere of an international event. Students enjoy studying each other’s displays between sessions.
Q: Apart from position papers, what else must be submitted online to MMUN prior to the conference?
When position papers are submitted, delegates can also indicate if they want to give their Opening Speech. Also, students can submit their drawings to participate in the T-shirt Design Contest, and their group application to perform at the Culture Night Event.
Q: Is my group required to register on-site after being registered online?
Yes, you will pick up your conference materials and credentials during on-site registration that takes place just before the Opening Ceremony. Day and hours of on-site registration vary by conference. Check your conference schedule for more accurate information.
Q: Can an adult chaperone register my group on-site if the teacher coordinator is absent?
If the teacher coordinator plans not to attend the conference, s/he must register the parent or adult chaperone that will be the group coordinator on-site. As long as the parent or adult chaperone is registered online as the group coordinator, then s/he can collect the conference materials at Registration.
Q: Must all adults and students be registered and have purchased the conference package to attend the conference?
Yes, all students and adults wishing to attend the conference must register and purchase the conference package through the MMUN website. Onsite registration and credentialing only apply to participants who have already registered online.
Q: Is it possible to register adults and students on-site if I missed the online registration deadline?
No, all registrations must be done online.
Q: Is it possible to submit the cultural night application on-site if I missed the online application deadline?
No, all cultural night applications must be submitted 4 weeks before the conference.
Q: Does my group need anything else but their conference ID badges to attend the Closing Ceremony at the UN?
Yes. Apart from the conference ID badges, all participants must have their UN entrance passes which will be distributed along with the bus tickets in the morning of the Closing Ceremony day. It is also wise to have copies of passport or government issued photo ID document in case UN officials ask for it.
Q: How, when and where do I get the bus tickets and entrance passes to the UN Venue for the Voting & Closing Ceremony?
Depending on the conference location and the UN protocol, the distribution of bus tickets and UN entrance passes vary. The standard protocol is to have group coordinators accompanied by their group check in at the MMUN Desk the day prior to the Closing Ceremony. They will then receive their UN entrance passes and will receive guidance on bus boarding and alighting procedures, location and times. In event of any procedural change, group coordinators will be notified on-site at registration on day 1.
Q: Who will advise, guide and direct the teachers, parents and students through the preparation process prior and at the conference?
The Montessori Model UN Program is directed by Judith Cunningham. Throughout the year, the MMUN staff will be preparing the background guides and answering your questions in preparing for this conference. During the conference, the staff will direct committees, conduct teacher workshops and advise students on the progress of their resolutions. The Montessori Model UN staff come from a diverse background in life and education that makes our team not only unique but also very successful.
MMUN Leadership Training
Q: What is the MMUN Leadership Training? What is it for?
Is a two-day course to educate Montessori teachers and former MMUN delegates to take on the role of Committee Presidents, Vice Presidents, Rapporteurs as well as the MMUN Secretariat so that our conference is truly anchored in Montessori practices and principles.
Q: Is this training a one-time course?
Yes. Although you will be also participating in a selection process while you are being trained. The MMUN board will select the members and position according to the participants’ performance during the training.
Q: I’m new to MMUN, can I register to participate in the MMUN Leadership Training?
No, this training requires experience in MMUN Conferences. If you are new to the MMUN Program you will need to go through learning by experiencing the preparation and measure procedures prior and during the MMUN Conferences. You need to be a trained MMUN Teacher, High School student or former Middle School student with previous experience in MMUN Conferences to participate in the MMUN Leadership Training.
MMUN International Conferences
Q: Do the children need visas for the travel to Rome or China?
Please check with the your country’s State Department or the consulate of the host country to see the regulations about visas. They will provide information about how to obtain a visa if it is required. EU, US and Canadian citizens do not need visa to visit Italy. To enter China however, non-Chinese attendees will be required to either apply for a tourist visa. For more information and assistance with visa applications, please visit https://www.passportsandvisas.com/montessori-mun
Q: Does MMUN provide a letter of invitation for my school group?
A letter of invitation can be issued by MMUN upon request. The teacher coordinator must submit a request by email to email@example.com
Be sure to include in your email request the following information for each of the registered participants:
– Full name as shown on their passport;
– Passport number;
– Date of birth;
– Issue and expiration dates of their passports; and
– Their status at the conference, i.e. Student Delegate, Teacher Coordinator, Parent Chaperone.
Q: What immunizations are recommended for travel?
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides comprehensive information. Click here for more information: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list/
Q: How far is the nearest hospital from the Rome Conference Venue?
There will be an emergency response team at the Conference venue and the nearest hospital, is about 15-20 minute drive from the Conference venue and the Marriott Park Hotel.
Q: Is the Rome Conference conducted at a hotel?
Yes. The official venue for the Rome Conference is the Marriott Park Hotel, which is located at via Colonnello Tommaso Masala 54, Rome 00148, Italy.
Q: Is the MMUN Rome Conference part of a larger event of some kind? If so, what is the event?
No. The MMUN Rome Conference will not be connected to any other event. There is a tour after the Conference which is provided independently of the Conference. For more information, go to https://montessori-mun.org/italy-unesco-tours/
Q: Will the official language at the Conference be English?
Yes. There will be teachers and high school students who have attended MMUN and will serve as Secretariat on the Dais. They speak Italian, French, Spanish and Chinese and will help with translation, if needed.
Q: Will the Conference be run under the same rules as the Conference in New York, which we have attended?
Yes, it is a MMUN Conference with all the same protocol and procedures.
If you have any questions that are not covered here or elsewhere on our website,
please email firstname.lastname@example.org