Discovering What It Is Like to Be the Foreigner

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Pace University student Nicholas Mucerino ‘16 shows of his prize for an effective representation of Russia in a simulation of the Human Rights Council at the 2016 Geneva International Model United Nations conference in Switzerland.

Being afforded the opportunity to attend the 2016 Geneva International Model United Nations (GIMUN) conference in Switzerland was for me an invaluable chance to be part of something truly global. I had never traveled outside of the United States before this conference, so I was anxious about being able to interact with people that came from all over the world. At Pace we regularly interact with students from abroad but we were always at home where the culture and language was still ours. It was my turn to be the international student.

At the conference I was selected to represent the Russian Federation in a simulation of the Human Rights Council (HRC). This really excited me because of my long interest in Russian culture and politics and its stature in the UN. Other delegates sought out my position on the issues we were discussing and I enjoyed being able to work in a leadership position. It really challenged me to think differently about how my words and actions affected not just my own position but others’ as well. My fellow classmates in the HRC simulation were really important in helping me rewire my thinking on this. As part of representing Russia, I was also chosen for an extra assignment as part of the Universal Periodic Review where I would explain and defend my country’s human rights record. It was exhilarating to be seated by the committee chairs and face the questions directed at Russia.

If I did not have to graduate this semester, I would love a chance to take part in another international conference. I met so many new friends in Geneva and the city itself was beautiful for its sights and its huge diversity of people from all over the world. Any student at Pace University should try out for this amazing opportunity. They will never regret it!

– Nicholas Mucerino ‘16

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About Matthew Bolton

I am assistant professor of Political Science at Pace University and author of Foreign Aid and Landmine Clearance.
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